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ARLINGTON, Texas -- While Dallas Cowboys nation yells "it's our year" at the start of every NFL season, the 2023 campaign felt different. Especially for quarterback Dak Prescott

The eighth-year pro, who became the first quarterback in Cowboys history to lead the NFL outright in passing touchdowns while compiling a career-high 105.9 passer rating in 2023, looked like a changed man after co-leading the NFL in interceptions in 2022. 

On Sunday, he provided his detractors plenty of fuel for an offseason of hating. The Cowboys became the first team to win 12 games in three straight seasons and fail to make the conference championship in any of them after a deflating 48-32 faceplant of a loss against the seventh-seeded Green Bay Packers

They entered the postseason with a 12-5 record for the third consecutive season as the NFC's No. 2 seed, the NFL's highest-scoring offense (29.9 points per game), Prescott leading the NFL in touchdown passes (36), wide receiver CeeDee Lamb leading the league in receptions (135) and the NFL's only perfect record at home (8-0). 

None of that mattered. Dallas trailed for more time (52 minutes, 8 seconds) than all eight of their regular-season home games combined, an NFL-low 44 minutes and 36 seconds. Prescott tossed two interceptions, including a 64-yard pick six to Green Bay safety Darnell Savage, and three garbage-time touchdowns after the team fell behind 27-0 in the second quarter. He also threw for 403 yards on 41 of 60 passing. His yards and pass attempts were both the most in a game in Cowboys history. He agreed none of that matters after another playoff disappointment. 

"One-thousand percent, 1,000 percent, I'm not a guy who lives in the past," Prescott said postgame. "I sucked tonight, that was it. I got it going a little bit late but none of that mattered at that point. Fall, that's all I really know how to do. It's about winning ... and getting to the last game and winning that as well. Yeah, tough."

Also tough was his early disconnect with Lamb, a 2023 First-Team All-Pro. Prescott, 30, connected on nine of his 17 targets -- their lowest completion rate as a duo in a game this season -- for 110 yards. The two didn't link up until an 8-yard connection just before the 2-minute warning in the second quarter when the Cowboys were already behind 20-0. 

"Yeah, it's tough man," Lamb said postgame when asked why he and Prescott couldn't connect until then and why they struggled to find each other all night. 

Prescott chalked up looking for Lamb as "too late," something that is applicable to the Cowboys' success against the Packers on Sunday. 

"Credit them for some of the early looks disguising how they were going to play him," Prescott said. "And then late after the snap, moving and not giving me the same picture that they were pre-snap as they did post-snap. Credit to them. Then I missed him on the sideline on a little roll out. But once we got it going, it was too late. But it was as usual, CeeDee was going to make a play."

One play after Prescott's first completion to Lamb, he attempted to force the ball to Lamb again. Savage was anticipating Prescott's pass, which allowed him to jump the route, intercept the pass and return it 64 yards for a touchdown to put the Packers on top 27-0 with 1:50 left in the opening half. Ball game.

"I had CeeDee (Lamb) on the slant and the inside guy (Brandin Cooks) was running an L-route slant as well, and he (Savage) jumped it from the jump,'' Prescott said. "I'm watching the tight end grab the first guy, understanding they are in combo coverage, and I've just got to move out of that and get it to the outside. As I said, trusting it and throwing it, wasn't the right decision."

Wrong decisions defined his performances that ended the Cowboys' 2021 and 2022 seasons against the San Francisco 49ers. Dallas ran out of time in their 23-17 home loss against the 49ers two years ago. The Cowboys came up just short against the 49ers last season, 19-12, after Prescott forced a couple throws toward wideout Michael Gallup and Lamb that were both picked off. After a 1-3 stretch in the postseason under McCarthy, Prescott is now tied for the worst postseason record by a quarterback in NFL history (2-5), among those with at least five playoff starts. 

Worst playoff record by QB 
NFL history, minimum 5 starts

Career SpanQBRecord


Dak Prescott



Alex Smith



Billy Kilmer


His defense didn't provide much help this time allowing 48 points, the most ever in a Cowboys playoff game, but his pick six and another interception that put the Packers in red zone attributed to 14 of those points. 

"I think like anything, you're always trying to get your quarterback into a rhythm," McCarthy said postgame. "It took a little longer than I would have liked. So, we had the two turnovers that factored into points. We didn't slow them down on defense. ... We didn't get it done in any of the phases."

Given his growth under his head coach, he said if McCarthy's job is in question, than his own should be as well.

"He's been amazing," Prescott said postgame. "I don't know how they can be, but I understand the business. In that case, it should be about me as well. I've had the season that I've had because of him. This team has had the success that they've had because of him. I understand it's about winning the Super Bowl. That's the standard of this league and damn sure the standard of this place. I get it but add me to the list in that case."  

Prescott is set to have a $59.5 million cap hit in 2024, the second-highest in the NFL behind only Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson's $64 million. One way or another, Dallas has to do something with its quarterback contractually. Restructure or extension. Following another January disappointment, Prescott's long-term future as the starting quarterback of the Cowboys may begin to get murky. 

"I haven't really thought about this at all, so I won't comment on it since I haven't thought about it," Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said postgame. "My complete thought for the last several weeks have totally been about anticipating and planning on advancing from this game to another game here at the stadium since we found out that we were going to have this home field. I'm going back to the complete bottom of my thought process to think about anything other than next week's game here after seeing this result."