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Cowboys news: Win against the Jaguars this week will lock up a playoff spot

The latest news and notes surrounding the Dallas Cowboys.

Houston Texans v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys can clinch another long-time first, make playoffs with win vs. Jaguars Clarence E. Hill Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Locking up a playoff spot this week would be just one step on their 2022 journey.

If an ugly performance in a 27-23 victory against the Houston Texans didn’t get the attention of the Dallas Cowboys, resulting in a better focus Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, then how about this for motivation.

With a win against the Jacksonville, the Cowboys will officially punch their ticket to the playoffs, marking the first time they’ve made back-to-back trips to the playoffs since 2006-2007.

The Cowboys won the NFC East with a 12-5 record in 2021 before losing in the wildcard playoffs to the San Francisco 49ers.

In addition to controlling their own destiny with a win, the Cowboys can also clinch a playoff spot this weekend with a tie along with the Giants-Commanders game not ending in a tie; a tie with Seahawks loss or tie; a Seahawks loss and a Commanders loss and a Seahawks loss plus a Lions loss or tie.

Hilton to ‘Make Plays’ for Cowboys, Inviting to OBJ - Patrik Walker,

Even with the T.Y. Hilton signing, the Cowboys could still be looking at Odell Beckham Jr.

The ink is dry, the jersey is assigned and T.Y. Hilton is officially, for now, the newest member of the Dallas Cowboys. The team signed the four-time Pro Bowl receiver on Monday and he’ll wear No. 16 during his one-year deal, already champing at the bit to get going after taking a break in 2022 to spend time with his children.

But … why the Cowboys?

Having fielded calls from several teams, Hilton explained what ultimately drew him to North Texas, concluding a successful week-long negotiation with a handshake.

“I got a lot of calls,” said Hilton on Wednesday, as he retakes the field with a shot at passing the 10,000-yard receiving mark in 2022. “I told my agent if I get the right call, right team, right situation — I’m interested. I feel like this is the right situation for me.”

It’s the only team Hilton visited with and worked out for, which says quite a bit about his level of interest in joining an offense that’s leading the league in points per game since the return of two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott from injury. This tidbit played a big role in Hilton shrugging off other suitors, as did the 10-3 record accompanied by a dominant defense.

“[The record played a] big role,” he said. “You want to go to a situation you feel is good, feel like you can win. I feel like they got all the pieces and just plug me in to help them try to get over the hump.”

Should fans be concerned with close call to the Texans? - Tony Stahl, Inside The Star

Winning ugly games is what elite teams do when they don’t have their A game.

A terrifying game occurred on Sunday for Dallas Cowboys fans when their team entered the 4th quarter down by six points to the Houston Texans. While being a 17.5-point favorite, the Cowboys were about to lose to arguably the worst team in the NFL.

Luckily for the Cowboys, they remembered that the 4th quarter is when they are the strongest. It’s beginning to act as a special perk for the Cowboys this season during the fourth quarters of games. Of course, the Cowboys prevailed right at the end of the game scoring 10 points in the 4th and rallying late to grab their 10th win of the year.

As my old man would say “I’m not mad… I’m just disappointed.” This quote is how I felt after this game. I was expecting more and yet, this is what fans and myself received. These mistakes can not be made against a good NFL team.

So, should fans be worried about what happened? I would say maybe a little. Dak needs a bit of work to do over the week so those interceptions don’t happen again, and the defense needs to find new ways to get to the QB without letting the other team stop them.

Cowboys Add 3-Time Eagles DT Anthony Rush; Who’ll Stop the Run? - Harrison Reno,

With the injury to Johnathan Hankins, the Cowboys added some beef to help stop the run.

The Dallas Cowboys will be without starting defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins until at least the playoffs due to a pectoral strain suffered in the come-from-behind win over the Houston Texans ...

And now the Cowboys need help.

As first reported by, former Eagles defensive tackle Anthony Rush made a visit to The Star, and now the signing of the 2019 UDFA rookie from UAB - who has in four years had three different stints on the Philly practice squad but was cut a week ago - is with the Cowboys on this practice squad.

He’s 6-5 and 350. Can he help?

With Hankins sidelined, the Cowboys will look in part to their younger contributors, Osa Odighizuwa, Quinton Bohanna and Neville Gallimore, to help fill the void on the interior of the defensive line. ... if Rush can help, that’s a bonus.

The loss of Hankins is a big one for a Cowboys defense that has at times struggled to stop the run.

Despite a down day vs Texans, Cowboys’ Dak Prescott still clearly the guy - Riley Donald, The Landry Hat

The Cowboys franchise quarterback struggled in Week 14, but played at a high level when the team needed it most.

There is an interesting conundrum among Dallas Cowboys fans at the moment which needs a bit of addressing. The issue is how fans spin the narrative around Dak Prescott to fit their preferred narrative. Very few other teams argue over their franchise quarterback as much as Cowboys fans do — and frankly, some fans want their cake and to eat it, too.

First thing’s first, there is no sugar coating the performance he had against the Texans. The interceptions were ugly and made this game closer than it should have been.

But what Dak did do was show up in the biggest moment of the game and engineer a 98-yard game-winning drive. That is something that top-level franchise quarterbacks do. They find a way to win the game. Not every Sunday in the NFL is roses and champagne. Sometimes it takes ugly wins. Other quarterbacks gut it out, and the narrative for them is they can win ugly. When Prescott does it, the narrative turns to how he barely survived the game.

Let’s look at the “clutch” argument some fans want to make. We will use game-winning drives for this metric, which is literally the most clutch thing a quarterback can do. Dak has 18 game-winning drives since 2016, the most in the entire NFL from 2016-2022. It also has him 11th overall in active quarterbacks, trailing Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson, and more veteran quarterbacks who each have at least four more years in the NFL than Dak. Sounds pretty clutch to me.

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