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Cowboys QB Dak Prescott says 'sorry' for NFL referee criticism

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Cowboys QB Dak Prescott says 'sorry' for NFL referee criticism
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was critical of referees due to the performance during his team's NFC wild-card round loss to the San Francisco 49ers. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Dak Prescott "deeply regrets" critical comments he made about officials and is "sorry" for condoning fans throwing objects onto the field after the Dallas Cowboys' playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers, he tweeted.

Prescott tweeted three times Tuesday to address the situation. Cowboys fans threw bottles, cups and other trash on the field toward one of the tunnels as referees and players left the field after the 23-17 loss Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

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Prescott told reporters at his postgame news conference that he didn't see the sequence, but was "sad" if the fans were throwing the objects at players. He then said "credit to them" when a reporter told him that the fans were throwing the trash at referees.

"I deeply regret the comments I made regarding the officials after the game on Sunday. I was caught up in the emotion of a disappointing loss and my words were uncalled for and unfair," Prescott tweeted Tuesday.

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"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.

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"That was a mistake on my behalf, and I am sorry."

Cowboys fans were angered by referees due to the finish of the NFC wild-card game. The Cowboys started their final drive from their own 20-yard line with 32 seconds on the clock. They got the ball to the 49ers 40-yard line with 14 seconds left. Prescott then ran forward for a first down and went down near the 20-yard line, but the Cowboys were out of timeouts.

He handed the ball to center Tyler Biadasz instead of giving it to the referee for a new spot. The referee sprinted toward the line of scrimmage and attempted to spot the ball, but ran into the Cowboys offensive line first. The clock then expired before Prescott could spike the ball and stop the clock.

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The lapse ended the game, as the Cowboys didn't have time for a final toss toward the end zone.

NFL referee Alex Kemp said in a postgame pool report that the "umpire spotted the ball properly." He also said the on-field crew did not consult with senior officials in New York or in-house replay before they decided to end the game.

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Prescott completed 23 of 43 passes for 254 yards, one score and one interception in the loss. He also ran for a touchdown.

The 49ers advanced to the divisional round with the victory. They face the Green Bay Packers at 8:15 p.m. EST Saturday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

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