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NFC East champion Cowboys give Washington a gut punch, winning 56-14

Steve Kornacki is back at the board breaking down the NFC playoff picture with the Eagles, Saints and Niners fighting for the final two playoff spots in the conference.

The Cowboys clinched the NFC East championship before they even kicked off against Washington, which won the title last season. For good measure, the Cowboys flexed their muscle against Washington, and the visitors disappeared quietly into the night as the home team celebrated with hats and T-shirts.

The Cowboys first beat up and then beat down Washington, winning 56-14. It was the biggest win by Dallas in the series. The Cowboys’ biggest previous victory was a 35-point margin, which came in a 38-3 victory in 1993. It tied for the second-most points in team history behind the 59 points Dallas scored in the 1968 season opener against Detroit.

The Cowboys moved to 11-4 and retained the No. 2 seed in the NFC behind Green Bay. Washington fell to 6-9 in losing its third consecutive game.

This one came by an early knockout as the Cowboys led 21-0 in the first quarter, 42-7 at halftime and 49-7 in the third quarter when Dallas pulled many of its starters.

Dak Prescott continued his dominance of Washington, passing for 330 yards and four touchdowns in less than three quarters of work. He threw for 321 yards and four touchdowns in the first half, the most passing yards for a quarterback in the first half of a game this season.

Prescott is now 24-6 against the NFC East, including 9-1 against Washington.

The Cowboys had nine different players catch a pass and seven different players score. Ezekiel Elliott was the only player to score twice, getting touchdowns on a 5-yard reception and an 11-yard run.

The Cowboys scored six offensive touchdowns, including a 1-yard catch by offensive lineman Terence Steele, a defensive touchdown on a 40-yard interception return by defensive lineman DeMarcus Lawrence and a special teams touchdown on a blocked punt by Corey Clement that Chauncey Golston recovered in the end zone.

Backup quarterback Cooper Rush also threw a touchdown pass, going 2-for-3 for 70 yards.