FRISCO - Dak Prescott is apologizing for his uncharacteristic misstep in expressing support for the unruly fans who threw garbage at referees following the Dallas Cowboys' 23-17 playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
"I deeply regret the comments I made regarding the officials after the game on Sunday,'' Prescott writes on social media. "I was caught up in the emotion of a disappointing loss and my words were uncalled for and unfair.
"I hold the NFL Officials in the highest regard and have always respected their professionalism and the difficulty of their jobs. The safety of everyone who attends a game or participates on the field of a sporting event is a very serious matter.
"That was a mistake on my behalf, and I am sorry.''
What's the issue? This ...
Prescott initially thought the question about trash-throwing indicated that fans were putting Cowboys players in danger - which in fact was also the case. And he chastised fans for those actions.
But then a media member explained to him that the unsavory exhibition was about trying to pelt the referees with garbage.
"Oh, well, credit to them, then,'' Dak responded.
This was a subpar performance by the Cowboys, and by Prescott as well. Too many of his throws were errant and too many of his decisions failed - including a last-second attempt to run a QB draw that resulted in a big gain, but in some clock confusion that was the fault of both the officials and the Cowboys ended the game.
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The Cowboys, the NFL's most penalized team, drew 14 flags in the playoff game. After the loss, many in the locker room blamed the officiating for the outcome, as this group has often done this season.
Of course, even if that misguided notion was accurate, the offending officials still don't deserve to be hit by beer bottles and garbage ... right, Dak?
“The fans felt the same way as us,” Prescott said on Sunday when the media essentially offered him a chance to back-track from his outlandish remarks supporting the behavior. “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.”
Prescott isn't just a leader of a football team. He’s a conscientious thought leader in ways that go way beyond the field. The Cowboys' habitual whining is a bad look, but it's one that means they only hurt themselves; the concept of applauding fans' dangerously unruly behavior is an invitation for people - players, refs and fans - to be hurt.
We wrote on Sunday, "Dak Prescott's comments can be excused as heat-of-the-moment hot takes, and will be defused - as an apology should be forthcoming.'' And now Prescott has delivered, with the precisely correct tone, that necessarily apology.
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