The Dallas Cowboys advanced to the Divisional Round of the National Football League Playoffs by beating the Seattle Seahawks, 24-22. This win proved to be closer than some expected but the Cowboys were in control for a majority of the game. Quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott controlled the tempo as both established themselves as forces en route to their first playoff win.
Prescott played well in the first three quarters but he turned it into another gear when the fourth quarter began. Prescott and the Cowboys scored 14 points in that fourth quarter, which was the most of any quarter during the game. Most notably, after a costly pre-snap penalty by Cowboy wideout Noah Brown that wiped away a red zone run by Ezekiel Elliott, Prescott and company inherited a third-and-fourteen situation. Dak ultimately broke a few tackles and passed the first down marker, after being de-cleated and flipped over. This sent a message to Cowboy fans that Dak Prescott will do anything to win, as displayed this season. Prescott notched his 15th game-winning drive of his career on Saturday night, which is the most in the NFL since he came into the league in 2016. Prescott is a pure winner and he makes his teammates believe they can do anything.
One player who feeds off that is Ezekiel Elliott as he had a breakout day once again, avenging his Week 3 disappointing performance. He was a “man on a mission” so-to-speak as he registered 169 total scrimmage yards, of which 137 of those came on the ground. Elliott was eating up the Seattle rush defense all day long. He simply could not be stopped as he dove in for a rushing touchdown as well in the second half. In addition to Elliott, Cowboy receiver Amari Cooper proved his value once again by recording a 100-yard receiving game. For all the doubters out there, he was worth the first-round draft pick.
The Dallas defense stifled the top rushing attack to a stunning 73 yards as the Cowboys dominated the line of scrimmage right from the start of the game. Rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch once again led the Cowboys in tackles as him and fellow linebacker Jaylon Smith patrolled the middle of the field making sure they keep plays in front of them. This Dallas defense had flown under the radar all season long and continues to impress under the coaching brilliance of defensive guru Kris Richard and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. This front of seven, led by Dallas defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, is arguably one of the best in football and continues to silence all doubters.
Because the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Chicago Bears, the Cowboys have earned a date with the Los Angeles Rams next Saturday. This contest may as well be a home game for America’s team since the Cowboys have a training camp facility in Oxnard, California and the Cowboy fanbase has a strong showing in Southern California.
Winning seven of their last eight games, the Cowboys are rolling at the right time. With warm weather predicted for Saturday night, The Coliesum may not be an overwhelming place to play so Dallas feels comfortable heading into the weekend. Also, Dallas will look to capitlize on the Rams’ run defense, allowing a little over 122 yards a game for opposing running backs so Ezekiel Elliott is looking to feast for some more. With Dak leading this team, this team has a solid shot at appearing in a NFC Championship for the first time in 23 years. He saves his best play for the last and he, nor Dallas defensive end Demarcus Lawrence cares for who they play because their confidence is at an all-time high. As long as Prescott involves Cooper and Elliott, this Dallas team can go toe-to-toe with any team, especially the Rams.
The Dallas Cowboys travel to face the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. braodcasted on FOX.