ARLINGTON, Texas – Gardner Minshew had a chance at a Hollywood ending.

Instead, the Eagles will have to wait at least a few more days to claim first place in the NFC.

Filling in for injured starter Jalen Hurts, Minshe threw for three touchdowns and 355 yards, but his second interception led to a field goal late in Dallas’ 40-34 win on Saturday.

Minshew made his first start of the season for the Eagles four days after speaking at a memorial service for his college coach, Mike Leach.

Leach, 61, who coached at Mississippi State, died Dec. 12 of complications from heart disease. Minshe played for Leach in Washington.

In the final seconds, Minshe got Philadelphia within 19 yards of a potential game-winning touchdown, but his desperation pass into the end zone on fourth-and-10 was nowhere near the receiver.

“There was a lot going on,” said Minshev, who hit DeVonte Smith twice and had a 1-yard rush. “I really appreciate the staff. This is not a one-week project; it happens all year round.’

The NFL-leading Eagles (13-2) need one win in their last two games to clinch home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs. A win would also secure the NFC East title.

The defending division champion Cowboys (11-4) kept their slim hopes of catching Philadelphia alive.

Although the Eagles knew they would likely be without Hurts — who dislocated his shoulder in last week’s win over Chicago — they gave Minshew the day off Tuesday to attend the service in the state of Mississippi.

Minshew said he returned with the team that night. On Saturday, his defense gave him a 10-0 lead thanks to Josh Sweet picking off Dak Prescott. Smith’s 14-yard touchdown gave the Eagles a 27-17 lead in the third quarter as Minshew set the Eagles up for victory.

The Cowboys pulled even at 34-34 on CeeDee Lamb’s second TD catch.

Near midfield on the next possession, Minshe threw a quick slant to Cass Watkins, and the receiver held the ball in his hands before rookie cornerback DaRon Bland picked it off as both players turned over on the tackle.

The Cowboys were driving for points. Dallas had to settle for another field goal from Brett Maher — his fourth — after Myles Sanders fumbled as the Eagles made two of their four turnovers in the final five minutes.

“You can’t give a good team the ball four times,” coach Nick Siriani said. “We put the defense in a difficult position. We can’t help a good team beat us by giving the ball away.”

Needing a touchdown to win, Minshew drove the Eagles to the Dallas 19-yard line with a 22-yard strike to Smith, who gained 113 yards.

After snapping the ball to stop the clock, Minsheu threw two incompletes. He was never sacked against the No. 2 defense in the league in sacks, but faced heavy pressure in the decisive game and had to run the ball deep.

That latest setback ended Philadelphia’s 36-game 20-game hitting streak. It was the longest active streak in the NFL.

Minshe had his first interception of the first half when safety Jayron Kearse reached over the line to grab the ball.

“I thought Gardner had a really good game,” coach Nick Siriani said. “The first interception was made by (Kearse), he’s a really good player. The second, the ball was in both hands and their guy walked away with it.”

Philadelphia’s lead over Minnesota in the NFC standings is down to one game, which could give the Eagles even more urgency to get Hurts back on the field on New Year’s Day against New Orleans.

“We’ll see what happens with Jalen,” Siriani said. “We thought he had a chance to play this week. He’s our starting quarterback. If he’s ready to go, he’ll go. It’s nothing against Gardner.”

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