Dak Prescott’s seventh season with the Dallas Cowboys was an up-and-down affair.

Prescott helped lead Dallas to a 12-5 regular-season record and a Wild Card Round win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - just the Cowboys’ fifth playoff victory since 1996.

But Prescott also threw 15 interceptions last season - tied for the most in the NFL - in just 12 games, and backup Cooper Rush was 4-1 while Prescott was out with a broken thumb.

Despite Prescott’s inconsistent year, executive vice president Stephen Jones believes the Cowboys have the right quarterback to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl since the 1995 season.

“I've got all the faith in the world we can win this thing with Dak,” Jones told reporters Monday at the scouting combine in Indianapolis.

"Because we know him. We know what he's about. His leadership skills are undeniable. Impeccable work ethic. Other than he hadn't won some key playoff games, he's everything you want in a quarterback.

"From the day he walked in the door, he's won a lot of games. We just got to get over the hump."

Prescott is signed through 2024, and his contract carries a cap hit of over $49 million in the 2023 season.

Assuming Dallas is as confident in him as Jones’ comments indicate, the Cowboys could sign Prescott to a contract extension to create extra salary cap space over the next few seasons.

“We've got to have a plan to ultimately extend Dak,” Jones said.

The Cowboys’ offense is poised to undergo a transformation after the departure of Kellen Moore, who served as the team’s offensive coordinator from 2019 to 2022.

Brian Schottenheimer takes over as OC in 2023, but veteran head coach Mike McCarthy will assume offensive play-calling duties.

“Obviously he's the head coach of this football team, and he made a compelling argument that making him the playcaller was going to help us,” Jones said. “I mean that's part of the coaching, be one click better. He feels good about it. He's had a lot of success as a playcaller.

“And he's observed for three years. I think he's been a super leader in that aspect in terms of having the respect for Kellen and the offensive group working with Dak, that that was the better way of doing it.”

Despite the continuity of McCarthy and Prescott remaining in place, Jones thinks that the Cowboys’ offense could evolve in 2023.

“I think [McCarthy] believes now, although they believe in a lot of things the same, there's that 15-20% that they don't. And I think that Mike just thinks that they'll do more with the way he wants to do it [and] that we'll be a better offensive football team.

“I just think it's some of it's the fundamentals, how you block it, how you coordinate and marry the run game to the pass game, what your pass game is philosophically, what your run game is philosophically.”

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott accepted responsibility for his side's 19-12 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round after throwing two interceptions.

The Cowboys extended their losing run in Divisional Round games to 7-0 since 1997 as they were eliminated from the playoffs by the 49ers for the second straight season on Sunday.

In a game where both teams' defenses shone, Prescott completed 23 of 37 passes for 206 yards with one touchdown but two interceptions.

The two picks, from Fred Warner and Deommodore Lenoir, led to six points for the 49ers, which was telling given the final margin.

"Those are throws you can't have, not in the playoffs," Prescott said. "Not when you're playing a team like that [and] on the road. No excuses for it. Those are 100 per cent on me."

Prescott had a career-high 15 interceptions in the regular season, becoming the first QB to tie or lead the league while missing five or more games.

The Cowboys QB also finished the season with his sixth multi-interception game, tied for most in the NFL.

Prescott labelled his interceptions as "ridiculous" and vowed that that total would never be so high again.

"On the first one, I hitched one too many times with [Michael Gallup]," he said. "Understandably, hitching three times, thought I was gonna go on a scramble but the guy just came back to the ball and made a play.

"I've gotta throw that one away or use my feet and get out of the pocket. On the second one, the nickel [cornerback] squeezed, and I tried to throw it to CeeDee [Lamb], but the [defender] was able to make a play on it. He tipped it in the air and to the [middle linebacker]."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he felt "sick" after another playoffs exit, while head coach Mike McCarthy lamented their inability to convert on offense.

"We knew it was gonna be a slugfest," McCarthy said. "We just didn't get enough. You can go through the decisions, the statistics, but I think, defensively, we did a really good job, for the most part.

"Would we like to have a couple more snaps? Yes. Would we like to have a couple more third-down conversions on offense? Yes, we could've used those, too.

"Just extremely disappointed. This has been an incredible journey with this group of men, we just came up short tonight to a very good football team."

The San Francisco 49ers booked their place in the NFC Championship game after emerging 19-12 winners in a defensive struggle against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Ranked as the NFL's two best defenses in the regular season based on DVOA, the respective defensive units were both at the top of their game early, with the first four drives resulting in three punts and an interception.

It was Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott who threw that interception, and it was a sign of things to come in what was a day to forget for the Cowboys' franchise centrepiece.

Prescott put Dallas ahead with a touchdown pass to Dalton Schultz in the second quarter, but it would be their only touchdown of the game as they had to settle for only two field goals in the second half.

The 49ers led at half-time thanks to three Robbie Gould field goals, and after Brett Maher made one for the Cowboys in the third period to tie things up, star running back Christian McCaffrey forced his way into the endzone with the first play of the fourth quarter to give San Francisco a 16-9 lead.

After the two sides traded field goals, the Cowboys would get two chances to march down the field for a potential game-tying touchdown, but they would end in disappointment after a three-and-out left not enough time for Prescott to complete a miraculous comeback.

Prescott completed 23 of his 37 passes for 206 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, while his rookie counterpart kept things far cleaner.

Brock Purdy finished 19-of-29 for 214 yards and no turnovers, but it was George Kittle who was the star for the 49ers. He led all San Francisco receivers with five catches for 95 yards, including a crucial, juggling, 30-yard reception on the game-winning touchdown drive.

The 49ers will play the Philadelphia Eagles next, with a place in the Super Bowl on the line.

The San Francisco 49ers Divisional Round clash against the Dallas Cowboys is a game where the number 11 tells a different story for both sides.

For the 49ers, their run of 11 straight wins, each of which has come without multiple turnovers, puts them in good stead to advance to the penultimate round of the playoffs under the stewardship of rookie quarterback Brock Purdy.

No side in NFL history has ever recorded 11 consecutive wins in a single season without conceding multiple turnovers in any of those games, with the last such occasion for the 49ers being a trio of turnovers against Kansas City in Week 7 – the second game in a row that saw three turnovers for San Francisco.

The 49ers' winning run has come with Purdy, the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, excelling in a remarkable run that could result in accolades should San Francisco go all the way.

Purdy has become one of 12 QBs in NFL history to enjoy a six-start undefeated stint with 120.0 or better passer rating and had his team score over 200 points, with all the previous 11 either winning the Super Bowl or an MVP award in their careers.

Despite throwing three touchdown passes and accumulating 332 passing yards against the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round, Purdy was not at his best, finishing the game with 60 per cent passing accuracy, completing 18 of 30 attempts.

While Purdy boasted the third-most passing yards of the Wild Card round, behind only Josh Allen (352) and Tom Brady (351), only Tyler Huntley threw fewer completions (17) in last week's contests.

Averaging 11.07 yards per completion, incomplete passes did not hinder the 49ers against Seattle but better efficiency against the Cowboys may be required.

In contrast to the 49ers' fine winning streak this season, Dallas are looking to bring an end to a disappointing franchise record, having failed to reach the Championship Game in their last 11 playoff appearances.

Dallas' last Championship Game appearance came 27 years ago, on their way to victory at Super Bowl XXX, with their streak being the longest across the NFL in that regard.

Victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week was only their fifth playoff win since Super Bowl XXX, and the Cowboys' hopes rest on Dak Prescott.

Prescott enters the game on the back of a stellar performance against the Buccaneers, where he became the first QB in NFL history to complete 75 per cent of his passes (when counting players with at least 30 attempts), throw four TD passes without an interception and rush for 20 yards and a TD in a single game.

A similar performance will likely be required to cause an upset against the in-form 49ers, though last season's defeat in the Wild Card game at home to San Francisco may serve as encouragement.

Dak Prescott ignored the doubters to lead the Dallas Cowboys to the NFC Divisional Round with a 31-14 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday.

Prescott completed 25 of his 33 passes for 305 yards at Raymond James Stadium, throwing four touchdowns and rushing for another with no turnovers to record the best playoff performance of his career to date.

It was ultimately a comfortable win for Dallas to record their first postseason victory on the road in 30 years, despite sections of the media casting doubt on whether the team was ready to make an impact in the playoffs.

"Didn’t listen," Prescott said after the game. "Simply just didn’t listen to anybody else's opinions, anybody else's thoughts. [I] made sure I was conscious of what I put in my own head.

"[I've] got a great supporting cast in my team, people that believe in me. That's all that really matters to me, and just stay focused on what I can do."

It was a less successful outing for kicker Brett Maher, who made NFL history by becoming the first player to miss four extra points in one game.

The 33-year-old remarkably missed his first four attempts before finally sending his fifth effort through the posts in the fourth quarter to an almost sarcastic cheer from the Cowboys fans in attendance.

He was backed by coach Mike McCarthy to bounce back in next week's Divisional Round clash against the San Francisco 49ers though, with NBC DWF quoting McCarthy as saying: "We need to get him ready to go [for San Francisco].

"We need him. He's been super clutch for us all year."

Maher made 50 of 53 extra point attempts in the regular season, but does hold the NFL record for most 60+ yard field goals with four.

Tom Brady gave no indication about his playing future after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were beaten by the Dallas Cowboys 31-14 in the Wild Card round on Monday.

It was a tough game for the Buccaneers, failing to score in the first half as they went in at half-time trailing 18-0, and they were unable to make the Cowboys nervous down the stretch.

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott produced the best playoff performance of his career, completing 25 of his 33 passes for 305 yards, throwing four touchdowns and rushing for another, with no turnovers.

Things were far more difficult for Brady, who completed 35 of his personal playoff record 66 attempts for 351 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Brady, who this season set the new NFL record for pass attempts and completions in a regular season, will be 46 years old by the time the 2023 season begins.

He made no commitment one way or the other when asked about his future during his post-game media availability.

"I'm going to go home and get a good night's sleep – as good as I can tonight," Brady said. "This has been a lot of focus on this game, so it will be just one day at a time, truly."

Brady went on to discuss why he felt the Cowboys deserved the result, and the pain of falling short.

"It's always tough, but we didn't earn it, and they did," he said. "I think that there's a part of football where sometimes you get lucky, but most of the time the team that earns it, wins.

"They played good all year, they played good tonight, they played well as a team, they're very coordinated, they played well on offense, they played well defensively... we just couldn't get enough done offensively to put any pressure on them.

"There's lessons for all of us in every year of our life. You always want every year to end great, but unfortunately sport doesn't work that way. 

"There's 32 teams in the league, and they're all very competitive, and only one is going to feel really good at the end of the year. There's many teams that won [this weekend], and there's going to be seven of the eight that don't feel great at the end of the year.

"That's why it feels good to be on top, when you win it all – it's a great feeling."

Brady is now an unrestricted free agent, and will have his choice of potential destinations if he decides to play on in 2023.

The Dallas Cowboys are through to the Divisional round after manhandling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers en route to a 31-14 drubbing in Monday's Wild Card fixture.

In a completely one-sided beatdown, the Cowboys faced almost no adversity the entire game, jumping ahead by three scores in the first half before cruising to the finish.

It was the best playoff performance of quarterback Dak Prescott's career, finding Dalton Schultz for a touchdown in both the first and second quarter, and Prescott also rushed for a touchdown to open up an 18-0 lead at the long break.

The only issue for the Cowboys was the performance of their kicker, as Brett Maher became the first player since 1976 to miss three extra points in the first half, and he missed another to begin the third period, marking five misses in a row dating back to Week 18.

But Dallas did not need the extra points, and sent Maher out once more following Prescott's fourth touchdown pass of the game, when he finally converted.

Prescott ended up completing 25 of his 33 passes for 305 yards, four touchdowns and no turnovers, adding a fifth touchdown with his legs as he tallied seven carries for 24 yards.

Tom Brady, who broke the NFL pass attempts and completions record this season, was again asked to sling it and he completed 35 of his 66 passes for 351 yards, two late touchdowns and one interception in what could be the final game of his legendary career.

The Cowboys will travel to face the San Francisco 49ers next for a chance to make the NFC Championship game.

The Dallas Cowboys headed into Week 18 still in contention for the number one seed in the NFC, but a desperate display from quarterback Dak Prescott saw them instead end the regular season on a bum note.

Although wins for the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers elsewhere meant the Cowboys would have finished as the fifth seed regardless, any optimism and momentum built up over the second half of the season was sapped by a stunning loss to the Washington Commanders.

The Commanders, already eliminated from the playoff race, crushed the Cowboys 26-6, helped by the worst performance of Prescott's career.

His completion percentage of 37.8 (14 of 37) was a career low, as was a yards-per-attempt average of 3.46. Only twice had the QB previously dipped below his Week 18 passer rating of 45.8.

"There's a lot we can learn from and get better and use this tape," said Prescott afterwards, and past experience at least suggests that is likely.

On the previous four occasions Prescott has completed under half of his passes in a game, he has guided Dallas to a win in his next outing. Across those four subsequent games, Prescott has completed 80.7 per cent of his passes for six touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Cowboys have won by 22.3 points on average.

A repeat against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round would represent a significant turnaround from the start of this season, however.

Prior to the Commanders game, Week 1 against the Buccaneers – a 19-3 loss – saw the most recent example of Prescott's pass completion dipping alarmingly, completing 14 of 29 attempts for 48.3 per cent.

On that occasion, a thumb injury ruled him out of the end of the game and then a chunk of the season before he was able to respond on his return.

The Cowboys went 8-2 over Prescott's next 10 starts, with both defeats coming in overtime. Dallas scored 351 points across that period, the highest-scoring 10-game span in team history.

Between Weeks 7 and 17, Prescott's 71.0 per cent pass completion led all QBs with 100 or more attempts. As only Patrick Mahomes (23) topped his 22 TD passes, the two-time Pro Bowler led the way for TD percentage (6.7).

But the Cowboys remained reluctant to rely too heavily on Prescott, running passing plays only 53.5 per cent of the time over this stretch – the sixth-lowest rate in the NFL.

This reluctance was understandable, too, given the clear warning signs ahead of that Washington game. Even without the ball regularly in his hands, Prescott threatened to derail his team.

His 13 interceptions were also a league high over those 11 weeks, meaning a pick six against the Commanders saw him end the year tied for the lead for picks (15) and pick sixes (three). Prescott played only 12 games to co-leader Davis Mills' 15.

Now, heading into the playoffs, Prescott is on a run of seven straight games with at least one interception. It is the longest such streak of 2022, while only five players have endured worse runs since he entered the league in 2016.

Prescott's careless aggression was already prompting murmurs from Jerry Jones before a Week 18 in which he averaged 10.9 air yards per attempt, up on his season mark of 8.2 air yards per attempt to that point.

He at least retains Jones' support heading into the playoffs, but the Cowboys owner will now want to see some return on a contract that pays Prescott $40million a year – in line with the deal signed by last season's Super Bowl-winning QB Matthew Stafford.

To this point, Prescott's playoff experience is made up of only four games and a single win.

In that regard, he stands at odds with his opponent this week. Tom Brady may have been unconvincing this year, too, with his 25 pickable passes third in the NFL, but he is the master when it comes to the playoffs.

Brady's 13,049 postseason passing yards dwarf not only Prescott's total (1,048) but that of every other playoff QB combined. The 13 other projected starters have a total of 9,184 playoff career passing yards.

The Buccaneers have looked likely to be accommodating postseason opponents for much of this year; they limped to the NFC South title at 8-9 and rank 17th by Stats Perform's efficiency versus expected model, with the 12-5 Cowboys seventh in EVE. There should be a clear favourite in this matchup.

But Brady has spent his entire career delivering in big moments, whereas Prescott crumbled last week.

The Cowboys may only ask their QB not to single-handedly cost them this game, yet Prescott still must prove even that is not beyond him.

Dak Prescott was just glad to get the job done as the Dallas Cowboys kept alive their hopes of winning the NFC East division with a 27-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium.

The Cowboys improved to a 12-4 record after capitalising on a series of penalties to lead from start to finish, leaving them hot on the trail of the 13-2 Philadelphia Eagles in their division.

Mike McCarthy's team must now defeat the Washington Commanders in the final game and hope the Eagles lose both of their remaining two to claim top spot.

Prescott threw both touchdown passes for Dalton Schultz, but also stretched his run to six games with an interception, giving up two in the second quarter as the Titans rallied to 10-6 at half-time with two Randy Bullock field goals.

"A win's a win, and we're going to take it and we're going to get better from the mistakes and make sure that we're improving," said Prescott.

"But a road win, short week, you've got to take them all. And style points and all that, that's for all of you who think games are won on paper."

Asked about the preparations required for the Cowboys' potentially pivotal clash with the Commanders, Prescott added: "Obviously get the rest we need, get our bodies back underneath us and then mentally understanding what's to come.

"Take a couple of days or two and get away from it, but know when we come back we've got to finish this season off on the right foot and we've got a long, long run ahead of us that we know we're capable of making."

Prescott completed 29 of 41 attempts for 282 yards with two TDs and two interceptions, tying Troy Aikman with 165 passing TDs for second most in franchise history.

While McCarthy recognised some shortcomings in the team's performance, much like Prescott he was just content to put another win on the board, particularly with a growing injury list.

"I'm in tune with the injuries and all the things that are going on," he said. "All the little stuff. Yeah, it wasn't clean. This was not a clean performance. We recognise that. I'm not disputing that at all.

"But I do know my football team. I know that they came out of a hard victory on Sunday and took a little longer to get their bodies back.

"That's what Thursday night football is. It's a tough challenge. But the most important thing is we answered the bell and we got it done."

Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes as the Dallas Cowboys kept alive their hopes of winning the NFC East division with a 27-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on Thursday.

The Cowboys capitalised on a series of penalties to lead from start to finish and improve to a 12-4 record, behind the 13-2 Philadelphia Eagles in their division. Dallas need to win their final game against the Washington Commanders and hope the Eagles lose both of their remaining two to top the NFC East.

Prescott threw both TD passes for Dalton Schultz, although he also extended his run to six games with an interception, giving up two in the second quarter as the Titans rallied to 10-6 at half-time with two Randy Bullock field goals.

Ezekiel Elliott, who ran 37 yards on 19 carries, rushed in the game's opening touchdown in the first quarter, extending his run of TDs to nine straight games. CeeDee Lamb brought up 100 yards across 11 receptions.

The Titans slump to their sixth straight loss but remain in playoffs contention at 7-9, with victory next week against the Jacksonville Jaguars to determine the winner of the AFC South.

Titans QB Joshua Dobbs, making his first career start, made 20 of 39 passes for 232 yards with one touchdown, for Robert Woods, and one interception. Prescott completed 29 of 41 attempts for 282 yards with two TDs and two interceptions, tying Troy Aikman with 165 passing TDs for second most in franchise history.

Prescott found Schultz to make it 17-6 in the third quarter after a penalty on third-and-19 against Tre Avery for pass interference on Michael Gallup led to a 51-yard gain, with the Cowboys scoring on the next play. Monty Rice was penalised for roughing the passer on a second-and-10, leading to Schultz's second TD.

Despite playing without their starting quarterback, the Philadelphia Eagles put up a strong fight on the road against the Dallas Cowboys before ultimately going down 40-34.

Entering the contest at 13-1, the Eagles were missing Jalen Hurts for the first time this season, meaning backup Gardner Minshew would run the show.

One of the more capable backups in the league, Minshew played well, rushing for a touchdown in the first half before throwing one to begin the third quarter to put his side ahead 27-17. The Cowboys fought back to tie things up, but Minshew was not done, tossing his second touchdown of the game to pull ahead 34-27 early in the fourth.

However, Dallas had too much firepower down the stretch, highlighted by receiver CeeDee Lamb's big outing.

Lamb scored the Cowboys' only touchdown in the first half, and he struck again with his side trailing in the last quarter, tying the game at 34-34 to cap a 12-catch, 120-yard performance.

Dallas finally stuck their noses back in front when Brett Maher converted a 26-yard field goal with 2:19 remaining on the clock, leaving the Eagles with plenty of time to mount a game-winning drive, but it ended abruptly after Miles Sanders' fumble on the very first play.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott completed 27 of his 35 passes for 347 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, while his counterpart Minshew was 24-of-40 for two scores and two picks.

With the win, Dallas improved their record to 11-4 and secured their place in the playoffs, although they will need the Eagles (13-2) to lose their last two for any chance at stealing the division.

Bosa, Kittle lead eighth consecutive 49ers victory

The San Francisco 49ers (11-4) remain the hottest team in the NFL after rattling off their eighth straight win, defeating the Washington Commanders 37-20.

It continues rookie quarterback Brock Purdy's dream start to his career, with four wins from his first four starts since Jimmy Garoppolo's injury. He completed 15 of his 22 passes for 234 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, but the stars of the game were tight end George Kittle and pass-rusher Nick Bosa.

Kittle – who had only four touchdowns for the season prior to last week's game – now has four touchdowns in the past two weeks, following up a 93-yard, two touchdown performance with Saturday's 120-yard, two-touchdown showing.

Meanwhile, Defensive Player of the Year favourite Nick Bosa sacked Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke twice, taking his league-leading sack total to 17.5 in 14 games.

The Philadelphia Eagles may have already won the NFC East and will enter Week 16 without quarterback Jalen Hurts, but a clash with the Dallas Cowboys remains the standout game on the slate.

While the Cowboys' attempts to stick with the Eagles this year were hampered by their road form, Dallas are strong at home and will hope to send a warning to their division rivals ahead of a playoff campaign in which both teams will hope to feature prominently.

Elsewhere, the Kansas City Chiefs have work to do still as they aim, like the Eagles, to secure a bye with the number one seed in the AFC.

But it is not all about the NFL's leading lights, with the battle for position ahead of the postseason ongoing – with a big game in store in Charlotte.

Stats Perform picks out the key facts ahead of a busy Christmas weekend...

Philadelphia Eagles (13-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (10-4)

In beating the Chicago Bears last week, the Eagles secured a 13th win in a single season for only the third time in franchise history. On the two previous occasions, Philly finished with a 13-3 record and reached the Super Bowl, losing to the New England Patriots in the 2004 season and beating the same team in 2017.

The Eagles have never won 14 games in a regular season and will be without injured QB Hurts as they aim to end a four-game losing streak in Dallas.

But the Cowboys are coming into this big home game on a downer, having blown a 17-point lead against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week for their first loss in five.

That game also again showed big QB performances can sometimes prove immaterial, with Dak Prescott throwing for 256 yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys are 1-2 this season when Prescott has thrown three or more TD passes and only 7-6 since 2020. Prior to that, they were 13-3 in such games.

Seattle Seahawks (7-7) @ Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)

Patrick Mahomes and Geno Smith each earned Pro Bowl selections this week – a fifth for Mahomes but only a first for Smith. Both were well deserved, with the pair third and second respectively for passer rating among qualifying players this year (Smith, 105.3, and Mahomes, 105.0).

However, Mahomes will look to do something he has never done before on Saturday: beat the Seahawks. Having lost 38-31 to Seattle in his only previous such clash in 2018, they are one of just two teams Mahomes has played but never beaten (also 0-2 against the Indianapolis Colts).

Smith, who has never faced the Chiefs, leads the NFC with 26 touchdown passes as he aims to follow Russell Wilson (2017 and 2018) and Matt Hasselbeck (2005) as the only Seahawks to lead the conference across a season. However, with eight interceptions and four fumbles lost by Smith, Seattle are the sole team in the league to have committed a turnover in every game this year.

Detroit Lions (7-7) @ Carolina Panthers (5-9)

The Lions' stunning 6-1 run, including an active three-game winning streak, has them firmly in playoff contention in the NFC. The last time they won six out of seven games in a single season, back in 2016, was also the last time they made the postseason.

However, the Lions have a miserable history against the Panthers. Their 3-7 record in this matchup is their worst against any current NFC franchise, while Detroit are 0-5 on the road against the Panthers since winning on their first trip in 1999.

With Jared Goff in the best form of his career, the Lions will hope to snap that streak. He has gone six games without an interception, which ties the longest such streak by a Lions QB since the statistic was first tracked in 1960. Goff had never previously gone more than three games without throwing a pick.


The Bears this week face the Buffalo Bills, the only team in the Super Bowl era to have lost more consecutive games with 125 or more rushing yards in each loss. Chicago have lost seven in a row, but the 1976 Bills were defeated in 10. With 2,616 rushing yards but a 3-11 record, the Bears are on course to become the first team to lead the league in rushing yards yet have one of the worst two records since the 1932 Staten Island Stapletons.

Recent history suggests the Minnesota Vikings will follow up last week's record-breaking comeback against the Colts with another win over the New York Giants. The Vikings' 7-2 record against the Giants since 2005 is their best against NFC opposition and New York's worst.

The Patriots will have to upset the Cincinnati Bengals to get their playoff bid back on track, yet they have won their past seven home games in this matchup, including the last four while scoring at least 35 points. The last team to win five in a row at home to any one team while scoring 35 points or more were the San Francisco 49ers against the Atlanta Falcons between 1992 and 1996.

Tua Tagovailoa will be relieved this week's game against the Green Bay Packers is in Miami and not Wisconsin. Following last week's defeat to Buffalo, the Dolphins QB is 0-4 in starts when the weather is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit; he is 17-7 when the temperature is at least 50 degrees.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott knows the NFC top seed may be out of reach but wants his side to "make a statement" against the 13-1 Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday.

The Eagles sit atop the NFC East ahead of the Cowboys, with a 10-4 record, with the Minnesota Vikings (11-3) and the San Francisco 49ers (10-4) among the only other contenders for the NFC top seed with three games to play. Dallas must beat Philadelphia to remain in contention to usurp them.

The Cowboys, who are assured of a playoffs spot, allowed a season-high 40 points in their loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15 and Prescott was eager to see a response against a fellow contender.

"If anything, it's about making a statement to ourselves," Prescott told reporters.

"It's about, as you look at the season, we've had some games where we played really well and some games where we bit ourselves in the foot and had some games where we didn't and we lost.

"This is about putting our best foot forward, putting our best effort out there and proving it to ourselves in all three phases that we're a hell of a team and we can go get it done against one of the best teams in the league whether they're in our division or not."

The Eagles beat the Cowboys 26-17 in October at Lincoln Financial Field when Prescott did not play due to a thumb injury. Dallas have gone 6-2 since Prescott's return.

"I think everybody in this locker room is looking forward to this rematch in that sense," Prescott said.

"When you play a team that's a division rival, understanding the long history that comes with these two teams, understanding that they're playing their asses off. They're having a hell of a season.

"For them to be in our division and that they control the destiny in winning the division right now, yeah, you just want to get in and get another shot and make sure you put your best foot forward in doing so."

The Eagles may be without QB Jalen Hurts after he hurt his throwing shoulder late in the third quarter of their 25-20 win over the Chicago Bears.

The Dallas Cowboys were the biggest favourites on Sunday, but they needed a touchdown drive in the final minute to defeat the Houston Texans 27-23.

Dallas entered the game at 9-3, coming off a 54-19 pounding of the Indianapolis Colts, while the Texans were 1-10-1 and coasting towards the number one pick in the NFL Draft.

The Cowboys entered the game as 17-point favourites, but the game did not follow the script, with Houston hanging 20 points on one of the league's best defenses in just the first half.

They did it with a touchdown run from rookie Dameon Pierce, before backup quarterback Jeff Driskel came in and threw a 28-yard score to Amari Rodgers, and a pair of Ka'imi Fairbairn field goals gave them a 20-17 lead at the break.

Tony Pollard had both of the Cowboys' first-half trips to the end zone – one through the air and one on the ground – before the second half turned into a defensive struggle, with no touchdowns until the final 46 seconds.

Trailing by three, the Cowboys got the ball back on the two-yard line with 3:20 on the clock, marching 98 yards down the field in 11 plays, culminating in a two-yard, game-winning rushing touchdown from Ezekiel Elliott to spare his side any embarrassment.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott ended up completing 24 of his 39 passes for 284 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, while receiver Chris Moore was a standout for the Texans with 10 catches for 124 yards.

Eagles run up the score

The Philadelphia Eagles showed no mercy on their way to a dominant 48-22 demolition of the New York Giants, improving their league-best record to 12-1.

All of the Eagles' offensive stars got in on the act, starting with potential MVP Jalen Hurts, who threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns, while adding a rushing touchdown with his seven carries for 77 yards.

Running back Miles Sanders racked up 144 yards and two touchdowns from his 17 carries, while their two top receivers – A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith – were on the receiving end of both of Hurts' touchdown passes.

The Eagles' defense also collected seven sacks, with three to Brandon Graham, to leave the Giants (7-4-1) with three losses and a tie from their past four outings.

Lions keep their playoff hopes alive

The Detroit Lions have now won five of their past six after defeating the NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings 34-23.

Jared Goff played arguably his best game of the season, taking no sacks and committing no turnovers while passing for 330 yards and three touchdowns, with D.J. Chark enjoying a terrific day on the outside for 94 yards and a touchdown from his six catches.

It was a day to remember for first-round draft pick Jameson Williams, as the first catch of his NFL career went for a 41-yard touchdown, having only made his debut last week after beginning the season with a torn ACL.

The Lions are now 6-7, and are well and truly in the NFC wildcard hunt, only one game off the pace.

The Dallas Cowboys' defense woke up in the second half to run away with a 54-19 home win against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, led by former Colts safety Malik Hooker.

The win improved the Cowboys' record to 9-3, good enough for third in the NFC, trailing only the Philadelphia Eagles (11-1) and the Minnesota Vikings (10-2) in the race for the one seed.

It was the Colts leading early, with Matt Ryan's 14-yard touchdown pass to Ashton Dulin giving them a 10-7 lead at quarter-time after their opening field goal was answered by a CeeDee Lamb touchdown catch for the Cowboys.

Tony Pollard put the Cowboys back in front when he forced his way into the endzone from the two-yard line, before Hooker seized full control of the game when he intercepted Ryan with one minute remaining in the first half, allowing the Cowboys to add another touchdown ahead of the break.

Michael Gallup was the recipient of that score in the final seconds of the half, and after an Alec Pierce touchdown cut the Cowboys' lead to 21-19, Gallup snagged his second of the game for some breathing room.

Things would go from bad-to-worse from there for the Colts as their next four drives resulted in turnovers.

Hooker added a fumble recovery and defensive touchdown to his big day, and the next two drives would both end in interceptions by fifth-round rookie DaRon Bland, icing the game and setting up some garbage-time stat-padding.

Dak Prescott completed 20 of his 30 passes for 170 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, while Pollard rushed 12 times for 91 yards and two scores, and Ezekiel Elliott added 17 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown of his own.

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