Cowboys Turn In Best Defensive Performance Of Year In Win Over Eagles
By Shawn Lealos
The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles came into their big Week 7 game as two of the highest scoring teams in the NFL. When halftime came, Dallas only led 3-0, and by the end of the game, the two teams only combined for two touchdowns and two field goals. Dallas picked up the win, 17-3, and took sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
Here is a look at the Cowboys team grades for their big win over the Eagles.
Offensive Grade: B-
The offense did what they needed to do to win this game, however they were playing the worse defense in the NFL and couldn’t move the ball consistently. Tony Romo threw for 317 yards and one touchdown, but also tossed two interceptions. Notably, one of the interceptions was a meaningless one on a Hail Mary to end the first half. The second, though, came when Dallas was driving down the field. Luckily, their defense covered for them.
The running game was non-existent with DeMarco Murray out of the game. Joseph Randle carried the ball 19 times for 65 yards, averaging 3.4-per-carry. It was a nice long look at the rookie, but he showed here that he will not replace Murray in this offense anytime soon. Phillip Tanner only ran two times for one yard, although that yard was for a touchdown.
It looks like Miles Austin has officially lost his starting job to Terrance Williams. Dez Bryant led the team in receptions, with eight receptions for 110 yards, while Williams ranked second with six receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. Cole Beasley also grabbed six receptions and Jason Witten had a quiet game, with four for 48. Miles Austin played and didn’t catch a single pass.
Defensive Grade: A
LeSean McCoy leads the NFL in rushing yards and the Eagles have the league’s number one rushing offense. Dallas, who has a decent rushing defense, held this team to 84 rushing yards and McCoy finished with 18 carries for only 55 yards. It was a masterful performance by the defense who completely shut down the Eagles high powered rushing attack.
Nick Foles started in place of Michael Vick and the Eagles went to the air a lot in this game. Foles threw the ball 29 times in the game, but only completed 11 of his passes for 80 yards and Dallas was in his face the entire game. It was a shock with DeMarcus Ware hurt, Anthony Spender on the IR, Jay Ratliff released and Jason Hatcher playing hurt. Despite all this, the Dallas defensive line did their part.
Foles was injured in the game, so Matt Barkley came in for his first regular season action. He had a better completion percentage than Foles (11/20) and threw for more yards (129), but he also threw three interceptions to Dallas defensive backs, with Sean Lee, Barry Church and Brandon Carr all nabbing interceptions. There was another interception for the Dallas defense that was called back on an offsides penalty.
Overall, it might have been the best Dallas defensive performance of the season.
Special Teams Grade: B
Dan Bailey hit his only field goal in the game. Chris Jones had nine punts in the game and was solid. The punt and kick return games were solid as usual, but Dwayne Harris has really set his expectations too high now and this was just a basic performance. Nothing bad here, but nothing special.
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Shawn S. Lealos is a freelance writer who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He writes for a variety of national publications and has over 15 years of sports journalism experience. Follow Shawn on Twitter @sslealos. Examiner.com.