Now, that’s what we’ve been waiting for.
In front of a sold-out crowd and a prime-time television audience, the Dallas Cowboys benefited from the playoff atmosphere to subdue the competing Philadelphia Eagles, 37-10. And in doing so, they snapped the ugliness of a three-game losing streak to take over sole belongings of first place in the NFC East.
The success was a total and overall team effort, led by a controling Cowboys defense that produced 4 takeaways, three sacks, five quarterback hits and five tackles for loss. The unit limited the Eagles to 283 overall backyards with Carson Wentz, the 2nd total pick in the 2016 draft, tossing for just 191 yards on his way to an 80.3 passer score.
That effort, though, was matched by the Dallas offense, which featured a well balanced attack that produced points on seven of its 11 possessions on the night. Dak Prescott, the 135th general choice because same 2016 draft, was masterful, completing 77.8 percent of his passes for 239 yards to earn a 100.5 passer rating. He likewise ran 5 times for 30 yards and earned goals on the ground and through the air.
Assisting the cause, both Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper topped the century mark with the running back picking up 111 rushing yards and the wideout adding 106 receiving yards. In all, the Cowboys totaled 402 yards of offense with a 57 percent success rate on 3rd downs and a time of belongings advantage of 32:22 to 27:38.
In fact, the dominance came right from the start. You just couldn’t have requested a much better starting from the Cowboys as the team installed 14 points within the very first six minutes of the game. And both scores came thanks to the Dallas defense requiring turnovers.
Entering this contest, the Cowboys were the only team in the NFL who had yet to begin a drive inside enemy territory. But Dallas turned the turn on that stat in fast order, requiring fumbles on each of Philadelphia’s very first two drives to set themselves up with a brief field.
The very first came when linebacker Jaylon Smith jarred the ball loose from tight end Dallas Goedert, the ball recuperated by protective tackle Maliek Collins. Beginning at the Eagles’ 45-yard line, the Cowboys then required simply 6 plays to reach completion zone, doing so on a clever choice play that saw Prescott turn the ball to Tavon Austin, who scrambled 20 yards to the best pylon for the score.
Philadelphia’s 2nd fumble came shortly thereafter, on the 2nd play of its next series, when DeMarcus Lawrence navigated the corner and dove to strip the ball out of the hands of Wentz. This time it was defensive tackle Antwaun Woods scooping up the fumble to give Dallas ownership at the Eagles’ 14-yard line.
Elliott did the heavy lifting this time, rushing 13 backyards and after that the last 1 to provide the Cowboys a 14-0 lead with the first quarter not even half over.
As excellent as the defense was on the first two Philly belongings, however, the third was anything but. Dallas had actually apparently forced a quick three-and-out only to have actually Smith called for roughing the passer. Two snaps later on, Xavier Woods was called for unneeded roughness which moved the chains another 15 yards.
Offered the presents, the Eagles capitalized with Wentz eventually lofting a pass just over Leighton Vander Esch and into the arms of Goedert for a 28-yard completion and Philadelphia’s first goal of the night.
But it would be the only hiccup for the team all night as the Cowboys returned on track in the 2nd quarter, adding another 13 points before the half. Their third goal came when Prescott and company marched 71 yards in 12 plays to pay dirt. The drive was highlighted by a fourth-and-1 call at the Dallas 49-yard line, which saw the quarterback toss a brief pass to Elliott for the easy conversion.
It was nearly as easy as the occurring touchdown. Having worked their method to the 1-yard line, the Cowboys sold the play-action completely, Prescott faking a handoff and after that discovering Blake Jarwin for the touchdown, the tight end all alone in the end zone.
Keeping its foot on the gas, Dallas followed that with a pair of basket from Brett Maher. While the first was a chip-shot 26-yarder, the second was far more impressive, the kicker splitting the uprights from 63 yards away to set a new Cowboys record.
Remember, in the previous 3 games, all losses, the Cowboys had actually scored just nine points combined in the very first half. In this one, they put points on the board on 5 of their six first-half belongings for a commanding 27-7 lead at the break.
The Cowboys would return for the 3rd quarter with their defense a little shorthanded as both defensive end Robert Quinn (ribs) and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck) left the game due to injury.
No matter. The Eagles tacked on a basket in the 3rd quarter, but as video game ticked into the fourth frame, Dallas went on a prolonged 13-play, 64-yard drive that ate up 7:23 of clock and consisted of a honey of a catch by Amari Cooper down the right sideline for 28 yards. Maher then capped the series by responding to with a basket of his own, this one a 29 yarder.
When Xavier Woods then picked off Wentz on Philadelphia’s next belongings, which was followed by Kerry Hyder falling on yet another fumble on the Eagles’ following series, there was absolutely nothing delegated do however run out the clock and start the celebration.
Dallas included one more goal just for great procedure after the Hyder takeaway. Prescott got the honors on this one, rushing around the ideal end and diving into completion zone for his 3rd rushing touchdown of the season and the 21st of his profession, a new team record for the most in history by a Dallas quarterback.
With the win, the Cowboys can no head into their bye week on a high note, owning a 4-3 record. And they’ll now get some well-deserved rest after having reaffirmed that they are undoubtedly a playoff competitor and the group to beat in the NFC East.