The Seattle Seahawks had the NFL’s best rushing attack.
But the Dallas Cowboys had the league’s leading rusher.
Ezekiel Elliott, who rested last week in the regular-season finale, came up huge Saturday night to lead the Cowboys over the Seahawks 24-22 in an NFC wild card game at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys outrushed the Seahawks 164 to 73 yards. The Dallas defense held Seattle to three yards a carry.
Elliott rushed for 137 yards on 26 carries. He had 37 yards, including a huge, 17-yard run around the right edge with under four minutes to remaining set up the Cowboys’ game-icing score.
“Zeke is ready every week,” Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott said. “He said it was no fun sitting on the sideline last week and I knew he’d be on fire this week.”
Prescott scampered for 16 yards, flipping into the end zone, but had to punch it in from one yard a play later when replays showed he was shy of the goal line. That put the Cowboys up by 10.
The Seahawks made the Cowboys sweat after driving 75 yards on six plays for a touchdown and pulled within two after a two-point conversion with 1:18 remaining.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Cole Beasley recovered a botched onside kick and the Cowboys ran out the clock for the victory.
Elliott averaged 5.3 yards a carry and his 137 yards are his third-best rushing game this season. He also had four catches for 32 yards. His one-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter gave the Cowboys a 17-14 lead and capped a nine-play, 67-yard drive. He also had a 41-yard run on their second quarter touchdown drive.
Prescott rushed for 29 yards on six carries and a touchdown. That’s more rushing yards than Prescott had combined in the final five regular-season games.
The Cowboys advance to play on the road next week against either the New Orleans Saints or Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round.
“The crowd did their thing today,” Elliott said. “Cowboys nation came out. They changed the game themselves.”
The last time the Cowboys won two playoff games in the same season was January 1996, the year they won their last Super Bowl.
“It means a lot. The last playoff victory was what, before I was born,” Elliott joked.