“I’ve rested players, I’ve not rested players,” mentioned 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 essential for Prescott, who appeared snug dissecting the Eagles’ protection, finishing 21 of 27 passes for 295 yards. It was essential 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 possibility, catching 5 passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns. And it was essential for operating again Ezekiel Elliott, hampered with a knee damage a lot of the season, who gained 87 of Dallas’s 171 dashing 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 deal with Tyron Smith and operating again Tony Pollard, amongst others, Eagles Coach Nick Sirianni opted to relaxation 16 starters — not together with heart 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 complete from final season’s 4-11-1 fiasco, throttling dangerous groups and backup quarterbacks with a run-heavy offense led by quarterback Jalen Hurts to win six of their remaining eight video games. Still recovering from a excessive ankle sprain, Hurts sat Saturday rather than Gardner Minshew, however Sirianni mentioned he will probably be prepared for the Eagles’ playoff recreation.
The solely manner 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 might transfer as excessive as second.
Either manner, they may host a playoff recreation, 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, might wind up going through the top-seeded Packers, in frigid Green Bay, Wis.