JACKSONVILLE – The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars 40-34 in overtime on Sunday, but still clinched a playoff berth after the Washington Commanders lost 20-12 at home to the New York Giants.
The result marks Dallas’ first playoff appearance since 2006-07 and the first time the team will have the same coach (Mike McCarthy) leading it into the postseason. -back years from 1998-99 (Chan Gaili).
The loss to the Jaguars, however, makes their chances of winning the NFC East that much more difficult, as the 13-1 Philadelphia Eagles will now have to lose their final three games of the regular season.
“It’s about the momentum going into the postseason right now,” quarterback Dak Prescott said. “Of course we lost, but there was a lot of good in this game as well, so it’s got to keep pushing forward and understanding the men we have in this dressing room and understanding what we’ve done up to this point and the foundation we’ve laid and just keep going Let’s try and grow and get out of these mistakes.
“Whether it’s my interceptions or whatever it is, eliminate the bad, build on the good and build momentum going into the postseason.”
Sunday marked the second three-game stretch in 12 days for the Cowboys this season. They opened the first with an overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers, then beat the Minnesota Vikings and Giants.
After playing the Eagles on Christmas Eve, the Cowboys play at the Tennessee Titans on Dec. 29.
“I’m disappointed, but in the same breath we have a crazy schedule here. Not crazy, just different we’re dealing with,” McCarthy said. “We’ll look at it here on the buses and on the plane, and when we get off we’ll have to turn the page.”
There are a lot of things to fix after blowing a 17-point lead for the first time with Prescott at quarterback (30-1).
Prescott was sacked twice, including in overtime when safety Rayshon Jenkins returned an interception for the game-winning touchdown. Prescott has 11 interceptions in nine starts this season. Last year, he threw 10 interceptions on 596 pass attempts. His 11 picks this season, including eight in the past six games and at least one in four straight, have completed 281 passing yards.
“I take every loss on the chin,” Prescott said. “I think my job as a quarterback is to put us in positions to win and eliminate mistakes and potential opportunities that will allow them to score off turnovers. That’s what’s frustrating about it. whatever, they all suck. And in the end, I have to do a better job, and that’s there.”
The Cowboys’ defense gave up a season-high 34 points, recorded just one sack and lost leading rusher Leighton Vander Esch to a neck injury in the first quarter. Jacksonville rushed for 192 yards on 27 carries and Trevor Lawrence threw four touchdown passes. three to Zay Jones, whose father, Robert Jones, was the quarterback for the Cowboys’ Super Bowl teams of the 1990s.
“I’m not going to sit here and make excuses. I’m just saying we have to get better,” midfielder Micah Parsons said. “No excuses mentality. We need to fix our F ups and just go from there.”
It starts next week against the Eagles.
“We understand the pressure we’re putting on ourselves and you know we’re going to learn from it, get better,” DeMarcus Lawrence said. “We got three more regular season games. We just have to make sure we win them all.”