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Sunday was sort of a gift for Washington fans.
Although Washington lost four of their final five regular-season games, failing to qualify for the NFC playoffs, Washington fans enjoyed Sunday’s first two Wild-Card games when the Eagles fell to the Bucs 31-15 and then the Cowboys came up short in Dallas (23-17) to the 49ers in a thriller.
In Tampa, the Eagles were simply outplayed from the opening whistle. Tom Brady led the Bucs on two long early touchdown drives to lead 17-0 at the half.
Two third-quarter Eagles turnovers then resulted in Brady’s two-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski and one of 36 yards to Mike Evans, and it was 31-0 Bucs.
Meanwhile, in Dallas, the 49ers leading 23-10, Jimmy Garoppolo threw a terrible interception to the Cowboys’ Anthony Brown. Five plays and 28 yards later, Dak Prescott scored from five yards and Dallas who had trailed 23-7, now only trailed 23-17 with 8:02 remaining.
After forcing a San Francisco punt, Dallas drove 56 yards in five plays; however, the final play Prescott had decided to run up the middle for 17 yards to the 49er 24-yard line.
Chaos ensued; the Dallas offensive line hurried to the apparent new line of scrimmage, and got set. But the official whose duty it is to mark the ball for the next play, had difficulty as the Cowboys’ lineman unknowingly did not make room for him to enter to establish the spot for the next play.
The Cowboys consequently, lost two or three seconds, and time expired, not permitting Prescott to stop the clock with an incomplete pass. Had he been permitted to dump the ball, it would have allowed the Cowboys to have one final pass attempt from 24 yards.
This is an awful play call and awful execution for @dallascowboys
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) January 17, 2022
Yes, of course, for Washington fans the Eagles and Cowboys losing in the playoffs on the same afternoon was only a consolation prize, but a pretty good one at that.