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Dallas defense good much of the night, as Seattle comes up short in NFC wild-card playoff game

MICHAEL WORKMAN PHOTO - Ball carrier Ezekiel Elliott of Dallas avoids a safety during Saturday's NFL playoff game at home against Seattle. The Dallas defense kept Seattle in check most of the night as the Cowboys bounced the Seahawks from the NFL playoffs, 24-22.

The lead changed hards four times in the NFC wild-card game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Seattle's offense struggled mightily early and again down the stretch until the final two minutes, after the Hawks had rallied for a 14-10 lead in the fourth quarter.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson completed 18 of 27 passes for 233 yards and one touchdown, without an interception.

Dallas QB Dak Prescott was 22 of 33 for 226 yards passing and ran five times for 30 yards and a touchdown. He gained 15 yards on a draw play to the Seattle 1-yard line with 2 1/2 minutes remaining and then punched the ball across the goal line on the next play for a 24-14 lead.

Seattle scored a TD and two-point conversion with 1:18 remaining, but couldn't get to its ensuing pooch kickoff, and Dallas was able to run out the clock.

The Cowboys got the opening kickoff and went from their 25 to the Seattle 21 before settling for a 39-yard field goal by Brett Maher.

The Seahawks didn't get a first down until nearly six minutes into the second quarter, when Wilson hooked up with former University of Oregon Ed Dickson to start a drive into scoring territory. A 25-yard reception by Tyler Lockett set up Sebastian Janikowski's 27-yard field goal to tie the score at 3-3.

Late in the half, Lockett hauled in a 40-yard Wilson pass to the Dallas 27. The Cowboys held their ground, though Janikowski hit from 42 yards for a 6-3 lead.

Ezekiel Elliott ran for 41 of his 137 yards (on 26 carries), after a couple of Dallas completions, to give the Cowboys the ball at Seattle's 25 with 1:09 remaining in the second quarter. With 24 seconds left, Prescott hit an 11-yard TD pass to Michael Gallup, and the Cowboys were back on top, 10-6.

Lockett's 50-yard kickoff return was followed by completions of 4 and 3 yards from Wilson to Dickson and a 3-yard Mike Davis run. Then Janikowski tried from 57 yards, which would have been his season high, but the kick was wide right.

In the third quarter, Doug Baldwin caught a 22-Wilson pass on fourth-and-6 to the Dallas 17. A few plays later, Wilson kept the ball and scored from the 4. The Hawks went for a two-point conversion, and Davis banged into the end zone up the middle, giving the visitors a 14-10 advantage with 1:59 left in the frame.

The Cowboys then marched 67 yards in nine plays, scoring on Elliott's 1-yard run with 12:28 left in the game to go on top 17-14.

A big return gave Dallas a chance to pad its lead, but the first turnover of the game — an interception in the end zone by K.J. Wright — ended the threat with 9:33 left to play.

Seattle failed to move, however, and then two pass interference penalties on the Seahawks enabled the Cowboys to keep the ball and cross midfield. Dallas went on to score its final touchdown.

Wilson passed 53 yards to Lockett to the Dallas 13. Moments later, he found J.D. McKissip from the 7 for a TD. With Janikowski now on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, the Hawks went for two points on the conversion, and Chris Carson sliced into the end zone to make it a 24-22 game with 1:18 left.

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