There’s so much to cover from Monday night’s massive win in Tampa, it seems a shame that the Cowboys are on a short week before their next postseason showdown. We’ve got the latest on a handful of Dallas injuries, a look at the record-setting night Dak Prescott had, and some fascinating context on what may have happened to Brett Maher on those PAT attempts. We’ll go inside the rejuvenated play from one Cowboys veteran, we’re asking if Tom Brady should be fined for unsportsmanlike conduct, and we wonder if the Cowboys just ended the TB12 era in Tampa.
But we’re also looking ahead to Sunday in San Francisco. Mike McCarthy has an interesting take on the Cowboys’ scheduling, the Cowboys and 49ers look to add a chapter to their stored rivalry, and ticket prices for Sunday’s game are already sky-high. We’re talking about job interviews for Dan Quinn… but also for a San Francisco assistant. We have an welcome update on Tampa Bay wideout Russell Gage, and we’re looking back at the Cowboys’ wild-card win in the form of postgame awards, analysis, tweets, and photos. All that and more in this edition of News and Notes.
Foreign objects to K-balls; unique night for Maher :: The Mothership
Special teams coordinator John Fassel provided some fascinating context to Maher’s misses. For starters, a referee took away a clipped piece of white grass that Bryan Anger was using as a marker for his holds, leaving the punter to eyeball it. Then two of the team’s kicking balls went into the stands and were never retrieved, leaving a new one practically just out of the box to be used in the game. “It’s not an excuse by any means,” Fassel said Tuesday, “just very unique.”
'We need Brett': Cowboys say they will stand by kicker despite horrific night :: Cowboys Wire
He didn’t live up to his “Money” nickname on Monday, but the Cowboys say they won’t make a change with Brett Maher. After going better than 90% on field goals and PATs all season, the kicker missed his first four extra-point tries versus Tampa Bay. “We need to get back on it this week, and get him ready to go,” said Mike McCarthy.
Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott silences critics with career-best performance, playoff win :: Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Pick your stat, and Dak Prescott lit it on fire Monday night. He set a Cowboys playoff record with five touchdowns. He completed 11 straight passes in the first half, the most consecutive completions in a game in Cowboys postseason history. And he topped 300 yards and four touchdowns, something no Dallas quarterback- not even Staubach or Aikman- has ever done in a playoff game.
Cowboys injuries: Parsons, Kearse give positive updates; team 'certainly concerned' for Jason Peters :: Cowboys Wire
Jayron Kearse reported that his left knee felt “all right” after what looked to be perhaps a severe injury Monday that required him to be helped off the field. Micah Parsons had to stop on the way to the locker room at the half, but finished an epic game and said he’s “excited for next week.” Jason Peters, however, could have a bleaker prognosis after a hip injury ended his night early. “We’ve got a little hope that it might not be serious,” Jerry Jones said. “But it’s important to realize that he’s not sitting here in his rookie year.”
Leighton Vander Esch pivotal for Cowboys defense in wild card :: Inside the Star
In his first game back after three misses, Vander Esch led the Cowboys defense with nine combined tackles, defended two passes, and was within inches of picking off a Tom Brady pass. He’s on a one-year deal after Dallas declined his fifth-year option, but the Wolf Hunter is playing himself right into a sweet new contract after a sensational season.
Tom Brady slammed over ‘dirty play’ in Buccaneers’ wild-card loss to Cowboys :: New York Post
On what was thought to be a Chris Godwin fumble in the second quarter, Brady was spotted sliding into the fray with a leg extended and high, seemingly trying to trip Malik Hooker. Many took to social media to call the play “dirty,” with some wondering if the legendary quarterback will be fined by the NFL.
Dallas Cowboys' Micah Parsons welcomes a baby girl two days before NFL team's wild card win :: People
Quite a holiday weekend for Parsons; he became a dad for the second time. He welcomed a seven-pound, one-ounce baby girl into the world on Saturday. “She’s got me wrapped already,” he told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt just moments after Monday night’s game went final.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage has been released from the hospital after being injured in Monday night’s game, team says :: CNN
The Tampa Bay wide receiver was immobilized and carted off the field late in Monday’s game after taking a blow to the neck. After staying overnight at a local hospital, Gage was evaluated and released Tuesday afternoon. He suffered a concussion on the hit, but sustained no further damage. His injury caused tense moments for players from both teams in the Cowboys’ 31-14 win.
Cowboys-Buccaneers postgame analysis, coverage, awards :: Cowboys Wire
Mike McCarthy on Cowboys’ playoff schedule: 'TV is king' :: ProFootballTalk
The 49ers will take the field in Sunday’s divisional matchup with over 48 hours more rest than the Cowboys, but Mike McCarthy understands that the postseason schedule isn’t created based on what’s most fair for the teams involved. “TV is king. What are you going to say?” McCarthy said. “I think it’s going to serve us well. We’ll have less sleep, and we’ll be grumpy.”
From Doomsday Defense to The Catch: Recapping Cowboys-49ers playoff history :: Dallas Morning News
Of the eight previous postseason meetings between the Cowboys and 49ers, six have come with the NFC championship at stake. From Staubach to Dwight Clark to “How ’bout them Cowboys?” to Deion Sanders to last year’s end-of-game failed spike, these two teams always manage to create high drama when they tangle in the playoffs.
Want a 49ers vs. Cowboys playoff game ticket? Prepare to pony up :: San Francisco Chronicle
As of Tuesday afternoon, the cost of a single standing-room-only ticket at Levi’s Stadium was about $450. A seat in the upper reaches? About $500. Want to be field-level in Row 1 just behind the Cowboys bench? That’ll be $3,596 for a solo seat.
Cowboys DC Dan Quinn requested by Colts for HC interview :: Cowboys Wire
With his Broncos interview already set for Friday of a short prep week, Quinn has now also been requested as a candidate for the Indianapolis Colts’ head job. That position would reunite him with quarterback Matt Ryan after their five-plus seasons together in Atlanta.
49ers DC DeMeco Ryans has busy interview schedule leading up to divisional playoff game :: Niners Wire
Cowboys fans aren’t the only ones watching their defensive coordinator take time out of an important prep week to interview for a new job. The 49ers’ DeMeco Ryans will reportedly sit down with Denver on Thursday, then squeeze in visits with the Colts, Texans, and Cardinals before Sunday’s kickoff.
PFF 90 Club: Top 10 Players of 2022 :: NFL.com
Micah Parsons- as an edge defender- makes this list of the league’s ten highest-graded players of the season, with a 91.6.
NFL fans were convinced that Tom Brady's emotional press conference was a goodbye to the Bucs :: For the Win
He may retire or he may be with a new team next year, but either way, the Cowboys might have just ended the TB12 era in Tampa Bay. Brady made a closing statement after his Q&A with reporters on Monday night. He thanked the Tampa media in what many are interpreting as a farewell. “All you regulars, just very thankful for the respect and I hope I gave the same thing back to you guys,” he said, in part.