ARLINGTON, Texas — Defining where Dak Prescott is in the NFL quarterback hierarchy is a difficult task.
The Dallas Cowboys would rather he be defined just by what he does when it matters most.
Prescott threw touchdown passes of 28 and 75 yards to Amari Cooper in the fourth quarter and for 15 yards in overtime to give the Cowboys a 29-23 victory that moved them closer to winning the NFC East.
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This game will not be remembered as one of Prescott’s finer games, even though he threw for a career-high 455 yards on 42-of-54 passing, but it might be one of his finer moments.
Just as he did his rookie season when he beat the Eagles in overtime at AT&T Stadium with a Jason Witten for a touchdown pass, Prescott maneuvered the Cowboys down the field and faced third-and-7 from the Eagles 15, knowing he would be blitzed.
The blitz came and Prescott rifled a throw to Cooper that was popped in the air with Rasul Douglas in coverage, but the receiver came down with the pass, danced into the end zone and led the Cowboys to their fifth straight win.
In 2016 against the Eagles, Prescott completed all five of his passes for 56 yards before finding Witten. On Sunday, he completed all five of his overtime throws for 58 yards in the win.
The Eagles were only in the game because of Prescott’s mistakes and the Cowboys’ woeful execution in the red zone that has been a season-long problem.
The Eagles’ first touchdown drive of the game was 2 yards because Prescott badly overthrew a wide open Michael Gallup for his second pick of the game.
The Eagles’ game-tying score came because Prescott lost a fumble — his sixth of the season — on the Cowboys’ third possession of the third quarter. Michael Bennett ripped the ball free from Prescott and Brandon Graham recovered.
Earlier in the game, Prescott had his first interception in 165 pass attempts, but he was bailed out by the defense.
Prescott had a chance to potentially put the game away late in the fourth quarter, after his perfect deep ball to Cooper down the right sideline. Instead, the ball was too long for Gallup, who beat the Eagles’ defender, and the Cowboys had to punt. It was reminiscent of the miss of a wide-open Gallup in the Cowboys’ previous win against the New Orleans Saints.
The defense was able to bail out Prescott against New Orleans with Jourdan Lewis’ clinching interception. This time they could not, giving up a tying touchdown with 3:12 to play.
But Prescott was able to redeem himself one play later finding Cooper, who ran by De’Vante Bausby for his second touchdown in as many drives.
Prescott threw short passes to lead the Cowboys down the field at the end of regulation, but he could not field a low snap on a second-down play and the game went to overtime when he was sacked by Fletcher Cox.
But as he did as a rookie, Prescott led the Cowboys down the field on the first possession of overtime and hit Cooper, who finished with 217 yards on 10 receptions, for the winning score.
Somehow, he found a way. Somehow the Cowboys have gone from 3-5 to 8-5 and in control of winning the NFC East for the second time in Prescott’s three seasons.