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The Cowboys tripped over a referee and missed out on a chance at a game-winning Hail Mary in playoff loss

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The Cowboys fail to get a play off in the final seconds against the 49ers.
The Cowboys fail to get a play off in the final seconds against the 49ers.CBS
  • The Cowboys blew their chance at a comeback win against the 49ers.

  • With just seconds left, the Cowboys looked like they'd get one shot at the end zone.

  • Instead, a ref tripped through the Dallas offensive line, and the clock ran out.

  • Game over.

The Dallas Cowboys came just two seconds short of a potential comeback against the San Francisco 49ers.

Unfortunately, their heroic effort was cut short by a bit of late fumbling by the offensive line and a referee.

After trailing the entire game, the Cowboys got the ball back down 23-17 at their 20-yard line with just 32 seconds left on the clock and no timeouts.

Dallas worked the sidelines, grabbing easy completions and getting out of bounds on three straight plays to make it into San Francisco territory with 14 seconds remaining.

While the Cowboys were in range for a potential Hail Mary to win, Dak Prescott instead chose to take advantage of the space the 49ers were giving up in the middle, sprinting on a quarterback draw for 17 yards.

But with the clock running down, the Cowboys needed to get set and spike the ball to ensure they'd get one final shot at the end zone.

"Whoa! I don't think this is gonna work out!" said play-by-play man Jim Nantz, realizing that the Cowboys might not have to time reset at the line.

"It will; they will be able to clock this," Tony Romo replied with confidence.

But as Dallas scrambled up to the line, the referee that came to set the ball ran into Prescott's back, stumbling slightly and delaying the ball from getting set.

By the time Prescott finally got the ball and spiked it, the clock read zero.

Game over.

It was a comedy of errors for the Cowboys in the final seconds. Had Dak decided to end his scramble just a few yards earlier, chances are the Cowboys get a final play off. If the referee and center had a smooth exchange, there's a chance the ball gets spiked with a second left.

Looking back further, the Cowboys didn't even need Prescott's run in the first place. Rather than taking off down the the field, where there was a risk of the clock running out, the Cowboys could have taken at least two shots at the end zone from the 41-yard line with 14 seconds left.

Instead, the clock ran out before they could even attempt a potential game-winning throw.

Better luck next year.

Read the original article on Insider

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