PHILADELPHIA — Right after ducking up the Lincoln Economic Area tunnel late Saturday night time, Dak Prescott was performed celebrating with the lovers after the Dallas Cowboys’ 51-26 beatdown of the Philadelphia Eagles.
As the quarterback created his way to the visitors locker place with a couple of teammates and staffers close to him, Prescott claimed some thing to no just one and everyone all at the same time.
“The real s— starts,” he stated.
The actual stuff is the playoffs, which for the Cowboys will get started Sunday versus the San Francisco 49ers at AT&T Stadium (4:30 p.m. ET, CBS). It is Prescott’s third postseason as the Cowboys’ starter and initially given that 2018. At 12-5, the Cowboys moved up to the No. 3 seed with losses by the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals, renewing a single of the most storied playoff rivalries in NFL history with San Francisco.
In the locker area on Saturday, there ended up no loud or lingering celebrations. Players appeared joyful with the consequence but much from contented. Coach Mike McCarthy’s information to the staff was apparent.
“When this aircraft touches down in Dallas, which is the beginning line. This is what we’ve been chatting about given that April and we’ve experienced goals all alongside that we’ve hit,” McCarthy stated. “Twelve wins in a season is a good 12 months, but a lot more importantly it’s tough to place by yourself in a superior position any yr. We just want to make absolutely sure that absolutely everyone is carrying out what they are meant to be undertaking. Actively playing on Saturday night implies we get back again at 4:00 a.m., so we just definitely want to start off the process of rest and restoration and be prepared to go.”
The Cowboys have not received a Super Bowl or innovative to an NFC Championship Activity due to the fact 1995. They have won all 3 of the wild-card spherical playoff video games they have played at AT&T Stadium (2009, 2014, 2018), but they know this period is about more than a single playoff activity.
“Line them up,” Prescott explained. “We’re completely ready to go, and we’re likely to glance forward to producing a very good run.”
Prior to they arrived at the commencing line, the Cowboys — a calendar year following going 6-10 with Prescott constrained to 5 starts because of a compound fracture and dislocation of his proper ankle — set alongside one another a year filled with accomplishments:
For the 1st time given that 1998, the Cowboys concluded undefeated versus the NFC East and are the initially team to go unbeaten in the division due to the fact the 2004 Eagles.
The Cowboys established a franchise mark for points in a time (530). They set an NFL report with 22 distinct gamers scoring a touchdown. A season following allowing a franchise-document 473 details, they gave up 358 points.
Prescott set the crew file for landing passes in a period with 37 thanks to the initially 5-touchdown activity of his occupation from the Eagles in Week 18.
It helped to have a 17-recreation common year, but the Cowboys turned the to start with team in NFL heritage to have a 4,000-property passer (Prescott), 1,000-garden rusher (Ezekiel Elliott), 1,000-lawn receiver (CeeDee Lamb) and defenders with 10-moreover sacks (linebacker Micah Parsons) and 10-in addition interceptions (cornerback Trevon Diggs).
They finished the time with 34 takeaways, their most in a time given that 1987.
“But none of that issues any more. You get into this event and it’s one particular recreation at a time and it’s will have to-win,” Prescott explained. “So that is the aim and it’s about getting healthy, having this crew healthier and executing what we can to make guaranteed we put ourselves in a great position occur next weekend.”
Why did a acquire Saturday issue? The Cowboys did not want to go into the playoffs with a two-recreation shedding streak. They also moved up to the No. 3 seed, which signifies a possible second-spherical vacation to Tampa Bay. They have misplaced 4 straight playoff games when entering the postseason with a loss in the regular-year finale.
They also wanted to get some rhythm offensively. They scored on 8 of nine belongings ahead of having a knee on their ultimate possession of the sport. They have scored touchdowns on 13 straight pink zone belongings. Elliott experienced his very best hurrying working day considering the fact that Oct, ending with 87 yards.
“We felt wherever we were as a workforce in terms of very first calendar year in the playoffs that it was significant for us to carry on to enjoy,” McCarthy mentioned. “Statistically, rhythm, rate of procedure, almost everything we have been hunting to achieve tonight, we have been ready to get that carried out.”
There are nevertheless some warts that could harm the Cowboys in the postseason, but each individual staff appears to have challenges.
Minus a selection of starters, the Eagles managed to run the ball properly, albeit from a defense that did not have Parsons. The Eagles had 4 passes of a lot more than 20 yards, albeit in opposition to a defense that did not have Diggs or cornerback Anthony Brown. Kicker Greg Zuerlein missed his sixth excess position of the time to go together with 6 missed discipline objective attempts.
McCarthy claimed the 4 starters on the reserve/COVID record — Parsons, Brown, offensive tackle Tyron Smith and basic safety Jayron Kearse — should be ready to return to practice this 7 days. COVID-19 challenges aside, the Cowboys are healthier going into the playoffs.
“Everyone is hungry. All people is actively playing a 1-match year every single 7 days,” Elliott mentioned. “You have to go out there and get the job finished. You do not want to go household.”
To quotation Prescott once much more: “The real s— begins.”