Prescott and Elliott inspire Dallas Cowboys to Seahawks playoff win

Seattle edged out 24-22 as Cowboys secure just their third playoff win this century

Quarterback Dak Prescott inspired the Dallas Cowboys to playoff victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Photograph: Mike Stone/EPA

Quarterback Dak Prescott inspired the Dallas Cowboys to playoff victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Photograph: Mike Stone/EPA

 

Dak Prescott guided two fourth-quarter touchdown drives as the Dallas Cowboys rallied to defeat the visiting Seattle Seahawks 24-22 Saturday night in the NFC wildcard round.

Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries, while chipping in four catches for 32 yards. Prescott completed 22 of 33 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown and also scored the decisive TD on a one-yard run with 2.08 remaining.

It was just the third playoff victory for the Cowboys this century, after they won wildcard round games in 2009 and 2014. If Chicago beat Philadelphia on Sunday, Dallas will visit New Orleans next Sunday in the divisional playoffs. If the Eagles beat the Bears, the Cowboys will visit the Los Angeles Rams next Saturday.

The Cowboys’ defence limited Seattle’s league-leading rushing attack to just 73 yards on 24 carries. Russell Wilson completed 18 of 27 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown.

That score was a seven-yarder to J.D. McKissic with 1.22 left. The ensuing two-point conversion - kicker Sebastian Janikowski was injured attempting a 57-yard field goal at the end of the first half - pulled the Seahawks within two. But rookie punter Michael Dickson’s onside dropkick was recovered by the Cowboys and they ran out the clock.

After the Seahawks took the lead late in the third quarter, Prescott guided a nine-play, 67-yard drive that culminated in a one-yard Elliott touchdown run to give Dallas a 17-14 lead. Prescott hit Amari Cooper for a 34-yard completion on the drive.

It appeared the Cowboys would build on that lead on their next possession when they drove into the red zone, but Seahawks linebacker KJ Wright made a juggling interception in the end zone to keep it a three-point margin.

The Cowboys all but put the game away with an 11-play, 63-yard drive, capped by Prescott’s one-yard score, that took 5.14 off the clock before Seattle’s late TD. Seattle had forced Dallas into a third-and-14 from the 17-yard line, but Prescott picked up 16 yards on a QB draw, and he surged in from a yard out on the next play.

Ezekiel Elliott carries during the Dallas Cowboys’ win over the Seattle Seahawks. Photograph: Mike Stone/EPA
Ezekiel Elliott carries during the Dallas Cowboys’ win over the Seattle Seahawks. Photograph: Mike Stone/EPA

After trailing 10-6 at halftime, the Seahawks took the lead with the only score of the third quarter. Wilson capped a nine-play, 44-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run around right end to make it 12-10. With Janikowski injured, the Seahawks went for a two-point conversion, and Mike Davis reached the end zone on a run up the middle for a 14-10 advantage.

The Cowboys took the lead on the first half’s lone touchdown, an 11-yard pass from Prescott to rookie Michael Gallup in the back right corner of the end zone with 24 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The key play on the seven-play, 75-yard drive was a 44-yard run by Elliott on third-and-one.

Cowboys wide receiver Allen Hurns left on a stretcher midway through the first quarter after a gruesome left ankle injury suffered while being tackled by Seattle’s Bradley McDougald.

Meanwhile Indianapolis’s stunning season turnaround will face its stiffest test yet when the Colts travel to Kansas City to battle the top-seeded Chiefs next Saturday in the AFC divisional playoffs.

The Colts’ season looked all but done after starting 1-5 but have since won 10 of their last 11, including a 21-7 victory over the Texans in their wildcard showdown in Houston on Saturday.

Behind the excellent play of quarterback Andrew Luck, who missed all of last season while recovering from a shoulder injury, the Colts are riding a hot streak into the playoffs.

But they will face a well-rested and high-powered Chiefs offense which led the NFL in scoring this season behind breakout star quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

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