Emotions were understandably high following the Cowboys’ season-ending loss to San Francisco, with fans taking matters into their own hands by throwing bottles and other debris at Sunday’s officiating crew led by Alex Kemp. Their frustration stemmed from Dak Prescott bumping into umpire Ramon George while hustling to the line of scrimmage on what would end up being the game’s final play. That delay, at least in Prescott’s mind, was the final nail in Dallas’ coffin, with time expiring before Dak could spike the ball, which would have stopped the clock and potentially given the Cowboys one last shot at the end zone.
It was an ugly scene with tempers flaring amid another playoff disaster for a team that has grown accustomed to letdowns this time of year. While the onus for Sunday’s debacle falls squarely on the Cowboys’ coaching staff for dialing up a quarterback draw with 14 seconds and no timeouts remaining (Mike McCarthy defended his decision after the game), fans at AT&T Stadium saved their venom for the refs, which Prescott says is fine by him.
No matter how upset he was in the moment, advocating that kind of reckless behavior is a bad look for Dak, a franchise leader and public face who should know better. Prescott isn’t the first player to let emotions cloud his judgment, and he certainly won’t be the last. Losing gracefully is a skill in itself—20 years into his career, Tom Brady still lashes out like a toddler when the going gets tough. But it’s a necessary one in a sport where 31 teams will inevitably end their seasons in disappointment. Regardless of whether you think the refs got it wrong, no good has ever come from fans throwing objects onto the field.