Rookie stars Prescott, Elliott carry Cowboys into playoffs
OFFENSE — OVERALL (5), RUSH (2), PASS (23)
DEFENSE — OVERALL (14), RUSH (1), PASS (26)
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICAL LEADERS
PASSING — Dak Prescott 3,667 yards, 23 TDs, 4 INT
RUSHING — Ezekiel Elliott 1,631 yards, 15 TDs
RECEIVING — Cole Beasley 75 catches, 833 yards, 5 TDs; Dez Bryant 50, 796, 8
INTERCEPTIONS — Barry Church 2
SACKS — Benson Mayowa 6, Maliek Collins 5, Tyrone Crawford 4 1/2
Prescott led two 75-yard touchdown drives in fourth quarter with Cowboys trailing by one point each time in 35-30 win at Pittsburgh, eighth straight for Dallas. It erased any doubt whether rookie who replaced 10-year starter Tony Romo would keep job when Romo was ready to come back from preseason back injury.
Worst game of Prescott’s first season came in 10-7 loss at New York Giants, which ended franchise-record 11-game winning streak. He had only two-interception game and season-low 45.4 passer rating as Cowboys wasted perhaps best defensive game of season.
THEY CAN WIN IT ALL IF ...
Rookie sensations Prescott and Elliott keep offense rolling behind one of NFL’s best lines and defense can keep pressure on quarterback without elite pass rusher. Cowboys, with home-field advantage as top seed in NFC, have been adequate defensively with pass rush by committee.
THEY CAN LOSE THEIR FIRST GAME IF ...
Prescott and Elliott don’t respond to pressure of first NFL postseason experience and defense is forced to slow one of NFC’s elite passers with secondary that has produced few interceptions past two seasons. Dallas hasn’t had cornerback with more than two interceptions since 2013.
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