ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Dak Prescott threw four touchdown passes to help Dallas beat Washington 47-16 on Sunday, a win rendered meaningless when the Cowboys were eliminated from the playoffs by Philadelphia’s victory over the New York Giants.
The Cowboys (8-8) lost control of their playoff fate with a 17-9 loss at the Eagles last week. Last season’s NFC East champions will now wait to see how much longer Jason Garrett will be coach after underachieving in the final year of his contract.
Dallas could have made the playoffs without a winning record for the third time in franchise history. Instead, the Eagles won the division for the second time in three years by beating the Giants 34-17.
Case Keenum had a TD toss as the Redskins (3-13) secured the No. 2 pick in the draft in what could be their final game under interim coach Bill Callahan. The former Dallas assistant replaced Jay Gruden, fired in October with Washington at 0-5.
About the time the Cowboys put away the Redskins on the second of three TD passes to Michael Gallup for a 37-16 lead late in the third quarter, Philadelphia went up 10 with a TD after the Giants lost a fumble at their 2-yard line.
Prescott, playing with a sprained right shoulder for the second straight game and looking much better than he did in the loss at Philadelphia, was 23 of 33 for 303 yards. He fell 1 yard short of Tony Romo’s club record of 4,903 yards passing for a season.
In Gallup’s first career game with multiple touchdowns, the second-year player had five catches for 98 yards.
Ezekiel Elliott, who helped fuel Super Bowl hopes by signing a $90 million extension to end a long holdout days before the opener, had a 32-yard touchdown run and a 13-yard scoring catch.
The Cowboys won their first three games after Elliott signed the big contract, but lost eight of the next 12 to put their postseason fate in the hands of the Eagles.
Dallas was hoping to build on the first playoff win for Prescott and Elliott last season before a divisional-round loss to the Los Angeles Rams that ended the club’s 23rd consecutive season without reaching the NFC championship game.
It’s the fourth time in Garrett’s nine full seasons that Dallas has finished .500. The first three ran consecutively from 2011-13, with the Cowboys losing the finale each time when a win would have put them in the playoffs.
Elliott had 122 yards rushing to finish with 1,357. It will be the first time the two-time rushing champion has played a full season without leading the NFL in rushing.
Washington’s Adrian Peterson, fifth on the career rushing list, had a 32-yard run to set up a second-half field goal and finished with 78 yards to put his total at 14,216 in his 13th season. The club has a 2020 option on the 34-year-old’s contract.
GETTING THEIR KICKS
Kai Forbath kicked four field goals, improving to 10 of 10 since the Cowboys cut Brett Maher after three critical misses in consecutive losses. Dustin Hopkins made all three of his, and could have had a couple more when the Redskins went for it on fourth down in easy field goal range twice in the first half.
Redskins: DB Maurice Smith was ruled out with a concussion after being taken off the field on a cart in the first quarter. … Leading receiver Terry McLaurin, a rookie, had already been ruled out with a concussion.
Cowboys: CB Byron Jones missed a game for the first time in his career after injuring an ankle at practice during the week. … Seven-time Pro Bowl LT Tyron Smith was out because of a back injury. It’s the fourth consecutive season that Smith has missed three games. … DE DeMarcus Lawrence was sidelined early by a rib injury and later ruled out with a back issue.