Dolphins nip Cowboys 22-20 on Jason Sanders’ last-second field goal, secure playoff spot

by Lucas Garcia
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Dolphins vs. Cowboys

In a thrilling matchup, the Miami Dolphins emerged victorious over the Dallas Cowboys with a final score of 22-20, thanks to Jason Sanders’ last-second field goal. This crucial win secured a playoff spot for the AFC East-leading Dolphins, who entered the contest with a record of 11-4.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa showcased his prowess by throwing for an impressive 293 yards and notching a touchdown. This victory held significant weight as it marked the first time the Dolphins triumphed against a team with a winning record this season. Tagovailoa’s crucial connection with Tyreek Hill played a pivotal role in the decisive drive, spanning 64 yards and consuming the final 3 minutes and 27 seconds of the game.

Tyreek Hill, a standout in the NFL with the most receiving yards, made a triumphant return after missing the previous week due to an ankle injury. He contributed nine receptions for 99 yards, further bolstering the Dolphins’ offensive efforts.

On the opposing side, Dak Prescott of the Cowboys displayed his quarterback skills, going 20 of 32 for 253 yards and securing two touchdowns. Although the Cowboys had already clinched a playoff spot, this loss pushed them a half-game behind Philadelphia in the NFC East.

The turning point of the game came when Prescott orchestrated an 8-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks in the corner of the end zone, briefly putting the Cowboys ahead 20-19. However, the Cowboys’ earlier struggles in the red zone, including a critical fumble by Prescott on first-and-goal from inside the 1 during their first possession, came back to haunt them.

Jason Sanders was the hero of the day for the Dolphins, with a career-long 57-yard field goal in the first quarter and subsequent kicks of 52, 54, and 35 yards. These kicks contributed significantly to the Dolphins’ lead, with a score of 19-10 late in the third quarter.

CeeDee Lamb was a standout for the Cowboys, amassing six receptions for 118 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown in the first quarter. However, Miami’s defense, led by coordinator Vic Fangio, made crucial adjustments to contain the Cowboys’ offense. The Dolphins sacked Prescott four times during the game, setting a franchise record of 50 sacks for the season and forcing four consecutive Cowboys punts.

Additionally, Raheem Mostert made a significant impact by scoring his NFL-leading 21st touchdown of the season, catching a pass from Tagovailoa just before halftime. Mostert’s rushing efforts also propelled him over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career, marking the Dolphins’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Jay Ajayi in 2016.

As the game unfolded, it became evident that Miami’s defensive strategy, which did not involve having All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey shadow CeeDee Lamb, ultimately worked in their favor. Although Lamb initially posed a threat, Miami’s defense tightened its grip as the game progressed.

In terms of injuries, Miami faced setbacks as WR Robbie Chosen left the game in the first quarter for a concussion evaluation and did not return. WR Jaylen Waddle also endured an injury scare, first due to an eye injury in the second quarter and later limping off the field with a shin injury in the third quarter.

Looking ahead, the Dallas Cowboys are set to host the Detroit Lions on Saturday night, while the Miami Dolphins will face the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday. The outcome of these upcoming matchups will undoubtedly continue to shape the playoff landscape in the NFL.

For more NFL news and updates, you can refer to the official source at https://bigbignews.net/nfl.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Playoff-clinching victory

What was the final score of the Miami Dolphins vs. Dallas Cowboys game?

The final score of the game was 22-20 in favor of the Miami Dolphins.

Who secured the victory for the Miami Dolphins?

Jason Sanders secured the victory for the Miami Dolphins with a last-second field goal.

Did the Miami Dolphins secure a playoff spot with this win?

Yes, the Miami Dolphins secured a playoff spot with their 22-20 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

How did Tua Tagovailoa perform in the game?

Tua Tagovailoa had a strong performance, throwing for 293 yards and a touchdown.

Who led the NFL in receiving yards in this game?

Tyreek Hill led the NFL in receiving yards with nine catches for 99 yards in this game.

How did Dak Prescott perform for the Dallas Cowboys?

Dak Prescott went 20 of 32 for 253 yards and threw two touchdowns for the Dallas Cowboys.

What were some key moments in the game?

One key moment was when Jason Sanders kicked a career-long 57-yard field goal. Another was when Prescott’s touchdown pass put the Cowboys briefly in the lead.

How did the Miami Dolphins’ defense perform?

The Dolphins’ defense made crucial adjustments and sacked Dak Prescott four times during the game.

Any notable injuries in the game?

Yes, Miami WR Robbie Chosen left with a concussion evaluation, and WR Jaylen Waddle had injuries, including an eye injury and a shin injury.

What’s next for the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins?

The Cowboys will host the Detroit Lions, and the Dolphins will face the Baltimore Ravens in their upcoming matchups.

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