TAMPA, Fla. (AP)Dak Prescott outplayed Tom Brady, throwing for four touchdowns and running for another to lead the Dallas Cowboys to a 31-14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFC wild-card playoff game.
Prescott completed 25 of 33 passes for 305 yards and played turnover-free ball for the first time in eight games as the Cowboys (13-5) dominated the listless Bucs (8-10) in what may turn out to be Brady’s last game in a Tampa Bay uniform.
Dallas beat Brady for the first time in the seven-time Super Bowl champion’s career and won in the postseason on the road for the first time in 30 years to earn a trip to San Francisco to face the 49ers in the NFC divisional round next Sunday. The Cowboys had dropped eight straight playoff games on the road since winning the NFC championship game in San Francisco on Jan. 17, 1993.
Brady, who signed with Tampa Bay in 2020 and led the Bucs to a Super Bowl title two years ago, will be a free agent this winter. He retired briefly last February before changing his mind and returning for a 23rd season at age 45.
About the only thing that went wrong for the Cowboys on Monday night was kicker Brett Maher missing his first four extra points, becoming the first player in NFL history to miss that many in a game.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) – The Arizona Cardinals have hired Monti Ossenfort as the team’s new general manager.
The franchise announced the hiring of Ossenfort one week after owner Michael Bidwill announced that head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim would not return following a dreadful 4-13 season.
The 44-year-old Ossenfort has spent the past three seasons as director of player personnel for the Tennessee Titans. Before that, he spent 15 seasons with the New England Patriots, helping the franchise win four Super Bowls. In 21 seasons, his teams have made the playoffs 16 times.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Ja Morant scored 29 points, Desmond Bane added 28 and the Memphis Grizzlies extended their season-high winning streak to 10 games with a 136-106 victory over the injury-depleted Phoenix Suns.
The Suns played without starters Chris Paul and Devin Booker. Paul missed his fifth straight game with a right hip injury. Booker has not played since Christmas Day because of a groin injury.
Phoenix (21-24) lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
Jaren Jackson Jr. contributed 18 points and six blocks for the Grizzlies, who did not play Morant or Dillon Brooks in the fourth quarter when Memphis stretched its lead to as many as 36 points.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – LeBron James had a season-high 48 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in his third 40-point performance since turning 38 less than three weeks ago, and Los Angeles snapped a three-game skid with a 140-132 victory over struggling Houston.
Russell Westbrook scored 24 for the Lakers, who never pulled away in another poor defensive game. James’ brilliance in the 100th 40-point outing of his career – including the postseason – was just enough to hold off NBA-worst Houston.
Alperen Sengun scored a career-best 33 points in the Rockets’ 11th consecutive loss. Sengun, the 20-year-old Turkish center, went 14 of 17 from the field and added 15 rebounds and six assists. Houston has lost 16 of 17, dropping into last in the overall NBA standings at 10-34.
NEW YORK (AP) – Fred VanVleet scored 33 points, Scottie Barnes had 26 points and the Toronto Raptors recovered in overtime after RJ Barrett’s tying slam with 0.6 seconds left in regulation to beat the New York Knicks 123-121.
Pascal Siakam had 20 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Raptors, but he was on the bench after fouling out when Toronto had to wait out Jalen Brunson’s missed 3-pointer in the final second before emerging with the victory.
O.G. Anunoby hit two 3-pointers in overtime as Toronto built a six-point lead, but New York nearly erased that in the final minute.
NEW YORK (AP) – Frank Thomas, a three-time All-Star with his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates who later became the top hitter on the expansion New York Mets, died Monday. He was 93.
Both teams announced Thomas’ death. The Mets said he died Monday morning in Pittsburgh. No cause was given.
Thomas played 16 seasons in the major leagues from 1951-66, the first eight for Pittsburgh, where he was born. He batted .266 overall with 286 home runs and 962 RBIs. Nicknamed ”The Original,” Thomas made it to Citi Field in late August when the Mets held their first Old-Timers’ Day in 28 years.
Primarily an outfielder and third baseman, Thomas was selected to National League All-Star teams in 1954, ’55 and ’58, when he set career bests with 35 homers, 109 RBIs and an .863 OPS. He finished fourth in the NL MVP race that year behind Hall of Fame sluggers Ernie Banks, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, and just ahead of another player enshrined in Cooperstown: pitcher Warren Spahn.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Jim Harbaugh is staying at Michigan, a decision he personally gave the school president to end another round of speculation that he would return to the NFL.
University of Michigan President Santa Ono shared on social media that he received word from Harbaugh. One minute later, Michigan football shared a statement from Harbaugh on Twitter.
Harbaugh and the school have not reached an agreement on a contract extension, but both sides plan to work on a new deal this week, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of the negotiations were not announced.
The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers spoke with Harbaugh about their head coaching vacancies this month and he was mentioned as a potential candidate for the Indianapolis Colts, one of four teams he played quarterback for in the league from 1987 to 2000 after being a star for the Wolverines.
NEW YORK (AP) – Houston is back at No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 men’s college basketball poll for the second time this season, while Kansas State continued its unexpectedly strong start by leaping from unranked to the verge of the top 10.
The Cougars received 34 of 60 first-place votes in Monday’s poll to return to the top after a two-week stay there earlier this season. Kansas was second and had 22 first-place votes, while Purdue fell from No. 1 to No. 3 and got the other four first-place votes after suffering its first loss at Rutgers last week.
Before this season, the Cougars (16-1) hadn’t been No. 1 since the high-flying ”Phi Slama Jama” days of the 1980s.
Alabama and Tennessee gave the Southeastern Conference a pair of top-five teams, with the Crimson Tide returning to No. 4 for the first time since spending a week there in December and the Volunteers hitting their season high at fifth.
Connecticut, UCLA, Gonzaga, Arizona and Texas rounded out the top 10, with the Longhorns falling four spots after a tumultuous week that included the firing of coach Chris Beard as he faces a felony domestic family violence charge.
NEW YORK (AP) – Baylor’s 19-year run in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll is over.
The Bears had been ranked for 365 consecutive polls before falling out Monday after losing twice last week. Baylor had been in the AP Top 25 since Jan. 5, 2004, including a 21-week run at No. 1 in 2011-12.
Only Tennessee (565) and UConn (556) have had longer streaks in the 46-year history of the poll. The fifth-ranked Huskies’ run in the poll is still active.
While Baylor is sitting just outside the Top 25, South Carolina continued its stay at No. 1. The Gamecocks, who were the unanimous choice again from a 28-member national media panel, have held the top spot for 30 consecutive weeks. That streak ties UConn for fourth longest all-time.
Ohio State moved up a spot to No. 2 after Stanford lost to Southern Cal on Sunday. The Cardinal fell to fourth. It’s the Buckeyes best ranking since they were second in the final poll of the 2006 season. Ohio State has never been No. 1.
LSU is third for the Tigers’ highest mark since Feb. 27, 2006. The Tigers, who honored all-time great Seimone Augustus with a statue before Sunday’s game, are one of three unbeaten teams left, joining South Carolina and Ohio State. Indiana was sixth and Notre Dame seventh. Utah, UCLA and Iowa finished off the top 10.