Eagles and Cowboys advance in playoffs

Brian Tinsman
January 06, 2019 - 9:53 pm
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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

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The misery of the Washington Redskins' 2018 season continues to haunt them in 2019, as both the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys advanced to the next round of the NFL playoffs with wins on Wild Card Weekend.

It was a huge upset win for the Eagles, who don't seem to be out of playoff magic after last year's Super Bowl win.

Playing against the Bears' much-ballyhooed defense in Chicago, the Eagles hung around until late in the game and then punched the ball in late with a Nick Foles pass to Golden Tate on fourth-and-season to go.

With less than a minute remaining, the Bears gave themselves a chance with an electric kickoff return that put them new midfield. Carefully marching down into field goal range, Mitch Trubisky left the field with Cody Parkey in good position to seal the game.

Just before the snap, Eagles coach Doug Pederson called a timeout to ice Parkey, who had a terrible problem smashing kicks into the uprights during the regular season. As the timeout was granted, Parkey punched it through for what amounted to a practice kick. The next one would be the one that counted.

Parkey lined up for a second attempt and punched it off the inside of the left upright, causing the ball to deflect straight down and hit the crossbar, where it clanged back over the front of the bar. No good.

The Eagles pulled off the biggest upset of the weekend and the Bears became an improbable one-and-done. The road gets no easier for the sixth seed Eagles, who must travel to New Orleans for what promises to be an offensive showdown.

Earlier this weekend, the Cowboys handled the Seahawks at home, handing Russell Wilson the first one-and-done of his career, and eliminated one of the hottest team going into the playoffs. 

The Cowboys did it by taking away the Seahawks' rush, holding them to 74 yards on the ground. The Seahawks were also handcuffed in a close game by the loss of legendary kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who injured his hamstring by doing what he does best: kicking the ball really, really hard. This came back to bite the Seahawks when they needed an onsides kick late in the fourth quarter.

Ezekiel Elliott powered the Cowboys offense, piling up 137 yards on the ground and getting more than 30 touches for the fourth time this season. Look for a healthy dose of Zeke as the Cowboys looks to play keep away from the L.A. Rams, on the road, in the next round of the playoffs.

All of this is just a sad reminder that the Redskins have made the playoffs just once under head coach Jay Gruden, just twice under team president Bruce Allen, and just five times in Dan Snyder's 20 years of team ownership. The team has won just two postseason games in that span, and none since 2005.

Nevertheless, the NFC East will be well-represented in the NFL Divisional round without them.

 

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