Dalton Schultz The Cowboys didn’t have much of a chance on their final drive against the 49ers. Dalton Schultz made the situation even worse.

Trailing by a touchdown to and needing to drive the length of the field and needing to drive the length of the field in under a minute with no time-outs, the Dallas Cowboys chances of scoring a touchdown during the final drive of Sunday’s Divisional Round against the San Francisco 49ers were slim to none. But slim left down after two mistakes made by tight end Dalton Schultz.

The first came on a nine-yard completion from Dak Prescott to Schultz. At a glance, it seemed like a good play for the Cowboys. Dallas picked up nine yards and a first down on the play and seemed to stop the clock. Only, that didn’t happen. Because while Schultz caught the ball by the sidelines and went out of bounds, he was going backward on his way out of bounds.

San Francisco defensive back Charvarius Ward, of course deserves credit for forcing Schultz backward. Still, the 49ers list Ward at 6-foot-1, 196 pounds. The Cowboys, meanwhile, list Schultz at 6-foot-5, 244 pounds. It should not have been that easy for Ward to move a man four inches taller and nearly 50 pounds heavier back.

And unfortunately for Schultz, it wouldn’t get any better.

Two plays later Prescott and Schultz appeared to connect on a 15-yard pass. That would potentially put Dallas in range for Prescott to reach the end zone (or at least come close) on a Hail Mary. In real time, it appeared as though Schultz easily caught the pass in bounds.

But upon further review, it was clear that Schultz lifted his right foot before catching the ball and did not get it back down until he was out of bounds.

And as bad as Dallas’ one final play was, it’s highly unlikely that any play was going to work from 76 yards out.

On one play, Schutlz cost the Cowboys about 15 seconds. On the other, he cost them 15 yards. Everything had to be perfect for Dallas to even have a chance. And Schultz’s execution was anything but. He was heavily criticized for it.

 

Schultz was not the only Cowboy to struggle on Sunday. Prescott had a rough game, as did his head coach, Mike McCarthy. While Brett Maher nailed three field goals, his extra-point woes continued. But Schultz’s apparent lack of concentration left Dallas with no chance. He deserves every bit of criticism he gets.

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