Dak and Zeke claim 1st playoff win, 24-22


Dallas bounced back from a 14-10 deficit in the third quarter to defeat Seattle, advance in NFC playoffs.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Dak, Zeke and company are marching on in the playoffs.

The Dallas Cowboys’ young team has silenced the doubters this season, first with its midseason resurrection that led to a 7-1 record in the second half, and now with an emphatic 24-22 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

Dallas overcame a 14-10 deficit in the third quarter by scoring 14-straight points in the fourth. Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott each capped drives with 1-yard touchdown runs to put the Cowboys over the top.

In doing so, Dallas won a playoff game for the first time in four years. The Tony Romo-DeMarco Murray-Dez Bryant Cowboys defeated the Lions in the Wild Card round in 2014.

Now the Cowboys will try to do what the club hasn’t done since winning its last Super Bowl following the 1995 season — win multiple playoff games in the same year.

The Cowboys won’t find out who they play until Sunday. An Eagles win over the Bears would send Dallas to Los Angeles for the divisional round, otherwise the Cowboys will play the top seed in the NFC, the Saints in New Orleans.

Seattle, which defeated the Cowboys in Week 3 this season, edged ahead in the third quarter when Russell Wilson directed a 9-play, 44-yard touchdown drive. Wilson ran four yards for the score that was the eventual result of the Seahawks pinning Dallas at its own 1 a possession earlier.

The Seahawks had difficult moving the ball against the Dallas defense for most of the contest. The Cowboys out-gained Seattle 380-299 in total yards. But Seattle added 75 yards to its total with its final drive of the night when it marched 75 yards for a score with 1:18 remaining to cut the Cowboys’ lead to 2.

However, that’s when the Seahawks missed starting kicker Sebastian Janikowski. The Seattle kicker injured a thigh in the first half and didn’t return to the game. That left punter Michael Dickson in charge of all the kicking duties.

Dickson’s drop-kick onside attempt with 1:18 left sailed innocently to the Cowboys’ Cole Beasley, who caught it and fell to the ground to secure the Dallas win.

After Wilson’s four-yard touchdown run to put Seattle in front in the third quarter, the Cowboys responded immediately with a 9-play, 67-yard touchdown drive.

Prescott connected with wide receiver Amari Cooper for the crucial play of the march, covering 34 yards to the Seahawks’ 16.

Cooper, who was a member of the Oakland Raiders when the Seahawks defeated the Cowboys in September, came up big in the rematch. Cooper caught 7 passes for 106 yards, almost half of the Cowboys’ total receiving yards.

Two plays after throwing the pass to Cooper to the 16, Prescott appeared to score on a 10-yard touchdown run. The review put the ball inside the 1 and it took Elliott two plays to make that last bit of real estate.

Elliott made good though, scoring on a 1-yard dive with 12:29 left to put Dallas back in front, 17-14.

The Cowboys star running back finished with 137 rushing yards on 26 carries and also caught 4 passes for 32 yards.

Prescott passed for 226 yards with a first-half touchdown to Michael Gallup and a fourth-quarter interception. The Dallas QB also rushed for 29 yards.