Andy Dalton passed for a season-high 377 yards and three touchdowns and kept the Dallas Cowboys’ playoff pulse beating with a 37-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.
Thanks to Carolina’s win Sunday against the Washington Football Team, the NFC East race comes down to the final weekend.
Dallas (6-9) won its third straight game and can secure the division’s playoff berth with a victory next Sunday at the New York Giants (5-10), coupled with a loss or tie by Washington (6-9) in Philadelphia. Washington swept the Cowboys this season and owns the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Dalton completed 22 of 30 passes with one interception. Michael Gallup had six catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns (all in the first half) and Amari Cooper had 121 yards on four receptions. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 105 yards on 19 carries.
The Eagles (4-10-1) were finally eliminated from the playoff picture after suffering their sixth loss in seven games. Rookie Jalen Hurts, making his third start, passed for 342 yards and one touchdown and ran for 69 yards.
Dallas outscored Philly by a 34-3 margin over the last three quarters.
Dalton’s 52-yard TD pass to rookie CeeDee Lamb on the opening drive of the second half stretched the Cowboys’ lead to 27-17.
Cooper’s 69-yard catch set up a 21-yard Greg Zuerlein field goal for a 30-17 lead midway through the third quarter, and Lamb’s 19-yard touchdown run with 1:53 left provided the only points of the fourth quarter.
The Eagles’ seven second-half possessions ended with three punts, a turnover on downs and three turnovers by Hurts (two interceptions and a fumble).
Philadelphia began the game with an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Miles Sanders’ 4-yard run with nine minutes left (plus Jake Elliott’s extra point) made it 440 points surrendered by the Cowboys this season, breaking the franchise record of 436 in 2010.
After a 35-yard field goal by Zuerlein, the record books got another update.
DeSean Jackson hauled in an 81-yard touchdown from Hurts to put the Eagles up 14-3. It was the fifth career TD catch of 80-plus yards for Jackson, tying the NFL record shared by Derrick Alexander, Lance Alworth, Bob Hayes and Jerry Rice.
The second quarter was the Dalton-Gallup show as Dallas stormed to a 20-17 lead at intermission.
The Cowboys scored the first 10 points of the period on Dalton’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Gallup and a 20-yard field goal by Zuerlein, which was set up by Gallup’s 55-yard grab.
Following Elliott’s 38-yard field goal, Dallas capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive with a 7-yard strike from Dalton to Gallup with 12 seconds left in the half.