The Philadelphia Eagles nearly got some help on Sunday from a one-win Houston Texans team.
But the Dallas Cowboys managed to avoid what would have been a deflating loss to their intrastate rival by taking the lead in the final minute of a 27-23 victory.
Not that the Eagles need much help these days anyway. They improved to 12-1 after defeating the New York Giants 48-22 to become the first NFL team this season to clinch a playoff berth and remain comfortably atop the NFC East.
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A Dallas loss would have simply moved them that much closer to officially clinching a division title.
Trailing 23-20 with 3:20 remaining, the Cowboys took over at their own two-yard line. Dak Prescott then orchestrated an 11-play, 98-yard drive, which included his crucial six-yard rush on third-and-1 from the Houston 46-yard line to extend the drive. Ezekiel Elliott capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown run with 41 seconds remaining to put the Cowboys in front.
A Hail Mary from midfield by Davis Mills in the closing seconds was intercepted in the end zone by Israel Mukuamu to give Dallas a 10-3 record.
Mills completed 16 of 21 passes for 175 yards and no touchdowns for the 1-11-1 Texans. His backup, Jeff Driskel, went 4-for-6 for 38 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown pass to Amari Rodgers that gave the Texans a 17-14 lead in the first half. After the game, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said both resembled a Hall of Fame quarterback.
Dallas is now tied for the second-best record in the NFC with the Minnesota Vikings, who lost 34-23 to the Detroit Lions. In the NFC East, the Cowboys sit ahead of the Washington Commanders and New York Giants, both at 7-5-1.
The Cowboys are on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars next week before returning home to host the Eagles on Christmas Eve. They close the season with road games against the Tennessee Titans and Commanders.