Sun Dec 22 7:58pm ET
By DAN GELSTON
AP Sports Writer
Philadelphia Eagles' Vinny Curry (75) pulls down Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Philadelphia Eagles' Boston Scott (35) jumps over Dallas Cowboys' C.J. Goodwin during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills, left, tries to stop Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox (29) brings down Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup, right, catches a pass as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills defends during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Dallas Cowboys kicker Kai Forbath (3) follows the flight of the ball after booting a field goal during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Philadelphia Eagles' Nigel Bradham (53) tries to stop Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Philadelphia Eagles' Dallas Goedert celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Eagles cornerback Sidney Jones broke up Dak Prescott's fourth-down pass to wide receiver Michael Gallup in the end zone with 1:15 left in the game, and Philadelphia denied Dallas a division crown in a 17-9 win on Sunday.
The Cowboys (7-8) would have clinched their second straight NFC East title with a win in Philadelphia. And, they would have eliminated the Eagles (8-7). The Eagles are still in the hunt, and need to win their final game next week against the Giants to clinch the East. The Cowboys can still win the East with a win next week against Washington and an Eagles loss to the Giants.
The difference between a division title and missing the playoffs could determine the fate of Dallas coach Jason Garrett.
Playing with a sore right shoulder, Prescott attacked the Eagles cornerbacks on the final drive and had Dallas in position to possibly tie the game until Jones made the clutch stop.
Carson Wentz was 31 for 40 for 319 yards and a touchdown, and Miles Saunders ran for a score to keep the Eagles' playoff hopes alive.
Prescott finished 25 for 44 for 265 yards. Two-time rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott, who had averaged 114.8 yards rushing in five games against the Eagles, was held to 47 yards.
Wentz gave the Eagles needed breathing room when he hit former college quarterback Greg Ward for 24 yards and Miles Sanders scored on a 1-yard run on the final play of the third quarter for a 17-3 lead.
This was the game Wentz needed to win. He tried to rally the Eagles with a pep talk in the tunnel before they hit the field for perhaps the biggest game of the 26-year-old QB's career.
''We are built for this moment,'' Wentz said. ''Play with so much confidence, so much swagger, that everyone in the stadium can feel you. Believe in yourself, believe in the guy next to you and let's go ball out for 60 minutes.''
Perhaps fueled by the emotional edict, Wentz came out connecting on almost every pass, and a maligned wide receiver group that suffered a season-long case of the drops suddenly made plays.
Wentz hit JJ Arcega-Whiteside - whose late-game drop cost them in a loss against Detroit - for 27 yards on the first play on a drive that ended with Jake Elliott's 36-yard field goal.
He ended the second drive with an 6-yard TD pass to Dallas Goedert that had Eagles fans going wild. The Linc was rocking, and as Wentz started 9 for 11 for 107 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles couldn't keep it going, stymied in part by a questionable call from coach Doug Pederson. Pederson called a timeout on a fourth-and-1 on the Dallas 33-yard line, thought about the call, and drew up a pass play out of the shotgun that was incomplete.
Dallas' Kai Forbath kicked field goals of 49 and 32 yards to keep the score a manageable 10-6 at halftime.
Pederson had Elliott try a 55-yarder early in the fourth that was no good and gave Dallas a short field that led to Forbath's 49-yarder that made it 17-9.
Cowboys: LB Leighton Vander Esch remained sidelined with a neck injury. Vander Esch missed his fifth straight game and there's no guarantee he'll return this season.
Eagles: TE Zach Ertz injured his ribs early in the game and was listed as questionable to return after a visit to the locker room. But Ertz, Philadelphia's leading receiver, got wrapped and returned to the lineup for the final drive of the first half. ... CB Ronald Darby left the game with a hip flexor and the other CB Jalen Mills also left with an injured ankle. Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones took their spots.
Prescott screamed ''defer!'' on the coin toss a week after miscommunication on the call caused NFL officials in New York to step in.
Cowboys: Host the Redskins on Sunday.
Eagles: At the New York Giants on Sunday.
Interview with a Champ
Ohio State star quarterback Justin Fields announced on Twitter his intentions to forego his remaining eligibility and enter the 2021 NFL draft. He is considered one of the nation's top prospects after leading the Buckeyes to the national championship game, where they fell to Alabama. Fields beat Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the semifinals by throwing six touchdowns despite suffering a hip pointer in the game. The 6-foot-3, 228-pounder was 20-2 in his time as the Ohio State starter while completing 68.4 percent of his passes and a 63:9 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his two seasons with the Buckeyes. Fields also ran for 867 yards (4.0 yards per carry) and 15 touchdowns. Lawrence is projected to go to the Jaguars at No. 1 overall, but the Jets could snag Fields with the No. 2 pick this April.
Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff's recent inconsistent play has left his status as the starting quarterback for the 2021 season in the air and may lead the team to bring in someone who can push him, according to comments made by the NFL Network's Steve Wyche. 'The people I've spoken to said basically at this moment the relationship with Goff and (head coach Sean) McVay: not great. They need marriage counseling is what one person said to me. I think this is something that they're going to be able to work through, but there's got to be some healing and that's not just with Jared Goff's injured thumb,' Wyche said.
Fantasy Spin: Goff was very good in McVay's first two seasons (2017 and 2018), but it would seem that once opponents figured out how to slow down Todd Gurley late during the second half of the 2018 campaign, Goff started to get exposed. It's also possible that the defections of Sammy Watkins and Brandin Cooks have given defenses less to worry about vertically or that he is feeling the pressure of playing under his four-year, $134 million contract that he signed in September of 2019. Whatever the reason(s), fantasy owners should expect him to compete for his job in camp this summer.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Deone Bucannon, DB Javon Hagan and OG Ted Larsen were restored to the practice squad Monday, Jan. 18.
Green Bay Packers DT Brian Price and DB KeiVarae Russell were restored to the practice squad Monday, Jan. 18.
Los Angeles Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant, Chicago Bears safeties coach Sean Desai and Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Raheem Morris are most likely candidates to replace Brandon Staley as the Rams' defensive coordinator, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. Rodrigue is reporting a decision to fill the vacancy could happen as soon as Tuesday, Jan. 19.
New England Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore has forced 37 incompletions since 2018 - tied for the second-highest total in the league - according to Pro Football Focus.
New York Giants CB James Bradberry has forced a league-high 42 incompletions since 2018, according to Pro Football Focus.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB Carlton Davis has forced 37 incompletions since 2018 - tied for the second-highest total in the league - according to Pro Football Focus.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Vita Vea (ankle) will return to practice this week, and the team hopes he will be available for the NFC Championship game.
Dallas Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford (foot) underwent surgery last week and showed his right foot in a cast after the surgery.
Denver Broncos impending free-agent S Justin Simmons is a player that head coach Vic Fangio wants to return next season.
The Baltimore Ravens will release veteran running back Mark Ingram II on Tuesday, according to league sources. The move will save the Ravens $5 million against the 2021 salary cap and will allow Ingram to get an early jump on free agency. Ingram was a healthy scratch in five of the team's final six games to close out the season, but he insists that he's healthy and has plenty to offer a team in 2021. The 31-year-old was a first-round pick out of Alabama back in 2011, but he's unlikely to be anything more than a backup if he lands with another team on the open market this offseason. J.K. Dobbins took over as Baltimore's lead back in the second half of the 2020 season, and Gus Edwards should continue spelling him next season. Ingram, a three-time Pro Bowler, had 72 carries for 299 yards (4.2 yards per attempt) and two touchdowns in 11 games (nine starts) in his second year in Baltimore.
Baltimore Ravens RB Mark Ingram has been informed that he will be released Tuesday, Jan. 19, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Ingram may not be able to find a starting job this offseason but can be part of a running back committee for a team. Fantasy players can monitor the situation because Ingram can have fantasy value depending on his situation.
Free-agent CB Davontae Harris (Ravens) may re-sign with the Baltimore Ravens this offseason.
The Baltimore Ravens waived quarterback Robert Griffin III, defensive back Davontae Harris, wide receiver De'Anthony Harris and defensive back Tramon Williams on Monday. Griffin played in four games in his third season with the Ravens and made a start in place of Lamar Jackson after he contracted COVID-19 in the Week 12 loss to the Steelers. RG3 went just 7-for-12 for 33 yards and an interception in that start, also running the ball seven times for an additional 20 yards. The No. 2 overall pick might've played in his last NFL game, but he could also return to the Ravens if he goes unclaimed on waiver. The 30-year-old started just two games in three years for Baltimore and declined after he was named a Pro Bowler in his rookie season with Washington.
Seattle Seahawks practice squad LB Ray-Ray Armstrong, OG Alex Boone, RB Alex Collins, RB Bo Scarbrough and TE Stephen Sullivan had their contracts expire Monday, Jan. 18.
Chicago Bears practice squad LB Devante Bond, QB Tyler Bray, OG Eric Kush, CB Sojourn Shelton, LB Manti Te'o and RB Spencer Ware had their contracts expire Monday, Jan. 18.
Pittsburgh Steelers CB Joe Haden was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 on Monday, Jan. 18.
Baltimore Ravens QB Robert Griffin III, DB Davontae Harris, WR De'Anthony Thomas and CB Tramon Williams were waived Monday, Jan. 18.
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said that the team will be careful with rookie running back A.J. Dillon (undisclosed), but he is hopeful that Dillon can play on Sunday against the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship game. Dillon left the fourth quarter of the win over the Rams in the Divisional Round on Saturday with an undisclosed injury. The 22-year-old ran the ball six times for 27 yards in the win over the Rams. Keep a close eye on his practice status throughout the week. If he's inactive against Tampa Bay, Jamaal Williams would be a much more attractive DFS sleeper behind Aaron Jones. Dillon dealt with injury and was on the COVID-19 list in his rookie season, but he could have a substantial role in Green Bay's backfield in 2021 if Jones leaves in free agency.