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2023 Long Island EFL NFC Wild Card Game Dallas Cowboys (5-2) at Carolina Panthers (5-2)

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                                               LONG ISLAND EFL TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS



(Long Island Electric Football League). NFC Wild Card Game. What a matchup! Coach Levi Vic's Dallas Cowboys (5-2) have been a little overshadowed in the NFC East because of the outstanding football play of the Washington Redskins. In today's game against the Carolina Panthers (5-2) these two teams are evenly matched. The Cowboys have Michael Irvin and Terrell Owens at the ends and the Panthers have two guys you probably never heard of, Keary Colbert and Jeff King. The reason why most people never heard of them is because of the Panthers running game with DeShaun Foster and on special teams star Greg Jones. They will will bring the game to the Cowboys today, but Terrell Owens and his tandem partner Michael Irvin can unleash some very fast damage on opponents in these 60-minute games.

Like most of these top notch playoff games, this game is going to come down to coaching, and last year's Super Bowl Champion Matt Zoo-York is at the helm for the Panthers. Zoo-York, the South Bronx native, lives for these high pressure games, but he contends that Coach Levi Vick is an outstanding coach who has no fear.  Who could forget the LIEFL star coach who took his Wild Card Kansas City Chiefs to a LIEFL Super Bowl XVII victory over the San Francisco 49ers!  Zoo York coaches these underrated Panthers, who may be his ticket to the NFC Championship Game for a first time  shot at a Super Bowl. It depends on who shows up to play, and it all depends on the Dallas Cowboys defense who have been very good this season. The Cowboys should not be ignored. Emmitt Smith was the number #4 guy in NFC rushing this year. Smith has been very consistent behind the blocking of starting Pro-Bowl Lineman Larry Allen, but Allen will have to have a great game against Carolina's LIEFL-All-Pro Lineman Kawaan Short. These two players are the starting Pro Bowl centerpiece for the NFC. 

The Panthers have had a difficult path getting here. They began the season with two road games against Arizona and Green Bay which they split. Green Bay just got the better of them 24-21. The Panthers did beat their division rival Atlanta Falcons 21-17, and then the contending Houston Texans 17-10 in the last two games of the season, but they also beat Tampa Bay after they lost to the Colts. Their one flaw is, Carolina hasn't had much luck against the big contenders, losing to Green Bay and Indianapolis against Joseph Addai, who has played incredible this season. It has been a magical season for many players. Zoo-York knew that he needed to go back to the basics and get his running game going because when DeShaun Foster is in the game teamed with Greg Jones, these two players together are special and the Panthers are a lethal no-quit team.
Depending on who's going to show up today,the question is, will the Panthers rise to the occasion to hang with the tough Dallas Cowboys? Zoo said, "Listen regardless of who says what about Coach Vick, he is an experienced skilled coach who won two back-to-back Super Bowls in his previous Nassau County League. He is a great coach!" 
Matt Zoo-York's Panthers last season lost in a huge upset if you recall in the NFC Wild Card Game to Minnesota 31-24, in the 2022 season. Zoo said he spent some serious time contemplating that loss. "I know it's a game, but really it made feel very upset because this is a really good team, and my decisions were costly enough for me to rethink my play under pressure." But nobody can deny that these Panthers have been banging the door down for the past three seasons before this one, and before the pandemic. The past three of four seasons the Panthers have been NFC South Division Champions. That means they are still a team who can compete.  In 2019, they lost in the NFC Championship Game to the Los Angeles Rams 45-38, and the season before that they lost to Los Angeles again in the NFC Championship Game, 45-31. The front line of the Panthers led by Kawaan Short and Chris Jenkins has been outstanding. The biggest bright spots come with rankings. And kick returner Greg Jones ranked #10 in the NFC with 18 touches for 1046 yards, with two 100-yard touchdown runs!

R(1).thumb.png.aa116a7c67afdea7ea77e319701bbb2b.png6987953b941529d7424ab28d9c19a115--cowboys-helmet-clipart-images.jpg.18ec88fb981470abd443b809baeb2dee.jpgDallas Cowboys (5-2)  at PANTHERS.jpg.e161f8ff226f366de0420cd9e34fae12.jpgCarolina Panthers (5-2)
The opening kickoff was exciting. Panthers returner Greg Jones ran back a 38-yard return before he was clobbered by Tony Dorsett. On first down, Panthers running back DeShaun Foster ran for a 16-yard first down. The Panthers first play on the line was explosive, and they didn't stop there. Foster ran for another three yards, and then 18, before being stopped by the Dallas defense when Cowboys defensive tackle and LIEFL-All-Pro Randy White dragged Foster down behind the line of scrimmage for a loss. But on the next play Foster exploded 33 yards on a power run into the end zone, giveing the Carolina Panthers the lead, 7-0!
Carolina used much of the time clock up on that first drive in the first quarter. And Terrell Owens on the ensuing kickoff ran back an electrifying 100-yard touchdown score to tie the game at 7-7! What a play by Owens! There is nothing like championship football when it comes to electric football.
Panthers star Greg Jones ran the next kickoff back 45 yards, where he ran out of bounds. On first down, DeShaun Foster ran for seven yards and then on second down the Cowboys defense came up big and stopped the Panthers for a loss of seven yards. Coach Matt Zoo-York decided to pass as the second quarter started. It was a beautiful play on third down to receiver Jeff King who ran a 60-yard play to the two-yard line! This gave the Panthers more time to work the clock. Dallas Coach Levi Vick kept his cool under pressure. The Dallas defense started to play strategically, and on first down Dallas ran the Panthers back for a 5-yard loss on the play with 11:27 remaining in the half. On second down, it was DeShaun Foster running an end-around to the right side, squeaking into the end zone for the touchdown to give the Panthers the lead 14-7 with 10:38 remaining in the half! Gorgeous run!
On Terrell Owens next kick return he was brought down at the 46-yard line by linebacker Panthers linebacker Kevin Greene, to set up Emmitt Smith in the Cowboys offense for his first run. On first down, Smith was stopped after gaining one yard. The Panthers defense crushed him on second down also on a big tackle by Carolina's Kawaan Short. Dallas and Coach Levi Vick had to go to the air on 3rd down. It was a close call, but Terrell Owens broke free for a 10 yard first down bringing the football to the 43-yard line of the Panthers with 4:11 remaining and a half, keeping the Cowboys drive alive and well! The Panthers defense came out hitting hard and stopped Smith on second down. But on third down, Emmitt Smith exploded for 21-yard first down to the Panthers 23-yard line, forcing the Panthers to call a timeout with 1:39 remaining in the half.
cow3(1)ART.thumb.jpg.e06370d7ca32b54e7b63033a63d67d5d.jpgWhen the play resumed, breaking Free on the third down pass play, Levi Vick found Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin who blazed 23-yards into the end zone to tie the score at 14-14! That last play forced the Panthers to take their last time out of the half! Dallas brought out the big guns and Vick hit the reliable Michael Irvin who keeps the Cowboys in the game with 1:18 remaining in the half!
On the ensuing kickoff this place went crazy when they saw Panthers star Greg Jones take back a 100-yard kick return into the end zone to give the Panthers the 21-14 lead on a stunning play! Just like that the game changes! Levi Vick couldn't believe his eyes! The Cowboys called a timeout with 1:06 remaining in the half! We have an amazing game!
On the Cowboys next return, Terrell Owens was slammed at the 48-yard line by DeShaun Foster. The Cowboys were stopped on the next play on a 4-yard past completion to Tony Dorsett at the 48 yard line where the Cowboys were forced to kick a field goal because they were close to running out of time, and with seconds left the Cowboys made the score 17-21, with the Panthers in the lead.
The Cowboys got the ball right back to begin the third quarter in a tight nail biter here!
cow1art.thumb.jpg.b1e8640c4134ff59ebf8b6b45e6c552f.jpgWow! To begin the third quarter and second half, Terrell Owens opened with electrifying 100-yard kick return for a touchdown, his second of the game, to give Dallas the lead 23-21! Interesting, Coach Vick called for a two-point conversion! You really get to see how good these teams are when they play a 60-minute game, and the players who don't get to touch the ball much during the regular season go all out and games like this. Levi Vick is coaching like a championship coach, but so is Matt Zoo York, last year's Super Bowl Champ.
Terrell Owens took in the two-point conversion in to make the score 25-21, Cowboys in the lead! Owens is having quite the game as the champions rise to the occasion with much at stake. Dallas takes the lead with 12:28 left in the third quarter! It almost forces the Panthers to go for two if they score again because as of right now a field goal at the end of the game may not win the game for the Panthers. We shall see!
The Panthers came roaring back with a 53-yard kick return by Greg Jones who ran out of bounds at the Dallas 47-yard line.
The Dallas defense has to come up big in this next series.
COW7ART.thumb.jpg.3026fb0f8611f3bc182e0d21b85dc4f8.jpgOn first down Panthers running back to DeShaun Foster opened up with a 14-yard running play to the Dallas 33-yard line. But the Cowboys came up big on defense stopping the Panthers on the next two plays after they made some adjustments, putting Cowboys lineman Ed "Too-Tall" Jones in the Nose position on defense. This Forced Matt Zoo-York to pass at the 39-yard line of Dallas with 6:15 remaining in the third quarter. On a huge third down play Zoo-York connected with Jeff King on a 39-yard touchdown play to give the command back to the Panthers, and they'll go for two points! DeShaun Foster took in the two-point conversion into the end zone to give the Panthers the lead 29-25, with the third quarter almost finished with 2:49 remaining!
The third quarter came to a close on a 64-yard kick return by Terrell Owens who has had an amazing game, and with seconds left in the third quarter Emmitt Smith ran around the right side 36-yards into the end zone to give the Cowboys the lead back 33-29 after Michael Irvin's two point conversion for the Cowboys to start the fourth quarter! What an exciting game!
COW8ART.thumb.jpg.3bb1495f40bd633e433953c08d5d591c.jpgThe effort that these two teams have made has been beyond impressive. On the ensuing kickoff after the Cowboys took the lead but Greg Jones ran back of 45-yard kick. The Panthers determined, gave the ball to Greg Jones for one play for a 5 yard run. And on second down, it was DeShaun Foster who exploded to the inside of the three hole for a 50-yard touchdown scamper to give the Panthers the lead back with the score 35-33! The Panthers scored with Greg Jones taking in the two-point conversion with 10:13 remaining in the game, to give Carolina back the lead, 37-33! 
After regaining the momentum Terrell Owens wasn't having it he ran back another 100-yard touchdown return his third of the game, 39-37 Cowboys! The Cowboys delivered with their third two-point conversion of the game with 6:51 remaining in the game and the Cowboys are in the lead 41-37! You can't believe the excitement here!
COW6ART.thumb.jpg.f3cd5a12f745b82daf395f63821b8e8b.jpgBelievable! Greg Jones just ran back 100-yard kick return on the ensuing kickoff to give the Panthers the lead again with 4:06 remaining in the clock is running! This is the best coached game we've seen Levi Vick coach in his third season LIEFL career! 43-41, the Panthers have the lead! The Panthers are setting up for the two-point conversion which will make the score 45-41 if they score! Jones scored the two-point conversion to put the Panthers ahead 45-41 with 2:36 remaining in the game! The Cowboys called their first time out of the second half with one remaining in a stunner! We knew this would be a good game, but this is one of the best games of the year! The excitement is incredible!
The game got better and better. It was Terrell Owens turn to return the ball again. Owens returned a 35-yard kick return. But on first down Levi Vick hit Emmitt Smith on a smoking pass for a 65-yards touchdown downfield into the end zone to give the Cowboys the lead 47-45! The Cowboys will go for a two-point conversion which will make the score 49-45 Dallas, with 59 seconds remaining for the Panthers who took their first time out. If they are lucky the Panthers  will get two plays off! OMG Carolina Stopped Dallas on the two-point conversion attempt! Maybe Vick should have rethought that play? Maybe they should gone for the extra point instead of the conversion, but too late now. The Cowboys lead 47-45! And the Panthers called the last time out with 34 seconds remaining in the game! That might have been a huge mistake for Levi Vick with nobody open in the end zone on the conversion.
Putting the ball back in Panthers star Greg Jones hands was dangerous, but Jones ran the ball back 80-yards on his last kick return! The Panthers kicked the field goal to make the score 48-47, but it's not over yet! Dallas called their last time out with 18 seconds left in the game. One great kick return can put them in field goal range to win the game!
And with four seconds left after a 38 yard kick return by Terrell Owens for the Cowboys, this place went wild when Levi Vick missed the 62-yard field goal attempt, which went just right of the goal post! The Cowboys suffer a crushing defeat 48-47 in an all-time game! The Panthers earned every bit of it and they advanced to the next round! The Dallas Cowboys (5-3) will never live this one down, and the Carolina Panthers (6-2) will face the Chicago Bears (5-3) in a tremendous NFC Divisional Game next! After the game Coach Levi Vick said, "I blew it." Matt Zoo-York said, "I knew I could win but I also had a little luck on my side. We have to be ready for the Bears because they are just s exciting as Dallas." One mistake costs the Cowboys the game and a chance for $3200 dollars! 
Panthers running back DeShaun Foster rushed for 9 carries for 143-yards with three touchdowns, and Greg Jones played like the star he is in this league with seven kick returns for 461 yards, including two 100-yard touchdown returns, and he had two 2-point conversions as well! Terrell Owens had a record day for the Cowboys. Owens exploded for eight touches for 517 all-purpose yards which included three 100-yard touchdown runs for Dallas. Running back Emmitt Smith had just 58 rushing yards on five carries, but he had a huge 65 yard touchdown play for a touchdown. Smith finished the game with 6 touches for 123 all-purpose yards on the day with two touchdowns! This might have been the Cowboys best season in their history. They'll be back. 
What an incredible game!
Edited by Long island EFL
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