The Dallas Cowboys made sure to make a point that their offense is one of the best in the NFL when he shoots all cylinders. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t take the game as seriously as if the game venue was safe.
Dak Prescott finished 21 of 27 for 295 yards with five touchdown passes and zero interceptions, and played in the fourth quarter in a 51-26 defeat for the Eagles. While the win is impressive for Dallas, Philadelphia quarterback Galen Hurts and all of her rookies sat out Jason Kelsey (who lined up on the first shot), DeVonta Smith, and TJ Edwards in this game.
Prescott passed Tony Romo For the most touchdown passes in a season in Cowboys history with 37. He entered the game with 32 touchdown passes on the night, four behind Romo for the franchise mark (Romo threw 36 touchdown passes for the Cowboys in 2007). Ezekiel Elliott finished 18 carrying 87 yards to give him a 1,000-yard rushing year-round, the fourth time in his career he’s crossed that plateau. Saturday was the first time Elliott passed 60 yards in a game since week six.
Attacking Gardner Minshaw and the Eagles moved the ball well against the Cowboys’ first-team defense in the first half, but they only managed seven points in the second half against the Dallas first-team defense. Minshew finished 19 of 33 for 186 yards for two touchdowns and an interception in a loss, to fill in the inactive hurt. Kenneth Genwell had 12 buggies for 83 yards and landed while Philadelphia rushed for 149 yards to set a franchise record for most yards rushing in a season. Smith had three grabs for 41 yards. He passed DeSean Jackson for the most yards an Eagles freshman has earned in franchise history (916) before being removed from the game.
The Eagles can still get the #6 seed if 49 players lose and the Saints win. The Cowboys already have a playoff game at home safe with a win in the NFC East and the highest level they can climb into the qualifying standings is the No. 2 seed, which they will need some help on Sunday to achieve. If Dallas gets the No. 2 seed, the Cowboys are guaranteed a two-game playoff at their home ground if they reach the post-season divisional round.
Why did the cowboys win?
Dallas made a point that he wanted to have momentum heading into the playoffs after a heavy loss to Arizona knocked the Cowboys out of contention on the field during the NFC playoffs. Dak Prescott and first team offensive played well in the fourth quarter and first team defense played deep in the second half. The Cowboys got the momentum they wanted against the Eagles’ second and third defense, throwing Prescott for five touchdowns, while Dallas put in 475 yards of attack.
Prescott looked as crisp as ever and rushed Ezekiel Elliott for over 60 yards for the first time since October. Dallas will play a tougher defense next week, so it’s hard to fathom what the onslaught was against a Philadelphia side who clearly had other intentions in Week 18.
Why did the Eagles lose?
The Eagles have decided to rest all but three of their junior players, having settled their place in the playoffs next week. The first team players might not have defeated the Cowboys either, but they would have put up a better fight. This was a 17-17 game at one point and the Eagles rushed for 149 yards, but the defense allowed Dallas to score seven from nine possessions. It is difficult to beat any football team in this way, whether the coach plays at the beginning or not.
The Cowboys scored 14 points in the final 3:40 of the first half, as Prescott went 4-6 for 42 yards in a greenlight campaign to put Dallas ahead 23-17 with 1:48 remaining in the second quarter. Prescott threw a 26-yard pass to Amari Cooper in second and third to set up his 2-yard pass to Dalton Schultz on the drive—which Dallas made it look easy.
After the Eagles only went six plays while trying to score before the first half, Arryn Siposs had a bad kick that went for 21 yards and set Dallas to score again by starting at Philadelphia’s 43-yard streak. Prescott went 3-of-4 for a 43-yard drive that led to a 9-yard touchdown pass to Schultz that put the Cowboys 30-17 in half — a drive that lasted just 19 seconds. This trip dashed any hopes the Eagles had at the moment of surprise, and Dallas took off from there.
play the game
Dak Prescott pass to Tony Romo for the Cowboys touchdown record for a season in passing. Prescott found Corey Clement in the fourth quarter for his fifth pass in the game – his 37th of the season to set the record.
Prescott found Clement—the Eagles Super Bowl champion—in the 8-yard result that ended up being his last pass of the night. He finished only five yards at 300 meters on the night, but finished with a rating of 151.8 passers-by in the game.
“I really wanted to make sure some players were back in full health to get this team ready for the playoffs. The goal is to win the playoffs, not just go to the playoffs.” – Eagles coach Nick Siriani on a start rest at the end of the regular season.
The Eagles played three matches in 13 days and their place in the playoffs was locked out, so there was no reason to play their starts in a game where the 6th seed is the highest seed they can win – which they can get anyway with a Saint. 49ers win and lose Sunday. Philadelphia wanted to make sure he had a week off in the post-season, giving Hurts more time to reach his ankle at 100%.
The Cowboys and Eagles will play in the wild card round of the playoffs next week. The date, discount and time will be determined on Sunday evening.
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