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DAL 51, PHI 26: Prescott Breaks TD Record as Cowboys Clobber Eagles

The Cowboys and the Eagles took two different approaches to prepare for the playoffs. The end result was a one-sided affair as Dallas ripped Philadelphia 51-26, highlighted by Dak Prescott throwing five touchdowns and setting a new franchise record.

The Eagles rested Jalen Hurts and several other starters tonight as a win would’ve done little to change their playoff positioning. The most Philly could hope for is to move up from the 7th to the 6th seed and both spots mean a road game against a tough NFC contender.

Dallas was missing several key players as well with Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, Tyron Smith, Jayron Kearse, and Anthony Brown all out for various reasons. But despite this, the Cowboys played whatever other starters were available in a clear effort to win the game and build momentum toward the postseason.

While other Cowboys quarterbacks have had five-touchdown games, Dak’s big night gave him 37 for the season and set a new single-season record. Tony Romo had the previous mark to beat with 36 TDs in 2007.

And no, there’s no asterisk next to this one for the 17th game. Romo played all 16 games in 2007 and Dak only played in 16 games this year, missing the Week 8 victory over Minnesota.

Tonight also gave the Cowboys a rare sweep in the NFC East. Dallas won all its games this year against New York, Philadelphia, and Washington; only the third time a sweep has occurred in our division’s 55-year history.

Plenty of players got to enjoy big nights and moments. Cedrick Wilson had five catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Dalton Schultz added two other scores and RB Corey Clement, enjoying extra playing time in Tony Pollard’s absence, had a touchdown catch against his former team.

When Dallas finally emptied the bench in the 4th quarter, it allowed for backup and practice squad running backs JaQuan Hardy and Ito Smith to each score touchdowns.

The high-scoring game was also a good opportunity for Kicker Greg Zuerlein to work on his rhythm. He made his only field goal from 48 yards out and went 6/7 on extra points.

In all fairness, this game was a bit of a farce given the disparity in approach between both teams. But nevertheless, the Cowboys got the victory to finish the year 12-5 and leave open some possibilities depending on tomorrow’s games.

Dallas can still move up to the 2nd seed in the NFC if the Buccaneers, Cardinals, and Rams all lose on Sunday. They would move up to 3rd if Tampa Bay wins while Arizona and Los Angeles lose their games.

If the Cowboys remain as the 4th seed, they will face the runner up in the NFC West between either the Cardinals or Rams.  Moving to 3rd would mean hosting the 49ers and getting to 2nd would bring the Eagles back to Dallas in the first round.

Whatever the matchup next week, hopefully tonight’s game helped the missing players to rest and recuperate while giving those who played some good vibes ahead of the playoffs.

What do you think?

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Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

5 Comments

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  1. Greatly enjoyed the games tonight. If my cowboys can hang 51 points in the playoffs, it would be just be incredible. Just happy to see them win tonight. Go ‘boys !

  2. Too bad the Washington Football Team didn’t make the playoffs. Then, we might have had a chance to win two playoff games. I really hope they don’t put too much stock in this win because they won’t be playing a short-handed NFC East team next week unless a miracle happens and we draw the Eagles again.

    Dak still looked off the first two series. And that was against a third tier secondary that the Eagles chose to put out there. Even some of the throws that he completed were off (over or behind), but he got bailed out by his receivers. We may find ourselves in a hole too deep to dig out of if he looks like that again next week.

    Whoever we play, I hope it’s not a close game because I just don’t trust Zuerlein to make the PAT’s, much less field goals.

    I also hope we didn’t use up all of our breaks with the officials this week. We definitely got away with several offensive pass interference no-calls and several holds besides the call that Williams (surprise!) got tagged for.

    Would love to see them get truly hot and go on a tear throughout the playoffs like we have seen other teams do. I’m just not confident that this team can pull it off.

  3. Agree Jess, with the “farce” comment, but I guess it may help with momentum. Eagles played it more like a preseason game, Cowboys played it more like regular. Hope this “blowout” doesn’t make them a little over confident now, though.

    Have to nit pick a bit on the asterisk comment. Yes they both played in 16 games, but if not for this new 17 game schedule, DP would have this “extra” game to be able to get those “record” setting TDs.

    In fact, all these “record setting” stats should have some kind of different category, simply because years ago, 12 (then 14) games was the season. That’s a huge difference, if we’re keeping 100. But it makes for hype and headlines, so…

  4. Cooper Rush throws a better ball than Prescott. MN, as well as Philly shows that Rush hits players in stride, Prescott’s passes have receivers reaching behind, or slowing down. Not new…just more apparent now

    Also, Zeke is nowhere near worth his mega millions contract. and his running ability has decreased annually since after his 2nd year in the league

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