Prescott, Cowboys push past Seahawks for 24-22 wild-card win

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Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scores a touchdown in front of Dallas Cowboys safety Jeff Heath (38) and defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (90) during the third quarter in an NFL Wild Card playoff game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. The Cowboys advanced, 24-22. (Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott saw an opening up the middle, then three defenders between him and the first down.

The Dallas quarterback found a way to get there, and get his first playoff victory two years after a sensational rookie season ended in disappointment.

Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 137 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, Prescott scored on a sneak after his dazzling head-over-heels run and the Cowboys hung on for a 24-22 wild-card win over the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night.

The win for the Cowboys (11-6) was the first for Elliott and Prescott after losing a divisional game in their playoff debut as first-year stars two years ago. Dallas will play at either New Orleans or the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round next weekend.

“It’s really just a chance to keep going on, simple as that,” Prescott said. “Me and this whole team, we want to win it all. You can’t do that without taking care of the first one. A lot of excitement, but my goal is bigger than just one playoff win.”

The loss ended a run of nine straight victories in playoff openers for the Seahawks (10-7). The Elias Sports Bureau says it was the longest streak in NFL history.

Leading 17-14, Prescott faced third-and-14 from the Seattle 17 with the 2-minute warning approaching. He took off up the middle on a QB draw, barged through a trio of defenders 6 yards short of the first and went down at the 1 when he was flipped head-first by Tedric Thompson.

Prescott, who also had an 11-yard scoring pass to Michael Gallup in the first half, scored on the next play in the eighth win in nine games for the Cowboys.

“He’s just a rare guy,” coach Jason Garrett said. “His leadership, his toughness, just his way, his spirit. It’s like none other. Somehow, some way, he’s going to figure this thing out for us.”

Dallas’ defense, ranked in the top 10 most of the season, stifled the NFL’s No. 1 rushing offense and mostly kept quarterback Russell Wilson under control and handed him his first loss in four wild-card games.

The Seahawks had finished the regular season with six wins in seven games to secure Wilson’s sixth playoff trip in seven years despite a roster overhaul and 0-2 start.

“This has been a special, special year,” Wilson said. “Just the growth of our team, the men in the locker room, just the way that we’ve played together, just eliminating the doubters and the things that people thought that we could only do.”

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