Philadelphia 30, Dallas 27: Cowboys Fight But Can’t Overcome Their Own Secondary
Two things we know about the Dallas Cowboys since Jason Garrett took over as head coach:
1. The team will fight like it never did under Wade Phillips in the first half of the season.
2. This God-awful secondary will find some new way to look completely lost on the field.
With regard to #2, I might suggest that if you have a receiver on your fantasy team and that player is facing the Cowboys, you ought to play that receiver. However, my Eagles receiver was Jeremy Maclin, who only caught one pass all game. The real Cowboy killer was DeSean Jackson, who became the second consecutive receiver to gain more than 200 yards receiving against Dallas.
On the first play from scrimmage, Michael Vick rolled left after a play-action fake. Jackson made Terence Newman look like a 41-year-old and ran right by the old man en route to a 60-yard gain. That set up the Eagles first touchdown, which was a one-yard run by Vick.
Back to point #1: Dallas didn’t fold. The Cowboys drove 77 yards in 10 plays and tied the game when Jon Kitna hit Jason Witten on a one-yard touchdown. Both teams struggled to move the ball until Vick again hit Jackson for 37-yard gain down to the Dallas 2. Vick threw a touchdown pass to an eligible lineman to give Philadelphia a 14-7 lead.
On the next drive, Kitna tried to hit our volleyball king Miles Austin, who tipped the pass in the air. Quintin Mikell came down with the ball in Philadelphia territory.
Again, recall point #1: On the next possession, Vick tried to hit Brent Celek on a post, but Gerald Sensabaugh picked off the pass. Dallas turned around from there and set up a 50-yard field goal by David Buehler.
Dallas kicked another field goal early in the third, and on the next drive, Maclin did his best Austin impression and tipped the ball straight up in the air. Bradie James came down with the ball in Eagle territory. Felix Jones took a screen pass from the Philadelphia 37 and moved the ball to the Eagle 2. Jones scored two plays later to give Dallas a 20-14 lead.
Philadelphia tied the game on two field goals. Dallas had trouble moving the ball and played for field position. Early in the fourth, Dallas pinned the Eagles inside the 9.
Okay, take a look at point #2 now: On first-and-ten from the Eagle 9, Vick threw and out route to Jackson. Mike Jenkins drove to try to tip the ball away, but Jackson was able to haul it in. The Cowboys were on an all-out blitz, and there was nobody to catch Jackson, who ran 91 yards for a touchdown.
Here’s a clip:
You might notice that Sensabaugh and Alan Ball were somewhere near Jackson when he caught the ball, but neither was in a position to tackle him.
Why? They haven’t been in position more than two plays in a row all damn season.
The Eagles increased the score to 30-20 before the Cowboys scored to cut the lead to 30-27. Yes, point #1 still applied in the fourth quarter.
Nevertheless, once the Eagles took possession with 4:22 remaining, the Cowboys never touched the ball again. LeSean McCoy ran right up the gut on several plays in a row, and the Cowboys had no clue how to stop him.
And so the Cowboys can celebrate a well-fought loss and the team’s first losing record since 2004. Awesome.