Posted on November 20, 2017, by Travis Pulver
Dallas Cowboys fans knew the margin for error with the team was going to be small without Ezekiel Elliot, Tyron Smith, and Sean Lee. They probably hoped that the guys taking the field would step their game up a little. Maybe, just maybe, they’d make fewer mistakes, and the team could win a game or two.
Even if Dallas had been at full strength, beating the Philadelphia Eagles would not have been easy. Carson Wentz and company have simply been playing too well. But for one half, it looked like the Cowboys might be able to pull it off.
At the end of the first half, the Cowboys led the game, 9-7. They’d moved the ball well, but couldn’t complete a drive and had to settle for three field goals. Defensively, they were not giving Wentz too many open targets to throw to.
The Eagles run game wasn’t getting anywhere either. But all that changed in the second half.
After holding the Eagles to three and out on their last four drives of the first half, the Dallas defense suddenly couldn’t stop anything the Eagles did. Wentz opened the second half with an eight play, 75-yard touchdown drive that put the Eagles up 15-7.
They followed it up with a five-play, 90-yard touchdown drive and an 11-play, 85-yard one. It was safe to say at that point the rout was on. In case it wasn’t clear, a fumble returned by Nigel Bradham for a touchdown made sure it was.
Dak Prescott got close to getting the Cowboys in the end zone on the next drive but ended up throwing his third interception of the game.
Carson Wentz didn’t have a great game completing 14 of 27 attempts for 168 yards and a pair of touchdowns. But the Eagles didn’t need him to win the game since they were able to run the ball so well in the second half. They ended the game with 215 yards rushing.
“The biggest thing was sticking with the game plan,” Wentz said after the game (ESPN). “The big boys up front kind of came out angry. We ran the ball the second half really effectively.”
Dallas was supposed to have issues in the running game without Elliot, but Alfred Morris ran the ball just fine (17 carries for 91 yards). The defense can’t seem to play a complete game anymore. Without Tyron Smith, the mighty offensive line can’t seem to get the job done.
Neither can Dak Prescott.
At 9-1, the Eagles have all but locked up the division. Amazingly, the Cowboys have the only shot at catching them, but with how they’ve played the last two weeks they’ll be lucky to finish 8-8 this year. If Dallas is going to have a prayer against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thanksgiving, they are going to need Tyron Smith back.
It wouldn’t hurt if the pass rush could put a little pressure on Phillip Rivers, too.
The Eagles appear to have the most complete team in the NFL. They can pass the ball well. They have a strong run game, and they have a defense that can shut opponents down. At this point in the season, it is hard to imagine anyone beating them.
They will try to score 30+ points for the fifth game in a row when the Chicago Bears come to town next week.