Sunday Night wrap-up: Eagles continue to roll, thrash Cowboys

AP

Good teams can overcome an injury or two. Great teams can adapt when things go wrong within the course of a game.

The Eagles responded from an uncharacteristically rough first half from quarterback Carson Wentz, and came back for an unorthodox 37-9 win over the Cowboys.

The Cowboys played solid defense for most of the first half, and did some things to make you remember left tackle Jason Peters wasn’t there (he’s out for the year with a knee injury). That absence didn’t fully explain Wentz going cold in the first half, including a 1-of-10 stretch.

But they were able to run enough, and let him buy time until they found the creases. He finished 14-of-27 for 168 yards and two touchdowns, which covers up the fact he was really bad for a quarter and a half.

Oh yeah, by the way, they scored 30 unanswered points in the second half.

Wentz’s ability to make throws on the move and look around for openings when plays break down helped them hit reset after a slow start. His fourth-quarter duck-under-a-sack-and-complete-a-pass move was the kind of thing quarterbacks his size can’t do (unless they’re Cam Newton, or Ben Roethlisberger, or, well, you get the point).

If you’d have tuned in at halftime, you’d have nodded and figured the league’s highest-scoring defense was doing what it normally does. But they had to go through a strange lull, and the coming out of it might have said more about the Eagles than anything else.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. The Eagles defense was already pretty good.

But it got a boost with the return of cornerback Ronald Darby.

Playing his first game since a dislocated ankle in Week One, Darby looked solid. He had a highlight interception (collecting one broken up by a teammate previously), but his less notable work was as impressive.

He’s the kind of cover player they need against the Dez Bryants of the world, and adds an element to a defense that has gotten good pressure up front all year, with waves of pass-rushers.

If they ever get anything out of Sidney Jones (their second-rounder who is on the non-football injury list after a pre-draft Achilles injury), the Eagles have some excellent parts in the secondary along with current starter Jalen Mills.

2. It’s hard to judge the Cowboys offense at the moment, and not just because of the absence of Ezekiel Elliott.

Because while not having their bell-cow running back certainly hampers things, they still ran the ball well enough to have a chance. What they struggled with is pass protection, and that’s where the absence of All-Pro Tyron Smith was so glaring.

While replacement Byron Bell didn’t turn the game into a jailbreak the way Chaz Green did against the Falcons, it was still harder for Dak Prescott to have the time he needed. Bell’s actually a pretty decent right tackle, but when pressed into blind side work in Carolina and now Dallas, he has struggled.

But even beyond the injury absence of Smith (who hopes to recover from his groin injury and play Thursday), the Cowboys line hasn’t played up to its reputation lately.

That doesn’t excuse totally Prescott’s first three-interception day, but it was still the first time they haven’t scored a touchdown in a game since two years ago (when the legendary Kellen Moore was under center).

3. The Cowboys surprised some by deactivating running back Darren McFadden, but the backs they had did an acceptable job.

Alfred Morris was quite good, actually, with 17 carries for 91 yards. Along with Rod Smith, it was enough of a running attack to sustain them.

It was actually only the second time this season the Eagles allowed 100 rushing yards, with the other being against the Chiefs in Week Two (their only loss).

4. The Eagles have now won eight in a row, and have a four-game lead in the NFC East with six to play.

Unless they pull a Washington-in-the-fourth-quarter over the next month and a half, they’re in excellent position for the postseason. They’re still just a game ahead of the Vikings and Saints for home field and two games on the Rams.

5. Kicking and punting aren’t the same jobs. But it’s still a surprise Eagles punter Donnie Jones wasn’t pressed into action instead of a linebacker.

After kicker Jake Elliott left with a head injury, it was down to Kamu Grugier-Hill (of course) to handle the Eagles’ kicking. The 37-year-old Jones has never attempted a kick in the NFL or even during college at LSU, so that apparently was a less-attractive option.

They went for fourth downs and two-point conversions (making three of their four attempts), which was its own kind of fun.

But perhaps each team should have to try one kick per game with a position player. Maybe the next time the league wants to punch up extra points, somebody will consider that.

82 responses to “Sunday Night wrap-up: Eagles continue to roll, thrash Cowboys

  1. Not making an opinion but here are the facts of the matter combined records of teams iggles have beaten 34-56

  2. Carson Wentz > Dak Prescott. Shannon Sharpe must be giddy to get to work on Skip Bayless tomorrow….not that anybody watches that sorry excuse for a show. But, wow. The Eagles are rollin’, The Cowboys are reelin’.

  3. We might not have just learned this tonight, but . . .

    6. Dez Bryant is horribly overrated and comes up small when his team needs him most.

  4. Cowboys ran the ball well without Zeke so that’s no excuse for this loss and the defense kept Philly in check most of the first half so defense is no excuse. Dak has, again this season, showed he can’t be a leader and make the necessary passes to help balance out the offense. For all the talk about wether or not they could survive without Zeke we learned that the even bigger loss this season was probably Tony Romo.

  5. I think the iggles could steal a Super Bowl in a year the league flat out stinks Go iggles !

  6. What a tough game to watch. I don’t want to hear from the wentz sychophants, he was terrible, Dak was just worse. Again tough loss, but nothing is decided yet. Riding with my Cowboys.

  7. Wentz’s cold streak was partly because of drops, the receivers dropped 3 first downs during that lull.

    Dak Prescott looked like he was still rattled from the hits he took last week. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s hearing footsteps during Thursday’s game.

    The return of Darby helped make the Eagles secondary stronger and gave Dez no room to operate. The defense was also able to negate Dak’s mobility for the most part while Wentz was able to use his against the Dallas defense.

    Totally crazy that they went in to half time 7-9 and philly dropped 30 on them in the second half. Jerry is probably ready to take his embarrassment out on Goodell again.

  8. “We might not have just learned this tonight, but . . .

    6. Dez Bryant is horribly overrated and comes up small when his team needs him most.”
    ____________

    He was great when he had a real QB throwing to him. His numbers dropped when Dak came in. A reciever is only as good as the QB throwing to him

  9. elmerbrownelmerbrown says:
    November 19, 2017 at 11:33 pm
    Not making an opinion but here are the facts of the matter combined records of teams iggles have beaten 34-56
    ————

    It’s a little closer if you take out all the putrid losses your awful team has put up this year.

  10. I can understand losing a game because of one or two close plays where the absence of a key player might make a difference. But getting beat in all phases two weeks in a row? Thats unacceptable.

    A 2nd string player should be able to step in for the starter. At a minimum they should be capable of being 1st string on any another team. That’s not the case in Dallas.

    This is a bad team.

  11. Eagles have played 1 team with a record over .500. If Prescott knew how to hit open receivers, Cowboys victorius.

  12. It is amazing how much Collinsworth was talking up Prescott in the first half, even when the Eagles were on the field. I think the difference now is obvious: Dak needs good players to succeed. Wentz makes others better.

  13. Eagles look really good. Kind of like the Rams, but better all around.

    Wentz fits that offense to a tea!

    Very good team right now.

  14. The Eagles effectively ended the Giants’ season when they beat them in week3, ended the LOLskins season by beating them twice, and now put a stake in Dallas.

  15. Dallas has been outscored 47-0 in the second half of the last two games combined. This is a coaching issue, Garrett must step up his game. The boys have to win these next two at home to go into the last quarter of the season 7-5. And I believe they will.

  16. All these lame excuse makers on here are hilarious. There are really good teams at the top and bad teams at the bottom and the Eagles are the best in the league right now so keep making silly excuses, you’re embarrassing yourselves. One thing is clear, once the Eagles knocked off the bye week rust, they showed they are the class of the NFC east and Carson is better than Dak, no debate!!!

  17. In all seriousness, not trolling the Cowboys, what ever did happen to Dez Bryant? He’s been a ghost for like a year and a half now.

  18. I’m a Jags fan, but I’m quite pleased with the Eagles tonight. Any team that can make Jerry Jones look like he wants to choke slam somebody is alright in my book. Jags Eagles Superbowl? Let’s go.

    Nice one Eagles.

  19. Cooper Rush, who had zero completions in one attempt, finished with a better passer rating than Dak Prescott. Carson Wentz, who didn’t have a great game, but made all the throws that mattered, especially in the red zone and on third and fourth down.

  20. dodgerlakerfan1969 says:
    November 19, 2017 at 11:36 pm
    Fire Garrett already.

    If he’s gone who will applaud when the other team scores? Dallas head coach:Clappy Clapperstein – kind of like Jerry’s trained pet

  21. famundacheese says:
    November 20, 2017 at 12:01 am
    PS congrats to Jerry for failing at business but his daddy bailing him out enough until he succeeded. Your rich Jerry here’s a ring.

    Isn’t that the same thing the guy in the White House did?

  22. unshipm174 says:
    November 19, 2017 at 11:51 pm
    Eagles have played 1 team with a record over .500. If Prescott knew how to hit open receivers, Cowboys victorius.

    Yeah. This game really came down to the wire.

  23. To quote Reuben Frank from CSN Philly:

    “Since 2000, the Cowboys have lost 22 games by 23 or more points. Eleven of them — half of them — have been to the Eagles.”

  24. fumundacheese 9-1 is good in fact its very good but no championships since 1960 is ,,well shall I just say politely LAUGHABLE

  25. Ok, the others owners can take the Cowboys away from Jerry…then they can hire a real GM, who will hire a real coach, who actually can coach the players to their potential. Cmon, vote to take the franchise away from Jerry. Even though the Eagles looked good tonight, the Vikings are still the better team in the NFC. They have the defense to stop any offense.

  26. A little karma for Jerry Jones.

    Russell Wilson is doing it all by himself this year. Dak cant do that…yet? He needs a top 3 running game to get 8 men in the box and open things up. Those picks today were horrible rookie picks. Throwing into triple coverage and whatnot… he needs to learn to throw it away if it’s not there. Always another down…

    Case Keenum was doing a good job of that today if it wasn’t there. He tossed a couple into the sidelines and I was thinking that look like Russell. Smart.

    Turnovers are terrible and worse than 50 incompletions. Straight giving the other team points

  27. elmerbrownelmerbrown says:
    November 19, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    I think the iggles could steal a Super Bowl in a year the league flat out stinks Go iggles !
    ……………………………….
    Now i’ve heard it all !

  28. Byron Bell didn’t turn the game into a jailbreak the way Chaz Green did because they gave him help tonight. They didn’t do it consistently though, and on the play Prescott fumbled the ball Rod Smith flat out missed the help for Bell on the left side. The Cowboys should start Green and give him help all night-not just on one or two plays out of five-and bench Bell. The league knows who Byron Bell is at this point, through stints in Carolina and Tennessee, at least Chaz Green might improve some with the experience. At the end of the day though, the Cowboys did not give enough help to that side consistently enough for Prescott.

  29. I can’t stand comments like “oh, the combined record of teams they’ve played is only 34-56.

    You can only play the team the schedule says you have to. And the Eagles beating the teams they come up against is a big reason the combined record of opponents is no good

  30. Congrats eagles fans on not one thing in your life being different. Nothing special happens if the eagles win. if wentz paid your mortgage after a win that would be exciting, but I’m pretty sure he doesnt. Relax.

  31. It makes me wonder when the fans are going to start losing interest in the perpetually lousy teams they support. It was pretty obvious how this game was going to turn out before it was even played.

    Then you have an AFC that has so many lousy teams, that the Patriots could take any QB off the street and still make it to the SB.

  32. I only got to watch the first half but the way that the announcers were gushing over Dak Prescott made me think they have man crushes on him. The ‘Boys are an average team this year and if the loss of one lineman is an excuse for poor play, then Joe Flacco should go to the pro bowl. He didn’t have his left tackle and has 3ard stringers at three other places on the line. He did OK, though.

  33. elmerbrownelmerbrown, you are so butt hurt its hilarious…lol

    Eagles have played the teams on their schedule and have “BLOWN OUT” the teams on their schedule. So….. Checkmate! Learn football. The “who have they beat” argument is only worth a damn if there is a few examples of losing to the good teams. But the Eagles have won 8 straight by blowing out everyone. Therefor that argument is pretty lame and has no merit. Its a pathetic reach by someone who is upset the eagles are good and who doesnt understand how football works.

  34. Fun fact: the record of the teams the eagles have faced looks so low in large part because the eagles have beaten most of them too.

  35. McFadden is better than either Morris or Brown, yet Jerry de-activates him. What kind of game is Jerry playing?

  36. Don’t forget to mention Robinson with that secondary. What a year for him. I believe he is PFFs 2nd or 3rd ranked CB so far and he made some nice plays last night.

  37. MTLighthouse69 says:
    November 20, 2017 at 5:32 am
    It makes me wonder when the fans are going to start losing interest in the perpetually lousy teams they support. It was pretty obvious how this game was going to turn out before it was even played.

    Then you have an AFC that has so many lousy teams, that the Patriots could take any QB off the street and still make it to the SB.

    —————

    From what I watched last night both Prescott and Wentz stink.

    The Patriots will absolutely punish either of these teams

  38. Justin Morris ,,,CHECKMATE LOL did the iggles blow out a lousy GIANTS team,,,,,Did the iggles blow out the Chiefs,,,, Did the iggles blow out a bad Chargers team,,, Did the iggles blow out the Panthers and they didn’t exactly blow out a bad Redskins team in the second game that had to be aided by a bogus fumble call on cousins at the end so you might want to learn some football ,

  39. In order of most deserving and likely, Howie Roseman will be Executive of the year, Doug Pederson will be coach of the year, Carson Wentz will be the MVP, and Derek Barnett will be Defensive Rookie of the Year.

  40. Elmer, with all due respect, who cares at this point? The Eagles are 9-1, they’ve beaten who they’ve had to beat and there will be a couple tests down the stretch. They played bad for a long stretch in this game and still blew out Dallas.

    With the number of comments you made above, it seems you’re obsessively bitter. We will enjoy this ride while you worry about the records of who we’ve beaten.

    Hope you enjoy your week. I know I will.

  41. Hope you enjoy your week. I know I will.

    ——————-
    So you are insinuating that if the Eagles lost, you would be having a bad week. I believe this to be true for most of Philly and this blows my mind. How does a team that you have no affiliation with, and players that you don’t know and could care less about you effect your life this much. I enjoy watching sports, but these guys do not effect my life one way or the other, win or lose. Mostly just white noise, a distraction of sorts. Not sure why cities like Philadelphia take it so seriously. Nothing changes in your life win or lose. If any Philly fans can explain this to me that would be great. Very odd phenomenon.

  42. You know you’re wrong,

    So why bother watching sports if you don’t get any enjoyment out of it?

    ——————————————————–
    Please read more closely next time……

    “I enjoy watching sports, but these guys do not effect my life one way or the other, win or lose.”

  43. “negadelphianinjersey says:

    November 20, 2017 at 9:20 am

    You know you’re wrong,

    So why bother watching sports if you don’t get any enjoyment out of it?”

    ***************************************************

    The guy is trying to say it doesn’t affect him, yet it clearly did. Poor guy.

  44. “Youknowimright says:
    November 20, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Please read more closely next time……

    “I enjoy watching sports, but these guys do not effect my life one way or the other, win or lose.” ”

    ******************************************

    Ah – but it does. It clearly irks you that the Eagles are successful this year and us Eagle fans are enjoying the ride. It affects you deeply – just look at your first comment – you woke up miserable.

  45. elmerbrownelmerbrown youknowimright redlikethepig

    EAGLES 9 – 1 Bumskins 4-6

    Your team has been irrelevant since 92′ HAHAHA We needed a W from you guys yesterday but I loved watching you give that game away!!!! LOVED IT!

    1960, you say? We say 2018!

  46. Nah, actually had the best night of sleep, I’ve had in months. Slept fantastic. Did a great spinning class yesterday. It really tired me out and helped me sleep well. Actually did not see much of the game. I had some better things to do with my time like go to the movies with my daughter and pick my other daughter up from some of her activities. This is not me pounding you into the ground. I’m not miserable at all. I’m actually doing quite well. I just come in here as a bit of a social experiment. Why does this town get so weird about sports. I just want a simple answer and so far none of you have answered my question. Coming back at me with insults does not answer my question. why will the birds winning a SB make your life better? Just seems like after a certain age sports should not make or break your life, unless you just really have nothing else to cling onto. Again social experiment, Go Birds-win the SB, if that helps you mentally, but just answer the question posted above. Why will the birds winning the SB make your life better—go!

  47. “Just seems like after a certain age sports should not make or break your life, unless you just really have nothing else to cling onto.”

    Why are you so obsessively clinging onto the habits and lives of others?

    “Why will the birds winning the SB make your life better—go!”

    Witnessing the apex achievement of something you’re passionate about typically brings fulfillment and joy. This isn’t a new concept or rocket science to conceptualize on a psychological level.

  48. “Social Experiment” – LOL. Ok, we will play your game. If you’re not intelligent enough to figure out why Eagles fans would be happy if the Eagles won the Superbowl – maybe you could look at it differently: Look how miserable you are when the Eagles are doing well.

    You’re scared to death of the Eagles succeeding. Maybe some more “spin classes” and sleep will help you get over it.

  49. Every year same thing out of Dallas, this is the year, we will show them, we are the best, we have quality players, now time to blame someone missing offensive tackle, no wait the running back, no no I mean the linebacker. Maybe to much TV time for Jerry Jones and his puppets.

  50. You guys are truly the best to play with. I understand being happy for the eagles, but I don’t understand how someone else’s success make you any better of a person or puts you in a better mood. When I see championship parades of any kind, they just kind of make me sad for those people because they have lived so hard for someone else’s success. When it is all said and done they really have nothing to show for it but a t-shirt that says 2000 and something, something champs.

    I am just playing devil’s advocate. I do all kinds of writing, but I never really get to write persuasive pieces. This blog really allows for me to scratch that itch, and eagle fans are the best to come at because of their strong attachment to their little team. I know I can always get work from an eagles fan because they always take the bait. And you really should try spinning. It is a tremendous workout.

  51. Lol people always bring up the strength of schedule. Think the Patriots strength of schedule is that hard? What about the steelers? They play in bad divisions but no one brings up their strenght of schedule. They beat teams they are supposed to be just like the Eagles are doing this year. Everyone they were supposed to beat they have beaten, sometimes blowing them out, sometimes winning down the wire. What counts is their record. And 9-1 days more than any arguments or trash talk anyone can come up with

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