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Dak Prescott should be ashamed of himself – and not because of the errors in judgment that squandered the final seconds off the clock in the wild-card playoff loss that ended the season for the NFL’s biggest tease, the Dallas Cowboys.
No, the Cowboys quarterback ought to check himself for suggesting that frustrated fans at Jerry World were in the right for dangerously hurling trash at the officials who called it like they saw it.
"Credit to them," Prescott said during his postgame news conference.
Credit to them?
Quick, somebody unleash the slime. That is seriously crossing the line, Dak.
Sure, Prescott, like the fans, had to be plenty frustrated that he didn’t get a chance to run off a final play for a last-gasp heave to the end zone that might have capped a comeback to beat the 49ers. Precious time – what, maybe one second or fractions of a second? – was lost as umpire Ramon George properly spotted the ball.
But for one of the NFL’s marquee headliners, a man who has almost always presented himself as a class act, to suddenly condone violence was so tacky.
One of the reporters in the room, perhaps finding it hard to believe the initial response, asked Prescott for a clarification, he doubled down.
"If the fans felt the same way as us and that’s what they were doing it for, yeah, I’m guessing that’s why the refs took off and got out of there so fast," Prescott clarified.
"Yeah, I think everybody is upset with the way that this thing played out. I’m sure a fan would feel the same way that we do."
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Whining about the officials – and there was plenty of that from Prescott, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy and I’m sure, so many of the fans who make up Cowboys Nation – is one thing.
Suggesting that fans react with hooliganism is another type of principle.
Of course, maybe it would have never come to Prescott making his biggest blunder during his postgame news conference had the quarterback not run down the middle of the field for a few extra yards, while carrying no timeouts.
That’s not all on Prescott. Who’s in charge? McCarthy, who replaced the embattled Jason Garrett, is running the show. And Kellen Moore, the much-hyped offensive coordinator who has drawn so much attention as a so-called hot candidate to be a head coach, was in on it, too.
All of that football brainpower and they came up with that?
Prescott, McCarthy, et al, should have owned their blunder and denounced the fans who took it too far and decided that it was a good idea to throw stuff. Some of the objects aimed at the officials nearly hit some of the players. Not that their lives are more valuable than the dedicated people who make up the officiating crews, but they, too, were in danger of becoming innocent victims.
Thankfully, there are no reports of any injuries that came as a result of the hurled objects.
Sadly, Prescott, the face of the Cowboys' franchise beyond team owner Jerry Jones, was willing to drag his well-crafted image into the gutter with the folks who acted like fools.
It’s certainly a bad loss for Prescott and the Cowboys – in more ways than one.
Follow USA TODAY Sports' Jarrett Bell on Twitter @JarrettBell.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dak Prescott crosses the line by supporting fans hurling trash at refs