Dak Prescott insists he spiked the ball before the clock ran out

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys
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Referee Alex Kemp said in a pool report that umpire Ramon George did everything correctly in spotting the ball. Quarterback Dak Prescott said he and the Cowboys did everything correctly to have time to spike the ball before the clock ran out.

“I thought I did (spike the ball in time),” Prescott said. “I didn’t hear what the ref said, what their announcement was. I just saw them running off the field and the Niners running on the field and celebrating, so understood what had happened.”

The Cowboys were out of timeouts with 14 seconds left when offensive coordinator Kellen Moore called for a quarterback draw to try to get close enough for a better play than a Hail Mary. Prescott ran 17 yards to the San Francisco 24, and the Cowboys scrambled to the line to try to spike the ball before time ran out. It didn’t happen.

The Cowboys snapped the ball with one second left and spiked it with no time left.

“We were going to get some yards and get down and clock it,” Prescott said. “It’s something we’ve practiced over and over again. Ran. Went and got some yards. Went down. As I was getting behind (center) Tyler (Biadasz), saw four seconds left. I thought there was obviously time to make sure everybody was set, and then honestly, just got hit from behind (by the umpire). Still, when I got up (under center), I saw two seconds. I thought I could get the snap and get it down before time expired. I’m not sure what happened other than that.”

Former NFL executive Scott Pioli criticized Prescott on Twitter for not handing the ball to the umpire to spot. “This is why coaches teach situational football!!” Pioli wrote. “The ball carrier CANNOT set the ball after the play! It’s why you teach players to HAND ball to official in hurry up. Everyone should know that rule and every team should be practicing it!!”

Prescott and the umpire bumped into each other as George tried to set the ball. Prescott said the Cowboys practice handing the ball to Biadasz.

“We’ve practiced it,” Prescott said. “You hand it to the center. The umpire, all he has to do is usually come in and tap the ball. Yeah, I mean, don’t necessarily know exactly why the hit happened, I guess. I knew he was going to come in and touch the ball. You can say, yeah, he needs to be closer to the ball or whatever. In hindsight, just tough. Yeah, tough to accept.”

Prescott spiked the ball, and, after a brief delay, Kemp announced the game was over.

“I’d like to get a play off, knowing everything that happened, thinking that I spiked the ball in time,” Prescott said. “That or not, yeah, I mean with the official getting in the way of the play as well. Tough. Tough. Just tough.”

112 responses to “Dak Prescott insists he spiked the ball before the clock ran out

  1. Dak is a bone head. The second he took off and ran you just knew they weren’t going to be able to clock it in time. What an embarrassing way to lose the game.

  2. The fact that there’s even discussion of this means Dak messed up. Should have downed the ball a couple of seconds earlier. Didn’t leave himself enough time for a clean undisputed spike.

  3. Truly amazing how many Cowboy players, coaches and officials want to blame everyone else for their own incompetence.
    Nobody in their right mind runs a quarterback draw with 14 seconds left and no time outs from that spot on the field.
    The coach responsible for calling that play should be fired.

  4. My question is why is Dak looking at the clock and not trying to get his team set for a quick spike???

  5. Yeah, that one is on Dak, not on McCarthy or Moore.

    Everybody knows the ref has to touch the ball before a play can be run.

  6. Dak Prescott is our generation’s Donovan McNabb. Pretty good and will rack up stats and meaningless wins but won’t win big games with inconsistency and poor situational awareness.

  7. It should come as no surprise that a team as undisciplined as the Cowboys would lose due to their lack of discipline.

  8. If Kellen Moore called that play, then I hope the Vikings take him off the HC interview list!

  9. They practice handing it to the center when it’s the official who has to place it? That pretty much says it all.

  10. In college football youbhave to have two or three seconds left on the clock to spike the ball see Miami-Fsu game as the latest example as he spiked it with like one second on the clock and refs ruled the game was over.

    Is it not the same rule for the NFL?

  11. I’m torn on if it would have been more or less embarrassing if he would have slung it into the end zone from 15 yards downfield instead sliding.

  12. You’d think $40mm per would get ya a QB that remembers your Centrr does not spot the ball, the umpire does

  13. Fantastic finish. Hilarious that Mccarthy actually thought they’d get bonus time. This is even funnier that Dakota thought he spiked it in time. The game is 60 minutes. You lost every second of it. No bonus for you.

  14. I’ma thrilled Dak had a truly mediocre game, highlighted by his “Thank you, Jesus”, touchdown run…meaning nothing at all. Especially to an atheist like me.

    At $40 million, $10 million, Dak is not elite, enjoy your stupid sleep number nonsense. Let your Jones-owner know, you are not elite.

  15. They had 3 hours to win the game and live up to the hype we have to constantly hear about them! Whining about this pathetic attempt at the end of the game is who they really are!

  16. Here come the excuses….. bad officiating… Zekes bad knee…..

    Never a Cowboys fault in Jerrys World.

  17. Dak’s over/under throws also played a big role, as did the many Cowboy penalties…
    Focus on the last pay is misplaced….

  18. Cowboys need to sign Nick Foles. Then Dak can learn from a qb that knows how to win playoff games and Superbowls.

    How does McCarthy keep his job after this disater?

  19. I was forming a good opinion of Prescott even though he played against mediocre competition. This game just showed me that he’s pretty much average.
    This game was going to get blown wide open with Aiyuk was wide open (this guy is going to be a monster next year). Of course Jimmy G had to reenact the Sanders miss. Niners kept letting the cowboys in and cowboys kept shooting themselves in the foot.

    Even a slightly better game by Jimmy would have meant a blow out of the cowboys.

    My God, Cowboys are a badly coached team. Here is Yak blaming the refs when he should not have run far and immediately handed the ball to the ref instead of giving to the center. How can they say they practiced it. If you are a cowboys fan you better hope they can McCarthy and ask him to take boy wonder with him.

  20. Watch replay. Dak, YOU spiked it AFTER clock hit 0:00. Your Center can’t decide where to mark ball. You immediately lost game the moment you ran down the middle

  21. What a ridiculously inept play call..HUH?? What.. Just go away and into the dustbin of all the other over hyped Jurrah Jones selfie with a gal 70 years younger teams. America’s team?? Not where I’m from

  22. @tikkanen10

    Donovan McNabb made it to five NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. Dak Prescott has never been past the Divisional Round. McNabb has eight playoff victories, Prescott has one. Prescott has a LONG way to go for his postseason resume to be compared to Donnie Mac’s.

  23. Dak blaming the refs, saying the fans did a good job throwing trash at the refs. Just showing he’s all class…

  24. They just can’t admit they screwed up. McCarthy said the qb draw was “the right call”. Only he, Dak and Moore believe that. There’s another 7 billion people on Earth that think it was astonishingly stupid.

  25. It never would have been an issue had he gone down earlier. You can’t run a QB draw with that little time left. That’s just dumb. It’s terrible clock management. It’s not the officiating. The whining about the officiating is getting old.

  26. Dak Prescott is our generation’s Donovan McNabb. Pretty good and will rack up stats and meaningless wins but won’t win big games with inconsistency and poor situational awareness.


    Reminds me a lot of Kirk Cousins………….

  27. Dak has no clue! Even praising fans for throwing trash
    at the refs after the game but really the fans were throwing trash at the players and the refs!!

  28. eaglefan94 says:
    Donovan McNabb made it to five NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl.

    What I hear you saying is Donovan McNabb played in five NFC title games and lost 80 percent of them –plus his only Super Bowl?
    I know you just want to have Donovan’s back, and to date he’s obviously experienced far more postseason success than the over-hyped Dakota.
    However, McNabb accomplished those things over more seasons than Prescott has been in the league. Considering Donovan’s struggles almost every time he got to the mountain top, I’m not sure your example is quite making the point you intended.

  29. If that is the issue the Cowboys and their fans are focusing upon as the reason for the loss, they are truly looking at a tree rather than the forest.

  30. Let me get this straight…with 14 seconds left and no timeouts, the Cowboys decided a QB draw was the correct call? And even more-so, when it clearly meant that’s the game, they are still saying it was the correct call?

  31. Anderson tried to gloss over what everyone could see on Saturday in Cincinnati. Dak is trying to gloss over what everyone can see on the video: he snapped it a split second too late. While the play clock can see a delay from 00 to snap and not have a flag called, it is not the same for the game clock. When that bad boy is :00, it’s over. Dak is upset, understandably. But he’s not directing it to the proper place. Refs got it right.

  32. You can’t call that play with 14 seconds left, and the fact that your QB does not know the rules just bespeaks to the dysfunction which ultimately falls on the head coach.

  33. And that is why Kellen Moore is not ready to be a head coach. What a bone headed call. Everyone watching the game said WTF when Dak went off running. Nowhere near enough time for that play call.

  34. Where was the phantom offensive penalty against the 49er’s on 3rd down, with 1:00 to play? I’d say the zebras gave Dallas plenty of breaks today.

    Prescott just not smart enough to take advantage of his advantages.

  35. Tho refs were right, the umpire WAS pretty far behind the yard of scrimmage. Tho, still, dallas should NOT run in that instance!

  36. I don’t think the play call was terrible. If Dak runs ten yards and hands the ball directly to a ref, they get that ball spiked and have much better shot at a TD than they would have throwing 2 hail Marys. The problem was Dak ran 15 yards and gave the ball to the center. The center does not, and has never been able to spot the ball.

    It really wasn’t a bad play call at all. They would have had one play in doable distance had Dak not been a moron and ran it correctly.

    The cowboys seem to have the same issue the eagles do though, no accountability at all. It all starts with the gm. When gm does a terrible job and doesn’t get fired, that runs through the organization.

  37. WTF were you thinking running down the middle of the field was going to get you besides an expired clock?

  38. One more thing, since the Refs in their generosity gave Dak a play, he should’ve backpedaled and yelled at the receivers to run and heave one up. He didn’t have 2 plays to run so he shouldn’t have spiked the ball. Just add that to the list of mistakes.

  39. Cowboys fans should all sell their season tickets in revolt over the all hype, no success Jones family. Jimmy Johnson built a team that won three Super Bowls for Jerry, and sine that team retired he is incapable of building a winner. He hired a moron head coach to follow his last moron head coach. Prescott … overvalued and overpaid. Elliott … overvalued and overpaid. Cooper … overvalued and overpaid. This iteration of the cowboys is a lost cause. Sell.

  40. I actually picked Dallas to win this game, bad pick by me good who took the Niners. Hey, this was the sexy upset pick, i see why now. Dallas is a huge disappointment. Wonder if McCarthy survives this.

  41. tikkanen10 says:
    January 16, 2022 at 10:21 pm
    Dak Prescott is our generation’s Donovan McNabb. Pretty good and will rack up stats and meaningless wins but won’t win big games with inconsistency and poor situational awareness
    More like this generations tony Romo.

  42. I was watching like so many. 0.0 on the clock before it even got to his hand on the snap. Sorry but no you didn’t Mr Prescott

  43. Gonna be talking about this one for a loooooong time. Jimmy almost gave it away himself as well with two bad passes – the Overthrow and the INT. But it was entertaining.

  44. Dak’s interview shows he had no clue how this all works. The ref crashed into you trying to spot the ball. You really thought you’d be able to hand the ball to your center and get set and spike the ball?

  45. Not only does the ref need to spot the ball, but he also needs to get in his position. Whatever the Cowboys were practicing it wasn’t consistent with reality. Calling that play with no timeouts was idiotic at best.

  46. “ “We’ve practiced it,” Prescott said. “You hand it to the center. The umpire, all he has to do is usually come in and tap the ball.””

    Trouble is you spotted the ball a good two yards ahead of where it was supposed to be. The umpire had to move it to where it belonged.
    That extra 14 yards probably made little difference in completing an end zone shot in that situation. They could have taken two shots at the end zone instead of running that bonehead of a play.

  47. I wouldn’t be surprised if that wasn’t the call and someone was improvising and the coach is covering for him. Need to save the face of the “franchise”. But not only that not handing the ball to the ref getting in his way too then blaming everyone but himself? Leaders own their actions.

  48. What if Dak, instead of sliding, threw the ball out of bounds slightly behind where he was sliding. This would be considered a lateral, right? I’m wondering if that is a way to get the clock stopped and retain possession?

  49. OMG this is the play Skip Bayless (die-hard Cowboys fan) will argue cost Dallas the game. Even though all the things that happened before that (no time-outs, running play, all those penalties). There’s also the case that the center is not allowed to spot the ball where he likes. We saw the umpire move the ball to the correct location. If that didn’t occur and the snap was misplaced by a yard +/-, there should have been a 10 second run off.

  50. I was shocked when he took off running in the apparently called run play. I was thinking maybe the tv production crew had the graphics incorrectly shown as the Cowboys without a timeout. Then; I was shocked that Dak ran so far downfield, burning up so much of the precious little time on the clock. I was shocked further when Dak and the Cowboys didn’t continue the run play, once already committed, to some form of lateral pass to the far side to try & get into the end zone or step out of bounds.

  51. So does this settle the debate from a different post about who deserves Comeback Player of the Year. Burrow or Prescott?

    Now it is crystal clear- Burrow in a landslide.

    Dakota is a fine top 1/3rd QB, but can anybody say he has taken a big step forward since his rookie year?

  52. Ahhh they will be back stronger and better next year. Oh wait, no cap room? An aging RB that nobody will take, Cooper underachieved and the defense stinks. Sighs is gonna be good, but look at the tape the last few weeks, QB’s have gone right after him and beat him. Parsons was easily blocked by teams with real offenses.

    But hey good thing they played the starters last week for a tube up.

  53. No excuse for an NFL QB not to know the rule. Dak admitted that he knew the ref has to touch the ball before it’s snapped even if it is handed to the center first. A squandered opportunity but one the 49ers gave them gift wrapped. Cowboys would have lost outright if T. Williams hadn’t been flagged for not being set on the QB sneak that got the first down.

  54. With McCarthy, I am in no way surprised, but nonetheless disappointed with the outcome of this game. However, the way both he and Dak handled the loss after the fact is downright sad. Dak essentially thanking fans for throwing trash at refs and McCarthy defending an indefensible playcall, and also blaming his own teams complete lack of discipline and his own ineptitude to manage the clock, (which they’ve put on full display all year) on the refs… absolutely embarrassing!

  55. For those old enough to remember. Which play is more embarrassing to choke the Boys playoffs? Dak’s or Tony Romo’s botched hold?

  56. Why is everyone focused on that one play? The Cowboys were unprepared to play the game. They didn’t show up in the first half. They committed 14 penalties. Completely undiscipline. It was pure luck that they had a chance at the end anyway.

  57. The Randy Gregory signing sure came back to bite the Cowboys. I can’t remember ever seeing a defensive lineman hurt his team so bad with mental errors. I’d get rid of Gregory and Elliott. Just keep the good players, Pollard is better than Elliott.

  58. Prescott didn’t do himself or his coaching staff any favors with these comments.

    “We were going to get some yards and get down and clock it,” Prescott said. “It’s something we’ve practiced over and over again.

    So you’ve practiced this over and over again and no one on the coaching staff told you that you had to make sure the ref touched the ball?

    This is almost as bad as Donovan McNabb saying he didn’t know the game could end in a tie.

  59. Dak gets those garbage time numbers against garbage teams, last week with Philly is serious funny with all starters sitting. Dont blame McCarthy, both coordinators called the plays

  60. people were also throwing trash at the refs, and dak said ” credit to them ”

    I hate the cowboys, but Dak always came off as a decent guy to me. that comment is awful and I hope the nfl HAMMERS him with a fine.

  61. On the brightside, Kellen Moore probably doesn’t have to worry about any more of those pesky head coaching interviews.

  62. Hey Dak…the clock and the tape says different. Give the ball to the ref, you Center cannot position the ball for the next snap, the ref has too.

  63. Dallas played poorly throughout the game and even if they had got the last play off it would have only been a Hail Mary.

  64. Sure, Dak, and the referee’s whistle blew AFTER the Bengals receiver caught the TD against the Raiders. Cut me a break.

  65. tikkanen10
    Except McNabb played in a superbowl. So ease up om him never playing well in big games. Had to win playoff games to get there Sparky.

  66. Hail Mary, and Hail Mary you Dummy.time is too short for runs up the middle with 15 seconds left.

  67. The Cowboys failed to get one last shot at the end zone because Prescott didn’t manage the clock properly. They were at about the 49ers 40 yard with 14 seconds left and called a QB sneak that resulted in Prescott running 20 yards, but using up all of the clock. A smart QB would have laid down at about the 30 yard line which would have given Dallas plenty of time to spike the ball and have one last chance. This fiasco is the fault of Dak Prescott and no one else.

  68. Playoff wins in last 25 seasons:

    Jake Delhomme (5)
    Trent Dilfer (5)
    Mark Sanchez (4)
    Brad Johnson (4)
    Colin Kaepernick (4)
    Dallas Cowboys (3)

  69. The play call was fine – the Niners were giving him the middle of the field. However, he should have dropped after 10 yards and not tried to stretch it. At that point the enemy is the clock, not yardage. That said, at 14 seconds they had time for two shots at the end zone – even if he had spiked it in time they would have had just one more play. So from that perspective, it was a pretty boneheaded move all the way around. And admit it: you KNEW they’d blow it.

  70. I don’t understand why those few extra yards were even necessary. You can easily get the ball to the end zone from the 40. If it falls incomplete, you have time left for a second try. It beats trying to spike the ball at the last second and having only one shot a few yards closer. Seemed kind of stupid but I’m not a coach.

  71. His argument is that they executed it exactly as they had practiced it, then he goes on to describe an incorrect process as being what they practiced. Thats the disconnect right there.

  72. So many fantastic comments by many NFL fans!! So many like me who get so tired of hearing about how “great” the Dallas Cowboys are and Dak Prescott!!! And why does CBS feature the Cowboys almost all the time as one of their TOP GAMES??? Dak Prescott is so very MEDIOCARE! Many of you who don’t have like DIRECTV SUNDAY TICKET, have hardly ever seen a QB like Joe Burrow of the Bengals play many games. At such a young age Burrow is far far superior to Dak Prescott, but all you hear about from the National Media are guys like Dak Prescott!!! LOOK AT WHAT A BONEHEAD PRESCOTT IS!!! The National Media cannot stand it that a team like the Bengals won the AFC NORTH & is in the Playoffs!!! The media is so biased for teams like the Cowboys!! From many of your comments it sounds like many of you too are so tired of hearing about the “Cowboys”!!!

  73. Both the HC and QB want to blame their incompetence on the officials. Sorry, that loss is on you.

  74. Yea right maybe he should watch the replay, Dallas as usual, point at everyone else. Your team as well as yourself had no idea as they gave the ball to center not the ref.

  75. It was the right call because SF was guarding the sidelines. Up the middle is best play with 14 seconds. This falls on Prescott, he should have dropped down on the 30 instead of trying to get to 20. Coaches are not to blame for this play. The entire game maybe. Cowboys did some bonehead plays the whole game. Like they want to give the game away. I mean what DL man holds the OL man on any play? After Jones booted out Jimmy Johnson, the cowboys have lacked discipline. This is a decades trend.

  76. Great discussion — but just to make sure, does Dak have ANY point in saying he expected he could hand the ball to the center, THEN expect that the ref could just touch the ball and permit the spike to occur?

  77. Great discussion — but does Dak have ANY point in saying he expected he could hand the ball to the center, THEN expect that the ref could just touch the ball and permit the spike to occur?

  78. What down was it when he ran? If it wasn’t 4th down, he could have had 2 throwing plays in 14 seconds, if nobody’s open on the 1st one, throw it away and stop the clock. Better odds than trying to run, stop the clock with a spike, and hope to get a last try. But honestly, I don’t remember what down it was. Sure was fun to see them fail though!

  79. redmustang12 says:
    January 17, 2022 at 7:49 am
    For those old enough to remember. Which play is more embarrassing to choke the Boys playoffs? Dak’s or Tony Romo’s botched hold?

    18 2 Rate This
    imo dak’s because it’s a mental error/bad playcall, whereas Tony Romo was just a botched play

  80. even Romo knew he was in trouble with time wise just as he went down. it was risky play, might have worked had it been executed better.

  81. He ran “where they weren’t defending”. He never would have gotten many yards if he ran towards the sideline. The Rams had been WELL COACHED to funnel any plays into the center of the field. Dax learned from this, late in the game you don’t take what they give you. You HAVE TO make a play on the sidelines.

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