Seattle Seahawks eliminate Dallas Cowboys from playoff race 21-12 in Ezekiel Elliott return

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Seattle Seahawks turned the Dallas Cowboys over three times as part of a 21-12 win Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium.

The loss dropped Dallas to 8-7, officially eliminating them from playoff contention, even though the Cowboys had help in the early games.

Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 97 yards on 24 carries along with two catches for six yards. It was his first game back from serving a six-game suspension for violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson completed 14-of-21 for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Wilson also rushed seven times for 31 yards.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had a forgettable Christmas Eve performance with 21-of-34 with 182 yards and two interceptions. Prescott also rushed four times for 21 yards.

Dez Bryant caught three passes for 44 yards. His fumble came with 4:10 in the second quarter when Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell punched the ball out of Bryant’s left hand. Seattle drove 43 yards in six plays with Wilson finding tight end Jimmy Graham for a 5-yard touchdown to take a 7-6 lead less than two minutes before halftime.

The second Dallas turnover came with 11:29 in the third quarter. On second-and-7, Prescott overthrew Elliott on a checkdown. Cornerback Justin Coleman picked it off at the Dallas 30-yard line and returned it all the way for a score to give Seattle a 14-9 lead.

Prescott threw his second interception of the game on a second-and-12 from the Seahawks 25-yard line. The second-year signal caller looked for Bryant, hitting the receiver square in the hands. The ball bounced into the air with linebacker K.J. Wright coming up with the tipped ball. Seattle drove 79 yards in 13 plays as Wilson found receiver Doug Balwin for a 6-yard touchdown to extend Seattle’s lead 21-12 early in the fourth quarter.

The Dallas pass rush harried Wilson early, but it couldn’t sustain with the offensive giveaways. Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence dropped Wilson for his 14.5 sack of the season. First-round rookie defensive end Taco Charlton picked up a sack, his third of the year. Defensive end Benson Mayowa, a former Seahawk, also got a sack.

Kicker Dan Bailey went 4-of-6 on field goals. His most consequential miss was a chip shot from 34 yards out that faded wide right with 5:43 to play that would have cut into the Seattle lead 21-15 had it been good.

Seattle improves to 9-6 on the year and will need the Carolina Panthers to defeat the Atlanta Falcons to get in along with a victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Dallas finishes their season at the Philadelphia Eagles, who have already locked up a first-round bye in the playoffs.


Scoring summary

Seattle – 0 7 7 7 –

Dallas – 0 9 3 –

Second quarter

DAL — Bailey 34 kick, 14:16

DAL — Bailey 51 kick, 5:53

SEA — Graham 5 pass from Wilson (Walsh kick), 1:42

DAL — Bailey 51 kick, 0:08

Third quarter

SEA — Coleman 30 interception return (Walsh kick), 11:29

DAL — Bailey 39 kick, 8:41

Fourth quarter

SEA — Baldwin 6 pass from Wilson (Walsh kick), 12:05

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