Dallas Cowboys, Dak Prescott on wrong end of fans throwing debris at referees after loss

·2 min read
Brandon Wade/AP

Several fans threw water bottles and other items in the direction of referees as they left the field after the Dallas Cowboys’ 23-17 playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium.

Some of the debris came close to Cowboys players, including DeMarcus Lawrence, who had to block an item with his helmet as he entered the tunnel.

Cowboys fans were upset with how the game ended. With 14 seconds left, quarterback Dak Prescott rushed for 17 yards down the middle of the field to the 49ers’ 24. When he was down, however, only a few seconds remained on the clock. Prescott and the Cowboys’ offensive line tried to lineup for a quick spike to set up one last play to potentially tie the game with a touchdown. But time expired as the official was setting the ball before the snap, per NFL rules. While he was trying to set the ball, the referee actually bumped into Prescott, which took an extra second or two longer for him to get the ball set.

“Credit to them, then,” Prescott said when he was told fans were throwing items at officials and not his Cowboys teammates. “The fans felt the same way as us. I guess that’s why the refs took off and got out of there so fast. I think everybody is upset with the way this thing played out.”

“The umpire was simply spotting the ball properly,” referee Alex Kemp said. “He collided with the players as he was setting the ball because he was moving it to the proper spot.”

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy seemed dumbfounded by the way the final play unfolded.

“I’ve never seen that come down the way it came down, as far as the collision between the umpire and the quarterback,” McCarthy said. “We were trying to get inside the 30-yard line to set-up the last play. The mechanics were intact from our end of it. The communication that I was given on the sideline was that they were reviewing it, they were going to put time back on the clock. The next thing I know, they’re running off the field.”

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