NFL play-offs: Dak Prescott upstages Tom Brady as Dallas Cowboys knock out Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Dak Prescott runs in a touchdown
Dak Prescott made 25 of 33 passes for 305 yards and four touchdowns
Venue: State Farm Stadium, Glendale Date: Sunday, 12 February Start: 23:30 GMT
BBC coverage: Listen to commentary on Radio 5 Live and follow live text on the BBC Sport website and app.

Dak Prescott upstaged seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady as the Dallas Cowboys dumped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of this season’s play-offs.

The Bucs qualified for the post-season despite Brady, 45, having the first losing season of his 23-year career.

But their luck ran out as Prescott passed for four touchdowns and rushed for another as Dallas earned a first away win in the play-offs since 1993.

After leading 18-0 at half-time, Dallas eased home for a 31-14 victory.

The five-time Super Bowl winners, who last lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy at the end of the 1996 season, had lost their last eight road games in the play-offs stretching back to a win at the San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers beat the Cowboys during last season’s wildcard weekend and the old rivals from the 90s will meet again in next week’s divisional round at Levi’s Stadium.

Although Tampa Bay (8-9) had a worse record in the regular season than Dallas (12-5), it was enough for them to win the NFC South division and secure home-field advantage for wildcard weekend.

Dallas therefore had to visit the Raymond James Stadium, where Brady won a record seventh Super Bowl in his first season with the Bucs two years ago.

This was his 48th play-off game – more than 23 of the NFL’s 32 franchises have had in their entire history – but there was never a hint of Brady adding to that tally.

Neither team managed to get a first down on the game’s first four possessions, but Prescott then found his rhythm, with tight end Dalton Schultz grabbing a high throw for a 22-yard touchdown.

The Bucs made 70 yards on their next drive before Brady made an uncharacteristic error, trying to toss the ball away under pressure only to be picked off in the end zone.

The Cowboys replied with a 15-play drive taking them 80 yards downfield, with Prescott capping it by faking a hand-off before running into the end zone untouched.

On Dallas’ next possession, Prescott made 20-yard passes to Schultz and CeeDee Lamb before finding Schultz for an 11-yard score to round off a 91-yard drive.

Prescott picked out Michael Gallup at the back of the end zone on the Cowboys’ first possession after half-time, before Julio Jones managed to hang on to a 30-yard pass from Brady to get the Bucs on the board.

Prescott then made an 18-yard touchdown pass to Lamb in the fourth quarter before finishing with 305 yards, completing 25 of his 33 pass attempts.

Brady actually had 351 yards, making 35 of a whopping 66 passes, and the veteran salvaged some pride with a late touchdown pass to Cameron Brate.

Divisional round fixtures

(away team first, kick-off times GMT)

Saturday 21 January

  • Jacksonville Jaguars v Kansas City Chiefs (21:30)
  • New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles (01:15 Sun)

Sunday 22 January

  • Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills (20:00)
  • Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers (23:30)

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