It came out of the blue… a near-perfect game plan on both sides of the ball…
Labeled by Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan as the “All Hype Team” during the preseason, the Eagles played a near-perfect game in improving their record to 3-4 and snapping their five-game home losing streak. Quarterback Michael Vick and running back LeSean McCoy led a relentless offensive attack that seemed to befuddle, frustrate and anger Ryan. After McCoy capped the scoring with a 13-yard TD run with 13 minutes, 21 seconds left in the game, Ryan threw up his hands and barked at several Cowboys defenders as they passed him on their way to the bench.
The Eagles produced four touchdowns and two field goals in their first six possessions.
McCoy continued his outstanding season by rushing for a career-high 185 yards and two touchdowns, on a career-high 30 carries against a Dallas defense that entered the game having allowed a league-best 69.7 rushing yards per game.
Vick completed 21 of 28 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 50 yards on seven carries. Most importantly, he committed no turnovers. Tight end Brent Celek, who spent most of the first six games as a blocker, emerged as Vick’s favorite receiver with a team-high seven receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles’ defense was almost as impressive. The unit appeared on the way to shutting out the Cowboys for the first time since 1991 before Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo found wide receiver Laurent Robinson for a 70-yard touchdown that burned safety Kurt Coleman with 12:44 left in regulation.
Cowboys rookie running back DeMarco Murray, who set a franchise single-game rushing record (253 yards) a week ago against St. Louis, gained 74 yards on eight carries against the Eagles.
The Eagles punished Romo, collecting four sacks. Defensive end Jason Babin earned two to push his season total to nine. Defensive end Trent Cole and defensive tackle Trevor Laws had one apiece. All 22 of the Eagles’ sacks this season have come from defensive linemen.
I’m still taking it all in. As JB pointed out last night, it really wasn’t “perfect”, as the Eagles offense probably left at least three more scores on the playing field upon which they didn’t close the sale… But I have not witnessed such relatively error-free execution from the O-Line and the defense to set the tone early for an Eagles win in a long time. It was a joy to watch Jason Peters and Evan Mathis opening up huge gaps on the left side, and Vick calling out audibles and hitting his hot reads, and seeing McCoy and Vick work a symphony of orchestrated draws to great success…
And to see the Eagles defense adjust to a more modified version of Juan Castillo’s original concept was even more gratifying. It was almost like Castillo was actually listening to what our own intramural coach Leo Pizzini had been saying all along— morph the Wide Nine to conform with game situation, and adjust the WILL and SAM assignments accordingly — press the corners and bring a safety into the box— and it worked…
And for it all to gel together in time for this huge win over Dallas on national TV made it even more special.
We will add updated information to this blurb to flesh out the total picture… but this is your immediate impressionistic take of what was simply a great night to be an Eagles fan.
MSN.com’s take: ‘”They have a saying in Texas about guys who talk big and don’t deliver — “all hat and no cattle.’’ So far this season, Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has been just that. Back in training camp, the Big D’s large-framed loudmouth chided the Eagles as the “all-hype team” – adding, “We’re going to beat their ass when we play them.” It was just the first of several bulletin-board quotes from Ryan to fuel foes in 2011. Well, Sunday night, Dallas did play at Philadelphia — and it was Ryan’s formidable backside that got kicked by the revenge-minded Eagles in a 34-7 Philly romp. Ryan’s defense surrendered 495 yards, including 185 on the ground by LeSean McCoy and another 50 rushing from QB Michael Vick (pictured). The Eagles’ running game enabled Philly to dominate the play clock 42:15 to 17:45, and run 70 plays to the Cowboys’ 49. Dallas QB Tony Romo was just 4-of-8 at one point midway through the game before finishing 18-of-35 for 203 yards, one TD and one pick in desperation catch-up mode. Whaddya say now, Rob?”‘