By Kevin McGuire
Happy Thanksgiving Philadelphia! The Eagles gave Eagles fans plenty to be thankful for on the football field Thursday afternoon by demolishing the Dallas Cowboys, 33-10. With the win the Eagles own sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
Mark Sanchez may not have thrown for 300 yards and four touchdowns, but on this Thanksgiving day he did not need to. Instead, Sanchez turned in a solid performance with 217 yards and a touchdown and zero turnovers. Sanchez only took one sack during the game as well. He managed the offense very well and showed some good passion and leadership on the field from start to finish. Grade: B+
Chip Kelly likes to have an efficient offense, and for the most part he got that in Dallas. The Eagles converted seven of 13 third downs for first downs, but started to stall inside the red zone and had to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns as the game played on. The Eagles had just one turnover, a fumble by LeSean McCoy. McCoy made up for his rare mistake with a big day on the ground. The Eagles running back rushed for 169 yards and a touchdown, which came on a 38-yard run. Jeremy Maclin put together another 100-yard game and Jordan Matthews added 51 yards and a touchdown. Grade: A
The Eagles got a super performance from the defense on Thursday. The defense sacked Tony Romo four times and picked him off twice. The Cowboys only managed 10 points and were held to fewer than 270 yards of total offense. The best scoring opportunity the Cowboys had in the second half came following a fumble recovery deep inside the red zone, but the defense held strong to limit the Cowboys to three points early in the half. It could have been a game-changer. The secondary played well from start to finish for one of its best games of the season. Fletcher Cox was a monster up front as well.
The reliable and trusty kicking services of rookie Cody Parkey once again came through. The rookie kicker kicked all four of his field goal attempts and three more extra points for 15 points. Punter Donnie Jones booted his three punts for an average of 49.0 yards, pinning the Cowboys inside their 20-yard line twice. Grade: A+
This was a total beatdown that would have made Buddy Ryan proud, but should be a signal of things to come with Chip Kelly at the helm. The Cowboys were unable to keep pace with the Eagles on offense, and it started to bring emotions to a boil on the Dallas sideline. The more important piece of information here is the Eagles now have an edge on the NFC East race with a head-to-head win and a better division record against the Cowboys. Plus, the next time these two teams face each other, in just a couple of weeks, the Eagles will get the home field advantage in a month that has traditionally been unkind to the Cowboys.
But first, the Seattle Seahawks come to town in Week 14.
For more Eagles news and updates, visit Eagles Central.
Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.