Stat Pack: Prescott TD's A Cowboys Playoff First

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Here is a deeper look at six statistics from the Cowboys’ 24-22 wild-card victory over the Seahawks:

• 2 – Dak Prescott recorded a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown in the game, which marked the 14th time he’s posted both in a single outing. That tied Roger Staubach for the most in Cowboys history. However, this marked the first time a Dallas quarterback has ever had both a passing and rushing score in a playoff game. Overall, this was the 77th time in NFL record books that a quarterback has turned the trick, the first since Atlanta’s Matt Ryan did so in last season’s NFC Championship Game against Green Bay.

• 10 – Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch finished the game with a team-high 10 tackles, as credited by the league. That number could later change based on coaches’ film. But he’s the first Cowboys rookie since 1999 to reach double-digits in tackles in a playoff contest. In fact, he is only the 21st rookie in the NFL over the last two decades to reach the mark in a game, which also includes the Colt’s Darius Leonard, who recorded 13 tackles earlier in the day in Indianapolis’ win over Houston. Vander Esch already finished third overall in the NFL for tackles during the regular season, credited by the league with 140, which also broke a Cowboys rookie record.

• 72.7 – For all the criticism that the Cowboys have received for their red-zone offense this season, and rightfully so, they’ve actually fared quite well over their last three games, which were all wins. The team was 2-for-3 in the red zone against Tampa Bay in Week 16 before then going 3-for-4 at the Giants in Week 17 as well as vs. Seattle in the wild-card matchup. That’s a success rate of 72.7 percent. The Buccaneers, of course, had the worst red-zone defense in the league while New York was 12th. Seattle, though, ranked fourth. Dallas finished the regular season scoring touchdowns in the red zone only 48 percent of the time, which ranked 29th in the NFL.

• 169 – Ezekiel Elliott finished the game with 169 yards from scrimmage, picking up 137 on the ground and another 32 through the air. That mark was the sixth-highest total in Cowboys playoff history. He’s also the 91st player in NFL annals to record at least 169 yards from scrimmage in a playoff game and the first to do so since Tennessee’s Derrick Henry had 191 yards in a win over Kansas City in last season’s wild-card round. The 169 yards from scrimmage is also the 10th highest total for any game in Elliott’s career, and the fifth time this season he has topped at least 160 yards from scrimmage. He finished the regular season ranked second in the NFL with 2,001 yards from scrimmage, a career high.

• 73 – The Seahawks came into this wild-card matchup with the NFL’s top-ranked rushing offense, having led the league during the regular season with an average of 160 yards on the ground per game. They topped 100 yards rushing in all but three of their games, including in each of their final five contests. They also racked up 113 rushing yards in their Week 3 win over the Cowboys. But the Dallas defense shut down the Seahawks in this one, holding them to just 73 rushing yards as a team, Seattle’s second-lowest total of the season. The Cowboys had the fifth-best rushing defense in the NFL, holding opponents to under 100 yards 10 times. This marked the 32nd time in Cowboys playoff history that they have held a team to under 100 yards rushing. It’s also the lowest total since surrendering only 56 in a win over Philadelphia in the 2009 wild-card round.

• 106 – Joining in on the offensive fun was wide receiver Amari Cooper, who finished the game with 106 receiving yards. He became the 12th player (19th time) in Cowboys history to top the 100-yard mark in a postseason game, the first since Dez Bryant did so against Green Bay on Jan. 15, 2017). His total of 106 is the 15th highest in team playoff record books. Among that exclusive group his seven catches tied for the eighth most in a 100-yard effort. The 106 yards also marked the 16th career 100-yard game for Cooper, but his first in the playoffs.

Milestones

Team

·     The Cowboys made their 33rd postseason appearance and played in their 62nd playoff game today – both the most in NFL history.

·     With the victory over Seattle, Dallas earned its 35th postseason win and broke a tie with Green Bay and New England for the second-most playoff wins in NFL history. Pittsburgh owns the most postseason victories in NFL history (36).

·     The win also served as the Cowboys 21st postseason win at home to tie the Steelers for the second-most home playoff wins all-time. New England owns the most home playoff victories with 22.

·     Today’s victory advanced Dallas to the NFC Divisional Game for the 27th time in franchise history. The last appearance was in the 2016 season.

·     It was the Cowboys’ third straight win in the wild-card round, improving the team’s record in NFC Wild Card Games to 7-5, and increasing its overall record in the postseason to 35-27.

·     Dallas also snapped a two-game postseason losing streak, as the win was the first since the club defeated Detroit (Jan. 4, 2015) in the 2014 wild-card game.

·     The win evened the Cowboys record against the Seahawks in the playoffs at 1-1, while snapping a three-game (regular and postseason) losing streak to Seattle.

·     Twenty Cowboys made their postseason debuts in today’s game.

Jason Garrett

·     With the win over the Seahawks, Jason Garrett evened his postseason record as head coach at 2-2 and broke a tie with Wade Phillips (1-2) for sole possession of the fourth-most wins by a head coach in postseason franchise history behind Tom Landry (20-16), Jimmy Johnson (8-2) and Barry Switzer (4-1):

Tavon Austin

·     Tavon Austin’s 73 punt return yards were the third-most in Cowboys postseason single-game history, behind Bob Hayes ( 141 – Dec. 24, 1967 vs. CLE) and James Jones (81 – Dec. 28, 1980 vs. LAR).

Ezekiel Elliott

·     Ezekiel Elliott’s 137 rushing yards were the fifth-most by a Cowboy in postseason history, the third-most in a wild-card game, behind Tony Dorsett (160 – Dec. 28, 1980 vs. LAR), Emmitt Smith (150 – Jan. 14, 1996 vs. GB), Felix Jones (148 – Jan. 9, 2010 vs. PHI) and Duane Thomas (143 – Jan. 3, 1971 at SF).

·     It was Elliott’s second career postseason 100-yard rushing game, tying him with Duane Thomas for the third-most in team history behind Smith (7) and Dorset (3).

·     Combining his 137 rushing yards in tonight’s game, and his 125 yards in his previous playoff game against Green Bay (Jan. 15, 2017), Elliott became the third Cowboy to post a streak of at least two postseason games with 100 rushing yards, joining Smith (Jan. 10-Jan. 17-Jan. 31, 1993) and Thomas (Dec. 26, 1970-Jan. 3, 1971):

·     Elliott’s 262 postseason rushing yards moved him into the Dallas Cowboys’ top-10 career postseason rushing yards list behind Smith (1,586), Dorsett (1,383), Robert Newhouse (651), Thomas (518), Walt Garrison (493), Roger Staubach (432), Calvin Hill (335) and Don Perkins (284).

·     Elliott’s 26 carries were tied for the seventh-most by a Cowboy in a postseason game in team history behind Smith (35 – Jan. 14, 1996 vs. GB; 30 – Jan. 30, 1994 vs. BUF), Thomas (30 – Dec. 26, 1970 vs. DET), Marion Barber (27 – Jan. 13, 2008 vs. NYG), Dorsett (27 – Jan. 16, 1983 vs. GB), Thomas (27 – Jan. 3, 1971 at SF), Dorsett (26 – Jan. 9, 1983 vs. TB) and Smith (26 – Dec. 29, 1991 at Chicago).

·     Elliott had 30 touches (26 rush; 4 rec.) for the most by a Cowboy in a playoff game since Smith had a franchise-record 37 touches against Green Bay on Jan. 14, 1996..

Michael Gallup

·     Michael Gallup became the sixth rookie in team history to catch a touchdown in a playoff game, and the first since John Phillips against Philadelphia on Jan. 9, 2010.

Dak Prescott

·     Dak Prescott’s 528 career passing yards are the seventh-most career passing yards in Cowboys postseason history behind Troy Aikman (3,849), Roger Staubach (2,791), Danny White (2,284), Tony Romo (1,316), Craig Morton (630) and Don Meredith (551).

·     Prescott threw one touchdown to break a tie with Don Meredith and tie Craig Morton (4) for the fifth-most touchdowns in franchise postseason history.

·     Prescott had 22 completions to reach 46 in his postseason career to move past Meredith (39) for sixth on the club’s all-time postseason completions list.

·     Prescott’s rushing touchdown allowed him to join Craig Morton (1969), Troy Aikman (1996) and Quincy Carter (2003) – all with one – as the fourth Cowboys quarterback to record a rushing score in a playoff game.

·     Prescott’s 29 rushing yards were the seventh-most by any Dallas Cowboys quarterback during a postseason game in franchise history:

Most Rush Yards By Dallas Cowboys QB – Postseason Single Game

Player                       Date/Opponent                   Att.      Yards   Avg.      

Roger Staubach        Dec. 31, 1972 @ WSH          5         59         11.8

Roger Staubach        Jan. 2, 1972 vs. SF                8         55         6.9

Roger Staubach        Jan. 4, 1976 at LAR               7         54         7.7

Roger Staubach        Jan. 21, 1979 vs. PIT            4         37         9.3

Roger Staubach        Dec. 30, 1973 vs. MIN          5         30         6.0

Roger Staubach        Dec. 23, 1973 vs. LAR          4         30         7.5

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