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DALLAS (CBS) — Nigel Bradham’s shoulder pads were rapidly moving up and down as he addressed the huddled Eagles’ defense in overtime. The Dallas Cowboys were driving, and the Eagles’ defense was gulping for air.
From there, it seemed only a matter of time for an exhausted defense that did all it could to keep the Eagles in the game.
By the way this was unfolding, you just had a feeling that it would end this way — with the Cowboys prevailing off of something quirky. A 15-yard deflected pass to Amari Cooper off the back of Rasul Douglas’ left hand spelled a 29-23 overtime victory for Dallas over the Eagles on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.
Cooper’s career-high third touchdown gives Dallas an 8-5 record and control of the NFC East and spelled the end of the Eagles’ postseason charge, dropping them to 6-7 without the favorable schedule Dallas has over their last three games.
The Cowboys have now won five-straight games and the Eagles’ season is now probably over.
This unforgettable game will likely be remembered for Dallas Goedert’s 75-yard touchdown being taken away on a highly disputed offensive interference call, but the Eagles did score on the drive. Then there was the fumble on the opening kickoff, which it appeared the Eagles recovered.
What needs to be taken into consideration was the Eagles’ inept offense in the first half and going 1-for-9 on third-down conversions. It was also about Carson Wentz starting slow, before finishing by completing 22 of 32 for 228 yards and three touchdown passes.
The Eagles’ defense was on the field for 45 minutes and 28 seconds and 93 plays.
It was the defense that forced three turnovers, which led to 10 Eagles’ points. It was a defense that the Cowboys went 1-for-4 against in the red zone.
In the end, however, it was a tired defense.
Dallas took a 6-0 lead into halftime, though it seemed like it was 600-0. The Cowboys outgained the Eagles, 233-70, they picked up 14 first downs to the Eagles’ 4, they ran off 40 plays to the Eagles’ mere 17, and though it appeared they had the ball for the whole half, they held the considerable edge in time-of-possession, 21:14 to the Eagles’ meager 8:46.
Douglas deserved a better fate.
If not for Douglas’ interception with 10:26 left in the first half, things could have been worse. Douglas, in fact, was one of the few bright for the Eagles’ dismal first half. The second-year cornerback, who had been the focus of some derision earlier this season, had a team-high six tackles in the first half, including one for a loss, and finished with nine in the game.
Otherwise, there was nothing for the Eagles to be optimistic about.
They went 7-and-out, followed by consecutive three-and-outs, before Carson Wentz lost his sixth fumble of the season on the Eagles’ fourth drive. Their first five drives went: 7-and-out, three-and-out, three-and-out, fumble, and three-and-out.
The Eagles converted their first third down and then proceeded to go zero for their next 8 on third down.
Darren Sproles’ 25-yard reception on 4th-and-3 at the Dallas 48 was the play of the game and kept the Eagles in it on the last play of the third quarter. Sproles later scored the game-tying TD on a six-yard reception with 1:39 to play.
Receiver Nelson Agholor’s 42-yard fourth-quarter reception with 1:53 left to play that set up Sproles’ game-tying TD.
Safety Malcolm Jenkins causing a fumble on the opening kickoff.
Cornerback Sidney Jones made a nice tackle and defended Amari Cooper on the opening drive for Dallas.
Defensive end Michael Bennett taking down Dak Prescott for a four-yard loss at the Eagles’ 13 on the Cowboys’ second drive with 3:13 left in the first quarter. Bennett’s strip sack caused Prescott to fumble at the Eagles’ 45 with 2:04 left in the third quarter. Bennett later took down Ezekiel Elliott for a 3-yard loss.
Defensive end Brandon Graham’s fumble recovery at the Cowboys’ 45, which produced Jake Elliott’s game-tying 26-yard field goal.
Running back Josh Adams’ 24-yard run on the Eagles’ first drive that brought the ball to the Cowboys’ 45.
Douglas saving a touchdown with an interception with 10:26 left in the first half. Douglas later came up with two huge tackles, one on 3rd-and-23 on Michael Gallup for a 1-yard gain at the Eagles’ 27. The following play was Brett Maher’s missed 45-yard field goal.
The Eagles’ first half defense. They gave up 233 yards of offense and 14 first downs but just two field goals — one a 62-yard Maher field goal to close the half.
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox’s five-yard sack at the Cowboys’ 9 with 6:16 left in the third quarter. Cox’s 9-yard sack at the Dallas’ 44 to close out the game during regulation. Cox later forced a holding call in overtime.
Safety Corey Graham’s third-quarter interception, which set up the Eagles’ first TD.
Receiver Alshon Jeffery’s two-yard touchdown, bullying his way into the end zone with 6:04 left in the third quarter to bring the Eagles within 9-6.
Wentz going 3-for-3 for 41 yards that ended with a 3-yard TD toss to tight end Dallas Goedert, tying the score at 16-16 with 3:12 left to play.
Goedert making three huge catches in the fourth quarter for 38 yards, including one TD that should have been two TDs.
Wentz losing his sixth fumble and ninth fumble overall this year on the Eagles’ fourth possession with inside of a minute left in the first half and the Eagles driving.
Kicker Jake Elliott missing the extra point after the Jeffery’s third-quarter touchdown, giving Dallas a 9-6 lead.
Cornerback De’Vante Bausby getting roasted by Cooper for a 75-yard touchdown with 3:01 left to play.
Wentz overthrowing everyone on the Eagles’ first two drives. Wentz’s throw to Agholor with 7:07 left in the third quarter on a 2nd-and-3 at the Eagles’ 44 was horribly low.
The Eagles’ first-half offense, which produced four first downs and 70 yards of offense, to the Cowboys’ 14 first downs and 233 yards of total offense.
Douglas getting flagged for a 15-yard face mask penalty with 5:30 left in the first quarter, which gave the Cowboys possession at the Eagles’ 32.
Cox getting called for roughing the passer with 4:15 left in the first quarter, moving the ball to the Eagles’ 9.
Jones failing to wrap up Elliott on a 2nd-and-11 at the Dallas 24 with 11:32 left to play. Then, Jones got burned by Cooper for a 28-yard TD with 7:46 left to play.
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz for not giving safety support to anyone who had to cover Amari Cooper.