Dallas locked up its playoff berth last week, but the Cowboys will need some help from the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC East and earn a home playoff matchup.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Because of the Dallas Cowboys‘ struggles on the road, it appears likely they’ll have to play another big game away from AT&T Stadium — in the playoffs.
Dallas fell to 3-5 in away games by failing to hold a one-point lead in the final 3 1/2 minutes and losing 22-20 to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Three of the Cowboys’ road losses on the season have come against teams that have secured playoff spots. Dallas (10-5) locked up its playoff berth last week, but it will need some help from Philadelphia to win the NFC East. The Eagles can move a game ahead of the Cowboys by beating the New York Giants on Christmas Day.
“We’ve got to play better than we did today,” coach Mike McCarthy said after Sunday’s game. “You have to play above it on the road, and road warriors we will be.”
Dallas has lost at San Francisco, Philadelphia, Buffalo and Arizona.
The Cowboys at least played much better than they did in their 32-10 loss to the Bills a week earlier. They rallied from a 19-10 deficit to take a 20-19 lead when Dak Prescott threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks late in the fourth quarter.
Dallas limited Miami to one touchdown, but Jason Sanders made all five of his field goal attempts, including three from over 50 yards and the 29-yard game-winner as time expired.
“This whole narrative changes off of unfortunately one play out there,” Prescott said. “The guy misses the field goal and we’re here talking about a completely different outlook. So let’s not lose sight of that.”
Dallas gained 153 yards on its first two drives, and Prescott threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb. But the Cowboys were limited to 9 yards on their next three possessions.
“We had some protection issues,” McCarthy said. “They had linebackers run through too many times. We have to make those plays — the protection part, particularly in those pressures. We had a couple that we weren’t where we needed to be.”
The Cowboys shored up their protection and scored on their final three drives.
“We didn’t come out with the win but I can tell you the confidence is high from that group,” Prescott said. “Obviously, this one hurts in the manner that we lost this one. We haven’t done it but we will. And the road forward looks like we’ll be going on the road.”