Dak Prescott breaks Cowboys’ single-season touchdown record with career-high 5 TD passes in win over Eagles - AP
Dak Prescott sets an important franchise record on the way to a rout in Philly.
Prescott stayed in the game until the fourth quarter, the lead increasing seemingly with each throw and so, perhaps, the risk of injury for a QB nearly 15 months removed from the gruesome compound fracture of his right ankle that ended his 2020 season.
Prescott did his best to get an offense that routinely produced at least 400 yards during a 6-1 start back on track headed into the playoffs following a two-year absence. He was 21 of 27 for 295 yards and no interceptions.
He came out unscathed – and with the Cowboys’ record for touchdown passes in a season with 37. Tony Romo threw 36 in 2007. Prescott threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Corey Clement early in the fourth quarter to make it 37-20 and set the mark and, mercifully for the Eagles, get him out of the game.
Dak also tied a record of another Cowboys quarterbacking great.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott breaks Tony Romo’s single-season touchdown record for a Dallas Cowboy AND ties a Troy Aikman record
Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said he wanted his starters to play to continue to get ready for the playoffs and gain momentum after a rough loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17. It seems Prescott was on board. Not only did he break Romo’s record, but he also tied Troy Aikman for 44 career games with a passer rating of 100.0 or better.
After winning NFC Offensive Player of the Week in Week 16, Prescott had another poor performance against the Cardinals just seven days later. He had a 63% completion percentage and gave up a fumble due to a lack of awareness. The QB1, along with the run game, struggled.
But this week, Prescott did another 180-degree turn. The Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee came out of the Week 18 matchup at the beginning of the fourth quarter with five passing touchdowns and a 151.8 passer rating.
The Cowboys now wait to see what tomorrow brings in terms of playoff seeding and who they will face next week.
The NFC champion Cowboys (12-5) need losses Sunday by reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay against last-place Carolina and also for the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals to lose to earn the No. 2 seed. There also is a path to the No. 3 seed for Dallas.
The Cowboys can’t finish worse than the fourth seed. The Eagles (9-8) could still be the sixth seed.
Cowboys 51, Eagles 26: My Top 10 Whitty Observations on Record-Breaking Win - Richie Whitt, Cowboys Maven
The Prescott to Cooper connection looked better than in recent games.
8. COOOOOOOOP, CORRECTED?! - One problem the Cowboys wanted to fix during this de facto exhibition seemingly got repaired. In the previous three games, Prescott had completed only 12 of 23 passes thrown to Cooper. The veteran receiver had whined for more targets, and he got them early Saturday night with positive results.
On Dallas’ first two possessions he was targeted three times, resulting in three catches for 46 yards. In the first half he received a team-leading seven targets, catching five for 79 and just missing out on a touchdown when he uncharacteristically didn’t executive a relatively routine toe-tap in the front corner of the end zone.
Even though Cooper’s last 100-yard game with Prescott at quarterback came way back in Week 1 at Tampa, good to see them on the page - or at least in the same chapter - heading into the playoffs.
Cedrick Wilson continues his good season filling in for Michael Gallup.
Wilson caught five of six targets for 119 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s 51-26 win over the Eagles.
Wilson again saw his role expanded in the wake of Michael Gallup’s (knee) season-ending injury and excelled with his newfound opportunity. In fact, Wilson’s yardage output marked a career high, as he led the Cowboys in the category while tying Amari Cooper for the team’s best catch tally. Notably, though, Wilson also found the end zone twice, scoring from 14 yards in the first quarter before hauling in a 24-yarder in the second. As Dallas now turns its attention toward the playoffs, Wilson’s late-season emergence represents an encouraging development offensively.
DeVonta Smith passes DeSean Jackson as Philadelphia Eagles shift focus to postseason - Tim McManus, ESPN
A look at things from the Eagles perspective.
Rushing prowess: The Eagles rushed for 100-plus yards for the 12th straight game, their longest streak since 2010-11 (19). They established a new team record for most rushing yards in a season (2,715), a mark that had stood since 1949 (2,607). There are records falling in Philadelphia and elsewhere thanks in part to the added 17th regular-season game.
QB stats: Gardner Minshew got his second start of the season and finished 19-of-33 for 186 yards with two touchdown passes and an interception. The Eagles scored 17 or more points in the first half five times this season, two of which came in Minshew starts. Starting QB Jalen Hurts was one of the many regulars getting the night off. He’s still dealing with a nagging high-ankle sprain suffered in late November. The Eagles are trying to get him as close to 100% as possible before the postseason.
Can they beat a good team? The Eagles dropped to 0-7 against teams with winning records this season. They took care of business against mediocre to bad teams (9-1), but have yet to prove they can topple high-quality competition. They’ll have another opportunity next weekend.
It has to be said that the Cowboys were playing a very undermanned Eagles squad.
The Eagles are sitting a whopping 10 starters for this Saturday night game in Philadelphia.
Already having sat several key players due to COVID-19, the Eagles also opted to make Jalen Hurts, Darius Slay, Steven Nelson, Miles Sanders, Anthony Harris, Lane Johnson, Landon Dickerson, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett and Javon Hargrave.
Considering that Dallas Goedert, Rodney McLeod and Fletcher Cox were already sitting out on the reserve/COVID-19 list, it’s safe to say the Eagles will be playing with a bit of a backup squad.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys ruled out Trevon Diggs, Will Grier, Tony Pollard, Simi Fehoko and Quinton Bohanna. Three of those are healthy scratches, while Diggs and Pollard had been ruled out on Friday afternoon.
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