By Joseph Santoliquito
ARLINGTON, TX (CBS) — As this was unfolding, the prevailing question was how long was it going to last? How long could Darren Sproles keep going back to who was a decade ago? How long could the Eagles keep the clamps on Ezekiel Elliott? How long could the Eagles’ secondary check Dez Bryant? How long could Carson Wentz keep the Eagles afloat with little help from his teammates?
Then reality seeped in.
Dallas overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Eagles in overtime, 29-23, not able to contain Elliott or fellow rookie Dak Prescott in giving up over 450 yards of offense.
And it happened when Rodney McLeod ran into Malcolm Jenkins, leaving Jason Witten wide open in the end zone to haul in a Prescott 5-yard TD pass.
Again, costly fumbles and an inability to catch the ball, led to the Eagles falling to 4-3, while Dallas took a two-game lead to improve to 6-1.
Wentz finished completing 32 of 43 for 202 yards, with a touchdown, but two of the three times he was sacked came on the Eagles’ final drive.
The Eagles appeared in great shape, up 20-10, after what appeared to be a defensive stop at the Dallas 27 with 4:55 left in the third quarter. But the Eagles have had a habit of hurting themselves more than their opponents have this year, and what happened next was a galvanizing example why.
Dallas punter Chris Jones ran for his life—taking off 30 yards and enabling Dallas to stay in the game. Rookie Jalen Mills lost outside contain and was outrun by the punter. The Eagles wound up shutting Dallas down, forcing the Cowboys to settle for a Dan Bailey 23-yard field goal.
The Eagles answered right back, when Josh Huff took off on a 63-yard kick return, which translated in Caleb Sturgis’ third field goal and a 23-13 Philadelphia lead with 14:13 left to play. The gut-wrenching part of that drive was a drop by Dorial Green-Beckham down the middle of the field inside the Dallas 5, which could have led to more points.
Green-Beckham would later hurt the Eagles again with an offensive pass interference call inside of a minute to play. It was the last time the Eagles touched the ball.
The Eagles went into halftime leading 13-10. They did a reasonable job putting the clamps on Elliott, and they did force Dak Prescott into some uncomfortable decisions, like the interception he threw right to Jordan Hicks waiting at the goal line. It was a 10-point turnaround, taking away a possible Dallas touchdown and eventually leading to Caleb Sturgis’ 55-yard field that gave the Eagles the lead for the first time.
Wentz was efficient. He completed 17 of 21 for 107 yards, which included a drop by Nelson Agholor, who continues to be highly unreliable. It came on a third-and-six at the Dallas 12, and Agholor was wide open and had an easy path to the end zone. Instead, the Eagles had to settle for a Sturgis 30-yard field goal with 6:39 left in the first quarter.
Defensively, the Eagles ganged up on Elliott every chance they could. Most of that work was done by the Eagles second-tier defense, led by linebackers Nigel Bradham and Jordan Hicks. Fletcher Cox wasn’t much of a help. The Eagles defensive tackle was trapped and blown off the ball, and disappeared at times.