The Dallas Cowboys are three wins away from lifting the Lombardi Trophy for the first time since the 1995 season.
Dallas handled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with relative ease in a 31-14 victory in Monday's NFC Wild Card Game at Raymond James Stadium. It was the first playoff win for America's Team since the 2018 campaign and set up a high-profile showdown with the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round.
Dak Prescott outplayed Tom Brady in a dominant performance and finished 25-of-33 passing for 305 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions while adding 24 yards and a score on the ground.
The two-time Pro Bowler drew plenty of praise on social media:
NFL Research @NFLResearch
Dak Prescott is the first player in <a href="https://twitter.com/dallascowboys?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@dallascowboys</a> franchise history with 2+ pass TD and 1+ rush TD in a playoff game.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DallasCowboys?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DallasCowboys</a>
Prescott's struggles in relation to the level he is accustomed to playing at was a major storyline for Dallas entering the playoffs considering he led the league with 15 interceptions this season even though he missed five games.
Yet those issues were quickly a thing of the past under the postseason spotlight as he accounted for three touchdowns in the first half alone. Two of them came on passes to Dalton Schultz, and he used his legs for the other one following a brilliant play-action fake on fourth down.
He continued rolling in the second half with a touchdown pass to Michael Gallup, and the only real concern for the Cowboys was kicker Brett Maher. Maher became the first player since 1932 to miss four extra points in a single game, which kept the Buccaneers within relative striking distance even with the visitors controlling the contest.
Fortunately for the Cowboys, Prescott was completely dialed in and put the Buccaneers away with his fifth touchdown with a pass to a wide-open CeeDee Lamb.
Things will be more challenging in the next round against Nick Bosa and the 49ers defense, but the version of Prescott that was on display Monday makes Dallas a Super Bowl threat.