The Cowboys were 98 yards from their worst loss since 1995.
ESPN’s Football Power Index projected them a 34% probability of winning with 3:20 left, up from 13% after Dak Prescott’s second interception gave Houston the ball at the Dallas 4 with 5:37 left and a 23-20 lead.
The Cowboys beat the Texans 27-23 on Sunday.
On Nov. 20, the Cowboys trounced the Minnesota Vikings 40-3. They scored 33 fourth-quarter points to beat the Colts last week.
Houston shouldn’t be that hard.
“Anytime you can live through it and have a great result, you’re better,” Jerry Jones remarked.
Prescott thinks this win over the 1-11-1 Texans may be big.
“This will benefit us more than the Minnesota game or how we concluded the last game,” he remarked. “You’ve got to play games like [this] in the tail end versus our division or in the playoffs for us to have confidence and faith in one another and tighten our bond.”
They don’t want to lose. In 1995, the Cowboys were 17.5-point favourites over 3-9 Washington but lost. This Cowboys club, a 17-point favourite against the Texans, nearly suffered a crippling setback.
“We can talk about all the stuff that didn’t go well, and I get it,” coach Mike McCarthy said, referring to two turnovers that led to 14 Houston points, a pass rush that didn’t record a sack for the first time this season, injuries, and a general malaise. We won the game in the fourth quarter today.
Prescott (24-of-39, 284 yards, 1 TD) rediscovered his groove to win.
Michael Gallup dropped his only pass on the game-winning drive. On the first drive, he completed a 21-yard pass to Dalton Schultz. He doubled 12 yards.
Ezekiel Elliott scored with 41 seconds left on the 11th play of the drive.
After his interception, Prescott informed the offence they’d win because he believed in the defence. Neville Gallimore and Anthony Barr swallowed Jeff Driskel on fourth down after he went the wrong way on the snap.
The attack began.
“I told them, ‘One play at a time, heighten the concentration,’ and that’s something that I’m continuously reminding the guys,” Prescott said. “I told them, ‘Hey, we’re going to win this game. Don’t blink,’ and they didn’t.
It was the Cowboys’ first 98-yard touchdown drive since Week 5 last season against the New York Giants.
The Cowboys are 10-3 for the first time since 1995-96. They can still win the NFC East, but they must beat the Eagles (11-1) on Christmas Eve and hope they lose another game.
Yet as much as they savour the win, they know they can’t survive this way.
All-Pro right guard Zack Martin agreed. “But I think these games are tremendous learning experiences. When your back is against the wall and you have to make a game-winning drive, that stuff pays off down the road. So definitely don’t want to be in that scenario again, but the fact we were and got it done is significant for our football team.”
Despite the win, the Cowboys worry right tackle Terence Steele incurred a significant injury to his left knee, according to several sources. Steele will undergo additional testing on Monday for an exact diagnosis; Jason Peters and Josh Ball will be counted on if Steele is sidelined for an extended amount of time.
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