APTOPIX Cowboys 49ers Football

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) walks off the field after an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. 

For the second straight season, the Dallas Cowboys — the team that popularized the “Hail Mary” pass almost 50 years ago — never even had a prayer of heaving it into the end zone against the San Francisco 49ers.

Meltdowns by coach Mike McCarthy and blunders by tight end Dalton Schultz kept the Cowboys from setting themselves up for something similar to Roger Staubach's 50-yard game-winning heave in the waning moments that stunned the Minnesota Vikings in a 1975 playoff game.

What we saw instead was a gadget play with running back Ezekiel Elliott alone at center, with no offensive linemen anywhere near him and Prescott in shotgun with 76 yards to go and 6 seconds left Sunday.

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