The Eagles are making it hard on bloggers like me, there just isn’t enough to complain about lately!
It was just a gritty, all-hands-on-deck, wear down your opponent kind of game. The coverage and open-field tackling by Philly’s corners and safeties was inspirational. The defensive pressure on Dallas was timely. The Eagles’ offense stuck with a grind-and-pound mindset and it paid off. Carson Wentz threw for two touchdowns and three 2-point conversions after Philadelphia lost kicker Jake Elliott to a head injury, and the Eagles all but wrapped up the NFC East with a 37-9 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.
The Eagles (9-1) outscored the Cowboys 30-0 in the second half while extending their winning streak to eight games, their longest since 2003-04 and tied with New Orleans for the best current run in the NFL.
Philadelphia leads the second-place and defending division champion Cowboys (5-5) by four games with six to play after handing Dallas its worst home loss at 8-year-old AT&T Stadium.
Dallas’ Dak Prescott threw a career-high three interceptions and lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown in his second straight loss without star running back Ezekiel Elliott, serving a six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence.
Jake Elliott’s injury wasn’t a factor for nearly a half because the NFL-leading Eagles couldn’t get in scoring position. They failed to get a first down on five straight first-half drives, starting with one at the Dallas 15 when Elliott missed a 34-yard attempt and soon after left the field. He had suffered a head injury while making a sideline tackle on the opening kickoff.
Trailing 9-7 at halftime, Wentz led the Eagles on scoring drives of 75, 90 and 85 yards, the middle one boosted by Jay Ajayi‘s 71-yard run against his hometown team in his second game since getting traded by Miami.
“The biggest thing was sticking with the game plan,” said Wentz, who is up to 25 touchdown passes with just five interceptions. “The big boys up front kind of came out angry. We ran the ball the second half really effectively.”
Ajayi had 91 yards on seven carries and LeGarrette Blount added 57 on 13 carries, including a 30-yarder leading to the last offensive touchdown.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson declared at halftime that he would go for every fourth down and try 2-point conversions after every touchdown.
It came into play right away when Corey Clement scored on an 11-yard run to open the second half and ran in a screen pass behind three blockers for the 2-pointer.
“We got some nice 2-point conversions,” Wentz said. “Now we’ve got to go back to the drawing board with our 2-point plays.”
The Cowboys appeared to have fixed the problems of missing injured left tackleTyron Smith and 2016 All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee from a week earlier, when they allowed eight sacks of Prescott along with three Atlanta scoring drives following Lee’s injury in a 27-7 loss to the Falcons. But after protecting Prescott fairly well before halftime, Dallas allowed three sacks and 180 of Philadelphia’s season-high 215 yards rushing in the second half.
Prescott was 18 of 31 for 145 yards for a career-worst 30.4 passer rating before backup Cooper Rush took over mop-up duty.
The game was also remarkable for its lack of penalty calls. Thank you, NFL, for letting ’em play. It sure makes for a better product.
The Eagles and their fans will enjoy this one for a few days…then it’s a home game vs. the Chicago Bears next Sunday.
Mike Nugent 48 Yd Field Goal
4 plays, 7 yards, 1:38
Kenjon Barner 4 Yd Run (Jake Elliott Kick)
8 plays, 75 yards, 4:19
Mike Nugent 27 Yd Field Goal
11 plays, 65 yards, 5:47
Mike Nugent 47 Yd Field Goal
15 plays, 59 yards, 7:19
Corey Clement 11 Yd Run (Corey Clement Run for Two-Point Conversion)
8 plays, 75 yards, 4:04
Torrey Smith 11 Yd pass from Carson Wentz (Carson Wentz Pass to Alshon Jeffery for Two-Point Conversion)
5 plays, 90 yards, 2:28
Alshon Jeffery 17 Yd pass from Carson Wentz (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)
11 plays, 85 yards, 5:48
Nigel Bradham 37 Yd Fumble Return (Carson Wentz Pass to Trey Burton for Two-Point Conversion)
3 plays, -3 yards, 1:19
|Passing 1st downs||9||7|
|Rushing 1st downs||8||6|
|1st downs from penalties||0||1|
|3rd down efficiency||5-14||3-14|
|4th down efficiency||1-1||0-1|
|Yards per Play||6.4||3.6|
|Yards per pass||6.2||3.1|
|Yards per rush||6.5||4.1|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||4-5||0-2|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||1||0|