Dak Prescott eclipsed seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady as the Dallas Cowboys knocked out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in this season’s play-offs.
The Bucs qualified for the playoffs despite Brady, 45, having suffered the first losing season of his 23-year career.
But their luck ran out when Prescott had four touchdowns and rushed for another as Dallas secured its first road playoff win since 1993.
After leading 18-0 at halftime, Dallas went home for a 31-14 victory.
The five-time Super Bowl winners, who last lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy at the end of the 1996 season, had lost their last eight road games in play-offs dating back to a win at the San Francisco 49ers.
The 49ers beat the Cowboys in last season’s wildcard weekend and the former 90s rivals will meet again in next week’s Divisional Round at Levi’s Stadium.
Although Tampa Bay (8-9) had a worse regular season record than Dallas (12-5), it was enough for them to win the NFC South Division and secure home-court advantage for the wildcard weekend. .
Dallas therefore had to go to Raymond James Stadium, where Brady won a record seventh Super Bowl in his first season with the Bucs two years ago.
It was his 48th playoff game — more than 23 of the NFL’s 32 franchises have had in their entire history — but there was never a hint of Brady adding to that tally.
Neither team managed to get a first down on the game’s first four possessions, but Prescott then found his rhythm, tight end Dalton Schultz grabbing a high throw for a 22-yard touchdown.
The Bucs ran for 70 yards on their next drive before Brady made an unusual mistake, trying to throw the ball under pressure to be recovered in the end zone.
The Cowboys responded with a 15-play drive taking them 80 yards down the field, with Prescott capping it off by faking a handoff before running into the end zone untouched.
On Dallas’ next possession, Prescott passed 20 yards to Schultz and CeeDee Lamb before finding Schultz for a 11-yard score to complete a 91-yard drive.
Prescott picked Michael Gallup from the back of the end zone on the Cowboys’ first possession after halftime, before Julio Jones managed to latch onto a 30-yard pass from Brady to put the Bucs in board.
Prescott then made an 18-yard touchdown pass to Lamb in the fourth quarter before finishing with 305 yards, completing 25 of 33 pass attempts.
Brady actually had 351 yards, completing 35 of 66 passes, and the veteran recovered some pride with a late touchdown pass to Cameron Brate.
Divisional round devices
(away team first, kick off times GMT)
saturday 21 january
- Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Kansas City Chiefs (9:30 p.m.)
- New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1:15 a.m. Sunday)
Sunday January 22
- Cincinnati Bengals vs. Buffalo Bills (8:00 p.m.)
- Dallas Cowboys – San Francisco 49ers (11:30 p.m.)