Stephen A. claims Dak ‘primarily responsible' for 49ers' win


As soon as the Dallas Cowboys fell apart in their 19-12 loss to the 49ers in the NFC divisional round Sunday at Levi’s Stadium, the NFL world knew Stephen A. Smith would have something special in store for America’s Team. 

And like always, he didn’t hold back. 

After pointing out the Cowboys’ struggles and late-game mistakes, including yet another clock management problem and a final play disaster that sealed the deal, Smith ultimately pinned the loss on one person. 

“Last but not least, Dak Prescott,” Smith said on ESPN’s “First Take” on Monday morning. “Not only did he lose, he stunk up the joint while doing it. Not only did he stink up the joint while doing it, it was against a dude whose name is Mr. Irrelevant, the very, very last pick in an NFL Draft who happens to be a third-string rookie. That is who Dak Prescott lost to.

“The fact of the matter is Dak Prescott is primarily responsible for losing that game yesterday, Dak Prescott got outplayed by a third-string rookie. I don’t care that [49ers QB Brock Purdy] is 7-0 as a starter, I don’t care that he filled in admirably and he’s played so well and LeBron James tweeting that Brock Purdy’s got game. LeBron wasn’t lying, he’s right. Brock Purdy does have game.”

Smith expected more from Prescott, though, whose seventh season in the NFL came to an end Sunday against a first-year 23-year-old QB in Purdy. 

The Cowboys' goal of reaching the NFC Championship Game for the first time since the 1995 season became more difficult when their Pro Bowl running back Tony Pollard suffered a fractured left fibula and exited the game with 1:24 remaining in the first half. 

But Smith argued that was supposed to be Prescott's time to step up and lead. Instead, he threw two first-half picks that led to six San Francisco points. His second, a throw to CeeDee Lamb, was just the second red zone interception he threw on the season. 

And on the biggest stage of the season, the 29-year-old came up short against the 49ers ... again. 

Hall of Famer and former Cowboys great Michael Irvin joined "First Take", and Smith let him hear it. Smith even offered a suggestion on what Irvin should do after his former team's loss. 

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"What I’d like you to do when you leave this set today, is I want you to take a flight straight back to Dallas, and I don’t even want you to go home," Smith began. "I want you to go straight to the home -- whether it’s the yacht or the mansion -- of [Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones and I want you to go there and console that man because he did not deserve that loss yesterday.

"That defense played like a championship defense … They played like a championship defense. El Capitan, their captain, their leader, their quarterback let them down." 

Even though the Cowboys' season ended Sunday, we get the sense that Smith isn't quite done ripping the Cowboys just yet. 

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