NFL·Recap

Elliott, Cowboys power past Seahawks for NFC wild-card win

Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 137 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, and the Dallas Cowboys hung on for a 24-22 wild-card win over the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night.

Running back scores go-ahead TD in 4th quarter to edge Seattle

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, left, rushed for 137 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown to beat the Seattle Seahawks 24-22 in the NFC wild-card game in Arlington, Texas on Saturday. (Ron Jenkins/The Associated Press)

Dak Prescott saw an opening up the middle, then three defenders between him and the first down.

The Dallas quarterback found a way to get there, and get his first playoff victory two years after a sensational rookie season ended in disappointment.

Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 137 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, Prescott scored on a sneak after his dazzling head-over-heels run and the Cowboys hung on for a 24-22 wild-card win over the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night.

The win for the Cowboys (11-6) was the first for Elliott and Prescott after losing a divisional game as first-year stars two years ago. Dallas will play either New Orleans or the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round next weekend.

The loss ended a run of nine straight victories in playoff openers for the Seahawks (10-7). The Elias Sports Bureau says it was the longest streak in NFL history.

Leading 17-14, Prescott faced third-and-14 from the Seattle 17 with the 2-minute warning approaching. He took off up the middle on a QB draw, barged through a trio of defenders six yards short of the first and went down at the 1 when he was flipped head-first by Tedric Thompson.

"He's just a rare guy," coach Jason Garrett said. "His leadership, his toughness, just his way, his spirit. It's like none other. Somehow, some way, he's going to figure this thing out for us."

Dallas' defence, ranked in the top 10 most of the season, stifled the NFL's No. 1 rushing offence and mostly kept quarterback Russell Wilson under control and handed him his first loss in four wild-card games.

"Our defense was great," Prescott said. "They keep us in every game."

Dallas on a roll

It was the eighth win in nine games for the Cowboys.

Prescott, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2016 when the Cowboys lost to Green Bay at home as the top seed in the NFC, threw for 226 yards, and his sneak for what appeared to be a clinching score because Dallas burned more than five minutes while taking 24-14 lead.

But Tyler Lockett's 53-yard catch set up a quick Seattle touchdown — Wilson's 7-yard scoring pass to J.D. McKissic. The Seahawks got within two on their second two-point conversion following an injury to Sebastian Janikowski.

The missing kicker left the Seahawks no good options on an onside kick with 1:18 remaining. Punter Michael Dickson's drop kick was caught by Cole Beasley at the Dallas 31, sealing the first playoff win for the Cowboys since beating Detroit in the wild-card round in the 2014 season.

Cowboys take control

After Wilson ran for four yards for a touchdown and Mike Davis' two-point conversion run put Seattle up 14-10 late in the third quarter, Prescott led a 67-yard drive to put the Cowboys back in front for good.

A 34-yard pass to Amari Cooper , who had seven catches for 106 yards, led to Elliott's one-yard plunge after an apparent touchdown by the quarterback was overturned on replay.

Prescott then had a chance to give the Cowboys a 10-point lead, but K.J. Wright made a juggling interception in the end zone.

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