“I’m going to go home and get a good night’s sleep as good as I can tonight,” Brady told reporters when asked about what he wants to do next.
“It’s just been a lot of focus on this game so,” added Brady, “it’s just going to be one day at a time, truly.”
Speaking to sportscaster Jim Gray in his weekly podcast appearance in December, Brady was asked jokingly if he would retire and then unretire if tight end Rob Gronkowski – who has retired twice from the NFL – unretires again.
“Well, I think next time I decide to retire, that’s it for me,” a chuckling Brady said on their “Let’s Go!” podcast. “So whenever that day comes, we’ll figure it out.”
Beaten by the Cowboys, Brady finished the game with 351 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
The Bucs didn’t score until the third quarter when Brady put Tampa Bay on the board with a 30-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Julio Jones as time expired in the quarter to make the score 24-6.
Prior to Monday, Brady had only been held scoreless in the first half of a playoff game since his first postseason game in the 2001/02 season against the Oakland Raiders.
“I love this organization. It’s a great place to be. Thank you, everybody, for welcoming me,” said Brady, who is out of contract with the Bucs once this season concludes. “I’m very thankful for the respect and I hope I gave the same back.”
Selected 199th overall in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft by the Patriots, Brady played 20 seasons in Foxborough.
He left New England as a free agent after the 2020 season and signed with the Bucs where he led the team to a Super Bowl win in his first season there.
Last season, the Bucs lost in the Divisional playoffs to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams.
Cowboys march on after dominant win
The game itself was not about Brady but rather his opposite quarterback Dak Prescott, who was in scintillating form.
The Dallas quarterback scored three touchdowns in the first half, rushing for one and connecting with tight end Dalton Schultz twice to give the Cowboys an 18-0 lead. Prescott finished the game with 305 passing yards and five total touchdowns – four TD passes and one rushing TD.
After the Bucs made it 24-6, on the ensuing Cowboys possession, Prescott found a wide open CeeDee Lamb near the endzone for an 18-yard touchdown, to put Dallas up 31-6 and all but seal the victory.
The Cowboys could have won by more but kicker Brett Maher missed four extra point attempts in the game, eventually converting on his fifth try. He is the first kicker ever to miss at least three extra points in a playoff game in NFL history.
The playoff victory is the first for the Cowboys on the road since the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers on January, 17, 1993, and first overall since 2018.
Dallas will play against the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional round next Sunday.