Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott on Tuesday released a statement apologizing for his comments Sunday in which he commended fans for throwing debris at officials following his team's NFC Wild Card Round loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
"I deeply regret the comments I made regarding the officials after the game on Sunday," Prescott tweeted. "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."
Following the conclusion of the Cowboys' 23-17 loss in which time expired with Prescott and the Cowboys offense unable to get off a snap and presumably spike the ball, fans could be seen throwing garbage in the direction of players and officials exiting the field.
In the postgame news conference, Prescott initially said it was "sad" to see that players would be subjected to that treatment. When a media member followed by saying it was believed that the debris was being directed at the officials, and not the players, Prescott responded with, "Credit to them then. Credit to them."
While Prescott's apology came Tuesday, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones denounced the fans' actions on Monday in an appearance on 105.3 The Fan.
"That's just unfortunate," Jones said, per The Athletic. "That's not the way I see our fans. I think we are a class act. There is just no place for that."
The Cowboys won the NFC East title and finished the 2021 season at 12-5 with the franchise's first playoff berth since 2018.
The final sequence of Sunday's game and Dallas' season saw Prescott, with 14 seconds left, run a draw play to the 49ers' 24-yard line. As both teams scrambled to get to the line of scrimmage, umpire Ramon George was also running up to spot the ball and bumped into Prescott before placing the ball. Time ran out on the game clock before Prescott could get a snap off.
"We've practiced it," Prescott said after the game. "You hand it to the center. The umpire, all he has to do is usually come in and tap the ball. Don't necessarily know exactly … why the hit (with the official) happened, I guess. Yeah, I know he's going to come in and touch the ball. We could say, yeah he needs to be closer to the ball or whatever, but in hindsight it's just tough. Just tough to accept."