Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ Starters Launch Into Playoffs


“I’ve rested players, I’ve not rested players,” stated McCarthy, who beforehand coached the Green Bay Packers for 13 seasons. “But we felt where we were as a team, our first year in the playoffs, it was important for us to play.”

It was vital for Prescott, who seemed comfy dissecting the Eagles’ protection, finishing 21 of 27 passes for 295 yards. It was vital for receiver Cedrick Wilson, who, with Michael Gallup out for the season with a torn knee ligament, continued his emergence as a reliable third receiving choice, catching 5 passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns. And it was vital for operating again Ezekiel Elliott, hampered with a knee harm a lot of the season, who gained 87 of Dallas’s 171 speeding yards then proclaimed himself wholesome for the postseason.

The Cowboys scored on eight of 9 possessions, excluding kneel-downs, and for a rivalry so steeped in antipathy, with tales of Bounty Bowls and pickle juice and flying pork chops, this installment featured all the pleasure of a beige couch.

As Dallas traveled with out linebacker Micah Parsons, left sort out Tyron Smith and operating again Tony Pollard, amongst others, Eagles Coach Nick Sirianni opted to relaxation 16 starters — not together with middle Jason Kelce, who performed solely the first snap, simply to increase his consecutive-start streak to 122 — and elevated 12 gamers from the follow squad.

Under Sirianni, Philadelphia’s first-year head coach, the Eagles greater than doubled their victory whole from final season’s 4-11-1 fiasco, throttling unhealthy groups and backup quarterbacks with a run-heavy offense led by quarterback Jalen Hurts to win six of their closing eight video games. Still recovering from a excessive ankle sprain, Hurts sat Saturday rather than Gardner Minshew, however Sirianni stated he might be prepared for the Eagles’ playoff sport.

The solely method Philadelphia can rise to sixth from seventh in the N.F.C. is that if New Orleans defeats Atlanta and the Rams beat San Francisco. The Cowboys, as N.F.C. East champions, gained’t fall under fourth however may transfer as excessive as second.

Either method, they are going to host a playoff sport, and although everybody from Prescott to McCarthy to DeMarcus Lawrence emphasised their second-by-second focus heading into subsequent weekend, it didn’t require a lot creativeness to acknowledge that the Cowboys, with a first-round victory, may wind up dealing with the top-seeded Packers, in frigid Green Bay, Wis.