PHILADELPHIA – When Dak Prescott benched after his touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to Corey Clement on Saturday night, some of the Dallas Cowboys coaches continued to congratulate him.
“I thought they were saying congratulations on five touchdowns, to be honest,” Prescott said.
That may have been part of it, but Prescott set the Cowboys ‘record for touchdown passes of a season with his 8-yard throw to Clement in Dallas’ 51-26 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, eclipsing Tony’s mark. Romo, who had 36 touchdown passes in 2007.
“I think it’s an amazing year for a guy who was on a losing streak,” coach Mike McCarthy said bluntly. “He’s special. He’s a special man. He’s a tremendous leader. Hopefully he gets some recognition for how he plays the game on the field. He’s so consistent in his approach. What’s exciting is that we have a lot of growth ahead of us and he in Particular too. He’s still a young quarterback with a lot of great football ahead of him. “
In a three-game stretch from Weeks 13-15, Prescott totaled just three touchdown passes and had three interceptions, although the Cowboys won all three games.
Entering on Saturday, Prescott, whose previous season’s high of 30 touchdowns in 2019, knew he had a chance to hit Romo’s mark, “but that’s not something I really think about.” Prescott didn’t have the benefit of a 17th regular-season game to break the mark because he missed the Oct. 31 game against the Minnesota Vikings with a calf strain.
For the second time in three games, Prescott threw four touchdown passes in the first half. He had four in a 56-14 victory against the Washington Football Team on December 26. His first touchdown, a 14-yard touchdown for Cedrick Wilson, came on the Cowboys’ first possession.
In the second quarter, Prescott gave the Cowboys the final lead with a 24-yard touchdown to Wilson. He closed the first half with two touchdown passes to tight end Dalton Schultz (2 yards, 9 yards) in the final 1:45 to give the Cowboys a 30-17 lead to match Romo’s mark.
“I mean, if I weren’t in [a slump]I think I could have done it a while ago, “Prescott said.” But, yeah, I mean it’s pretty good. It’s great to get a record like that. I mean, obviously, who has come before me and who played the position here before me. I’m the beneficiary of a lot of hard work, plays, protecting the offensive line, and a bunch of different guys making plays. “
In 2019, Prescott came within one yard of breaking Romo’s record for passing yards in a season at 4,902, and coaches knew early in the third quarter that he needed one more touchdown pass to break Romo’s TD record.
He was able to throw the pitch he needed, a pass to the ground to Clement, a former Eagle, on the Cowboys’ second possession of the second half, and his night ended, finishing with 295 yards on 21 of 27 passes.
It is the 11th time in franchise history that a quarterback has had five touchdown passes in one game. Romo last had five touchdown passes in a game on October 6, 2013, against the Denver Broncos. Don Meredith had three five-touchdown games, while Romo and Craig Morton did it twice.
Prescott has three games with at least four touchdown passes this season and seven in his career.
Perhaps most importantly, the Cowboys offense was able to show some life in a road game, even if it faced an Eagles defense that didn’t have multiple starters. The Cowboys had gone five straight road games without scoring more than 27 points as the offense came to a lull after Prescott’s calf strain.
Wilson finished with 119 yards on five carries in addition to his two touchdowns. Amari Cooper caught five passes for 79 yards and CeeDee Lamb had 45 yards on two receptions, including a 31-yard catch in which she bounced off three tacklers.
Ezekiel Elliott finished with 87 yards on 18 carries to give him 1,002 yards for the season after playing most of the year with a right knee injury. Elliott hadn’t had more than 52 yards in any of his last 10 games.
The Cowboys finished the season with a franchise record of 530 points scored by an NFL-record 22 different players, with Clement and undrafted rookie JaQuan Hardy joining the mix on Saturday.
The Cowboys are 12-5 and undefeated in the NFC East (6-0) and can finish as high as the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and as low as No. 4. To climb to the second seed, they need Tampa. Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals will lose. To be the No. 3 seed, they would need the Rams and Cardinals to lose to the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.
Regardless, they know they will have at least one playoff game at AT&T Stadium.
“They are good records,” McCarthy said. “I think those are things when you sit down at the end of the trip, you look back and say, ‘Man, that was a fantastic year,’ and you look at those moments. But we see this as the starting line. We. ” put in position. Our goal is to always be in the tournament, so we’ll see exactly where we end up [Sunday night]And most importantly, it is difficult to get to this place. It is difficult to win 12 games. But the most important thing is that we seize this opportunity. “