Dak Prescott stars as Dallas Cowboys beat Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in NFL playoffs
Tampa Bay receiver Russell Gage sustained a concussion late in the game, seeing him carted off the field and taken to hospital; Bucs head coach Todd Bowles says he has movement in all of his extremities; Brady on his NFL future: "It will be one day at a time. Truly"
Last Updated: 17/01/23 11:12am
Dak Prescott outplayed Tom Brady, throwing for four touchdowns and running in another, as he led the Dallas Cowboys to a convincing 31-14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the final wild card clash of the NFL playoffs.
Story of the Game
Prescott completed 25 of 33 passes for 305 yards and was without a turnover for the first time in eight games as the Cowboys dominated the listless Bucs in what could prove to be the 45-year-old Brady's last game in a Tampa Bay uniform and possibly the NFL as a whole.
Brady has not yet committed to returning to Tampa, playing for another team next season or retiring. After the defeat, he told reporters: "I'm going to go home and get a good night's sleep, at least as good as I can tonight.
"There has been a lot of focus on this game. It will be one day at a time. Truly."
Brady, who signed with Tampa Bay in 2020 and led the Bucs to a Super Bowl title two years ago, will be a free agent this offseason. He retired briefly last February before changing his mind and returning for a 23rd season.
Brady ended the press conference by saying: "I love this organisation, it's a great place to be."
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The win for Dallas was the team's first against Brady, with the seven-time Super Bowl winner having triumphed in their prior seven meetings. It was also the Cowboys' first road win in the playoffs for 30 years.
Dallas had dropped their last eight straight since winning the NFC championship game in 1993 against the 49ers in San Francisco, which is where they head next on Sunday in the divisional round.
|Cowboys 6-0 Buccaneers||Dak Prescott 22-yard TD pass to Dalton Schultz (missed extra point)|
|Cowboys 12-0 Buccaneers||Dak Prescott one-yard TD run Dak Prescott 22-yard TD pass to Dalton Schultz (missed extra point)|
|Cowboys 18-0 Buccaneers||Dak Prescott 11-yard TD pass to Dalton Schultz (missed extra point)|
|Cowboys 24-0 Buccaneers||Dak Prescott two-yard TD pass to Michael Gallup (missed extra point)|
|Cowboys 24-6 Buccaneers||Tom Brady 30-yard TD pass to Julio Jones (failed two-point conversion)|
|Cowboys 31-6 Buccaneers||Dak Prescott 18-yard TD pass to CeeDee Lamb (extra point)|
|Cowboys 31-14 Buccaneers||Tom Brady eight-yard TD pass to Cameron Brate (two-point conversion)|
About the only thing that went wrong for the Cowboys on Monday night was kicker Brett Maher missing his first four extra-point attempts, becoming the first player in NFL history to miss that many in a game, before finally converting on his fifth.
Brady, completed 35 of a massive 66 pass attempts for 351 yards and two second-half touchdowns of 30 yards to Julio Jones and eight to Cameron Brate. But this was after the Dallas defense had held Tampa scoreless in the first half, building a 24-0 lead before the first of Brady's scoring strikes to end the third quarter.
Brady was sacked twice in the game and also threw a costly interception in the second quarter when the Buccaneers had the chance to take the lead, stationed at the Cowboys' five-yard line and trailing only 6-0.
Prescott tossed the first of his two TD passes to tight end Dalton Schultz to get the Cowboys going, then turned Brady's first red-zone interception since 2019 into points by capping a 15-play, 80-yard drive with a goal-line score.
The Dallas quarterback expanded the lead to 18-0 with an 11-yard TD throw to Schultz, then found Michael Gallup from two yards out for a 24-point lead early in the third quarter.
Prescott's last TD pass, an 18-yarder to CeeDee Lamb, put the Cowboys up 31-6 with 10 minutes remaining, before Brady's late consolation TD to Brate.
"I didn't listen to anybody else's opinions, anybody else's thoughts," Prescott said after the game. "I have a great supporting cast, a team that believes in me. That's all that really matters to me and just stay focused on what I can do."
On their trip to San Francisco, Prescott added: "I'm excited for it. They're a good team.
"They took us out last year [in the playoffs]. We know what we have ahead of us."
Bucs receiver Gage carted off with concussion; sent to hospital
Tampa Bay receiver Russell Gage sustained a concussion late in the fourth quarter, seeing him carted off the field and taken to hospital, where he was also to be checked for a neck injury.
Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said after the game that Gage had movement in all of his extremities. Team-mate Lavonte David said: "Definitely hope he's doing well. He was moving so that's a good sign."
Gage was unable to get up on multiple occasions after an incomplete pass was thrown his way by Tom Brady with just under three minutes left in the final wild card clash of the playoffs. Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson's right arm smacked into the side of Gage's helmet on the play.
Players from both teams took a knee and prayed while medical personnel attended to Gage. The incident comes just two weeks on from Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsing on the field mid-game and needing to be resuscitated.
Gage caught two passes for 10 yards in Monday night's game.
- Passing: Dak Prescott, 25/33, 305 yards, 4 TDs
- Rushing: Tony Pollard, 15 carries, 77 yards
- Receiving: Dalton Schultz, seven catches, 95 yards, 2 TDs
- Passing: Tom Brady, 35/66, 351 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
- Rushing: Rachaad White, seven carries, 41 yards
- Receiving: Chris Godwin, 10 catches, 85 yards
The lineup for the divisional round of the NFL playoffs has been decided, with Sky Sports showing all four games stretched across two nights this weekend.
On Saturday, the Jacksonville Jaguars kick things off with their trip to AFC No 1 seeds the Kansas City Chiefs (9:35pm kick-off), while the big NFC East rivalry clash between the NFC's No 1 seed, the Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants (1.15am kick-off) follows later that evening.
On Sunday, the Buffalo Bills host Cincinnati Bengals (8:05pm kick-off) in a repeat of the cancelled Week 17 clash between the two teams after Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest on the field. Then the final game of the weekend comes from San Francisco as the 49ers host the Cowboys (11.30pm kick-off).
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