Dallas Cowboys beat Bucs to clinch NFC East title

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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The Dallas Cowboys are champions of the NFC East.

With their 27-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, the Cowboys clinched their third division title in five seasons.

A loss by the Eagles could have seen the Cowboys (9-6) back their way into an automatic playoff berth, but Dallas rebounded from a horrible 23-0 defeat against Indianapolis in Week 15 and took care of its own destiny.

The Cowboys improved to 7-1 at AT&T Stadium this season.

Dallas closes out its season against the New York Giants in East Rutherford locked in as the No. 4 seed following the Bears defeating the 49ers.

With the NFC East title and a playoff berth in hand, perhaps too it signals that coach Jason Garrett and quarterback Dak Prescott are staying put in Dallas.

Prescott was an efficient 20 of 25 for a moderate 161 yards passing and two total touchdowns (one rush, one pass) on Sunday. Ezekiel Elliott added 18 carries for 85 yards, but it was truly the Cowboys' defense, ranked fifth in total defense entering the game, which led the way as it has much of the season. Dallas' D held the Bucs to just 63 yards rushing on 24 carries and held Tampa Bay to two offensive scores as Jameis Winston threw for a hefty 336 yards, but was sacked three times and threw just one touchdown.

So, with some momentum back and the defense still playing well, the Cowboys are back to trending upward heading to a now-certain postseason.

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