The mission for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday was simple: get backup quarterback Tony Romo some playing time and stay healthy.
Rookie sensation Dak Prescott got the start, played two series and led the Cowboys to a field goal in the second quarter of Sunday’s meaningless preseason final against the Philadelphia Eagles, which is tied 10-10 at halftime.
Prescott then went and stood on the sideline with the rest of the healthy starters who didn’t even take the field, like running back Ezekiel Elliott and linebacker Sean Lee in hopes of avoiding injury before the playoffs.
With the best record in the NFC, the Cowboys (13-2) already have secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, the NFC East title and a first-round bye.
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So Sunday’s intrigue surrounded Romo playing in a game for first time since Thanksgiving of 2015.
And the Cowboys all-time leading passer, who lost his starting job to Prescott when he suffered a broken bone in his back in the preseason and missed the first nine games of the season, didn’t disappoint.
Romo promptly led the Cowboys on a six-play, 81-yard scoring drive.
The only pass he missed was the first one to wide receiver Terrance Williams, a deep pass on his firs snap.
He completed his next three passes, including a 3-yard touchdown Williams.
And Romo showed it all.
He zipped to pass to Williams on third and 11 for 15 yards
He threw a short pass to running back Darren McFadden, who turned it up for 11 yards.
Then a deep ball to receiver Dez Bryant drew a pass interference penalty on cornerback Nolan Carroll.
On first and goal from the 3, Romo found Williams in the left corner of the end zone.
He completed three of four passes for 29 yards and a touchdown.
And with that, Romo’s day was done, as was the day for Bryant and tight end Jason Witten.
Third quarterback Mark Sanchez replaced Romo on the third drive.
Sanchez was promptly intercepted by Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks, who played in college at Texas.
He was intercepted a second time, again by Hicks, that led to a Carson Wentz touchdown pass in the final seconds to tie the game at 10-10 at halftime.
Ironically, if the Cowboys win, it would be beneficial to Romo and Prescott.
Romo would have led the Cowboys to the deciding points, but Prescott would get credit for a NFL-record 14thwin of season.
Prescott is currently tied with Ben Roethlisberger for the most wins ever by a rookie.
A 14th win would also be a Cowboys franchise record.