Dak Prescott scores 5 touchdowns as Cowboys knock over Bucs in NFC wildcard matchup

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Dak Prescott was almost flawless and the defense rose to the challenge as the Dallas Cowboys beat Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-14 on Monday night.

Prescott appeared to reverse the misfortune of last season’s playoff loss by putting on a dominant performance against the Buccaneers’ defense, which was ninth in yards allowed and 13th in points allowed during the regular season. He got off to a hot start with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Schultz in the first quarter and never looked back from there.

The former Mississippi State standout ran for a touchdown on the goal line to cap off a 15-play drive in the second quarter and followed with another touchdown pass to Schultz to take an 18-0 lead at rest. According to ESPN Stats & Info, he became the first Cowboys quarterback to complete 11 consecutive passes.

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Brett Maher somehow missed three consecutive extra-point attempts – and later a fourth after Prescott found Michael Gallup for a touchdown in the third quarter. But thankfully, the special teams’ mistakes didn’t get in the way of Dallas’ performance on the night.

To put the dagger in the heart of the Buccaneers, Prescott threw his fourth touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb in the fourth quarter to make it 31-6.

Prescott finished 25 of 33 with 305 passing yards and four touchdown passes. He had 25 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Schultz led the Cowboys with seven catches for 95 yards and two scores.

Dallas would keep Brady and the Buccaneers from putting any pressure. The team only allowed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones late in the third and a touchdown to Cameron Brate in the fourth quarter.

Brady threw a red zone interception to Jayron Kearse. It was Brady’s first red zone interception since joining the Buccaneers. He then turned the ball over on downs in the red zone in the fourth quarter.

Brady finished 35 of 66 with 351 passing yards and two touchdown passes. Chris Godwin led the Buccaneers with 10 catches for 85 yards. Jones had seven catches for 74 yards.

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Dallas advances to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round. The Cowboys have not made the NFC championship since the 1995 season – the last time the team won the Super Bowl.

Tampa Bay enters the offseason with a cloudy future.

Brady is back on the loose as he contemplates the possibility of playing another season for possibly another team or retiring. He somehow didn’t say it.

Several teams are reportedly interested in Brady’s services for the 2023 season, despite him turning 46 years old. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport explained on Sunday the possible options Brady has for him.

“Tom Brady will be a free agent after this season. He will be 46 years old and I would say there is a chance he will not return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, despite the fact that they really want him back and plan to be there to make an effort.” ‘ explains Rapoport.

The NFL insider added that Brady could very well find another landing spot if Tampa Bay isn’t in his future.

“Of the teams that would consider Brady, there were a few that considered Brady last time,” he said. The Tennessee Titans still have some quarterback questions there. The 49ers, if they don’t decide to rock Brock Purdy – he’s definitely making his case. And the Las Vegas Raiders, who have some of his old friends, including Josh McDaniels.”

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There’s still a lot to decide for Tampa Bay.