Eagles Starting Offense – LT Demetress Bell, LG Evan Mathis, C Dallas Reynolds, RG Dennis Kelly, RT King Dunlap, RB, LeSean McCoy, FB Stanley Havili, WR DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, TE Brent Celek, QB Michael Vick
Eagles Defense – DE Jason Babin, Trent Cole, DT Fletcher Cox, Cullen Jenkins, Linebackers Akeem Jordan, DeMeco Ryans, Michael Kendricks, Cornerbacks, DRC, Nnamdi Asomugha, SS Nate Allen, FS Curt Koleman
Cowboys Offense – LT Tyron Smith, LG Nate Livings, C Ryan Cook, RG Mackenzy Bernadeau, RT Doug Free, WR Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, RB Felix Jones, FB Lawrence Vickers, TE Jason Witten, QB Tony Romo
Cowboys Defense – NT Jay Ratliff, DT Jason Hatcher, SLB Anthony Spencer, MLB Bruce Carter, WLB Ernie Sims, JLB Demarcus Ware, CB Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick, and Morris Claiborne, FS Gerald Sensabaugh, SS, Charlie Peprah.
1st Quarter Recap
I saw some good things from the Eagles offense on the 1st Drive. The birds started with a short pass to Celek who stiff-armed Cowboys Free Safety, Sensabaugh for a gain of 17 yards. Reid mixed in a few running plays to McCoy, but the big play on this drive was a WR screen pass to Jackson, who cuts across the field and gets pushed out of bounds by Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr. The Eagles capped off the 10 play, 81 yd drive with a one-handed touchdown pass catch by Riley Cooper in the corner of the end zone. This was Cooper’s first touchdown of the season. The Cowboys strike back on their first drive with 13 plays 80 yards and highlighted with 5 rushing plays by Felix Jones, and capped with a screen pass for 11 yards. On that play, Jones breaks 5 tackles, missing Asomugha, Allen, Daryl Tapp, Brandon Graham, and Coleman for the first Cowboys score of the day. The Eagles were three and out shortly thereafter and the Cowboys start the second quarter with the ball on their 35 yard line.
2nd Quarter Recap
The cowboys start the quarter with a deep overthrown pass to Bryant which sets up a 42 yard punt for a fair catch by Demarius Johnson. The Eagles start their second drive with a couple of good rushing plays by Bryce Brown and LeSean McCoy. Michael Vick then takes a timeout before he runs out of time on the play clock; Vick was trying to audible but couldn’t get the offense lined up correctly. Vick then runs on a draw play for a 4 yard gain. After an off-sides penalty on the Cowboys, Vick tries to throw a short pass to McCoy, but gets buried by Cowboy LB Ernie Sims. What happened on that play? Looking at the film, it’s the same thing that happened last week against the New Orleans Saints. Dallas Reynolds and Dennis Kelly split off after the snap, not taking into account for the blitz and Sims has this big wide open hole, with no one to block him. This is the play that knocked Vick out of the game with a concussion and made way for the debut of Nick Foles.
Following the Cowboys series, which resulted in a 35 yard punt out of bounds, Foles comes in for the injured Vick. On first down, he hands the ball off to McCoy for no gain. Second down, Foles hands off to McCoy, again, for a 5 yard gain. Eagles Offensive Coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg calls a pass play, Foles throws a beautiful pass, but Jason Avant, trips up, pulls his hamstring, and the ball hits him in the head. Avant gets knocked out of the game with a pulled hamstring, which now makes Jeremy Maclin the emergency QB if Foles gets knocked out also(Trent Edwards was listed as inactive). The Cowboys then put together a 5 play drive, including a deep bomb, 49 yard pass to Dez Bryant. The Cowboys settle for a Field Goal, making the score 10-7 in the second quarter.
Nick Foles’ next series wasn’t as conservative as his first series, with a quick 3 and out, all pass plays. What can be taken out of this series is his awareness of the pocket and knowing when to take a hit. He did have one pass to FB Havili, which was almost picked off by Scandrick, on 2nd and 13. The Eagles punt after a short screen pass to McCoy only picks up 8 yards. The Cowboys get the ball back and start the drive with a 15 yard run by Jones with some great blocking from his LT. After the two-minute warning, Romo completes a pass to Witten, tackled by Nate Allen just shy of the first down marker. Next, Fletcher Cox almost stuffs Romo as he throws an incomplete pass to Austin, and is being covered beautifully by Kendricks. Romo then finds Witten on third down, but DeMeco Ryans is there to cover for no gain, which sets up for another Dallas punt.
On the last Eagles possession of the first half, McCoy rushes for no gain on counter-left play, Foles throws a screen pass to FB Havili for a gain of 3 yards out of bounds, and then hands the ball to McCoy for no gain, up the middle. This drive was confusing to me. How is the offense going to have Havili catch the ball and go out of bounds, but then rush the ball up the middle? To me, that’s called being inconsistent, and the only team you’re throwing off is yourself. At that point, it didn’t matter. The Eagles punt the ball with 9 seconds left, and Romo kneels the ball to finish the first half.
3rd Quarter Recap
The Cowboys receive the ball to open the second half, and, on first down, Asomugha breaks up a pass to Austin on the Cowboys 25 yard line. The Eagles defense keeps rolling with a sack by Jenkins on second down, and pressure by Cox on third down to force Romo to throw it away and end the first series of the half. Foles comes in and almost gets Maclin killed on a quick inside route. Maclin short-hands the pass as he sees Sensabaugh coming right at him. On second down, throws a deep ball to the left to Cooper, but Morris Claiborne holds him and gets a flag for an automatic first down. Foles then hands off to McCoy and he gets good blocking, finds a hole and picks up 23 yards into Dallas territory. McCoy tries an end around to the right side, and almost picks up 9 yards, but is overturned after a holding call on King Dunlap (the first of more disappointing moments by Dunlap). It’s now first and 20, on the Dallas 44 yard line, Foles steps back, he looks, he fires deep, and finds Jeremy Maclin, 44 yards deep in the middle of the end zone for a touchdown. Alex Henery kicks the extra point and Dallas starts their next drive.
The Cowboys start off with a delayed handoff to Jones for a gain of 4 yards, stopped by Akeem Jordan. Jones runs again, but only manages a yard as he is just smothered by the Eagles linebackers and defensive line. Romo goes under center for third down, and completes his pass to Vickers, but is brought down DeMeco Ryans short of the third down…and the Cowboys are forced to punt.
Foles, on a roll after his first NFL touchdown, throws to Jackson on a quick slant route, which almost looked like it was going to be intercepted. But Jackson looks back, extends his hands, tucks back into his body, and picks up a gain of 7 yards. On second down, Foles steps back, it looks like he is going to throw the screen to Clay Harbor, but turns to his right, sees Brent Celek, and Celek is met with the Cowboys defensive line for no gain. On third down and 3, Foles sees Jackson to his left, throws the curl route for an incomplete pass. However, the referees call holding on Scandrick and the Eagles pick up an automatic first down. Foles drops back quick, sees Maclin on the quick slant and connects for a 4 yard gain. On second down, Foles throws another short pass to McCoy, who picks up another 4 yards, brought down by the Cowboys CB Claiborne. On third and 2, Foles steps back to throw it deep to Jeremy Maclin, overthrowing him, but a flag is thrown for pass interference on Claiborne again for 20 yards. McCoy rushes left after that play and picks up 13 more yards to put the Eagles offense on the Cowboys 18 yard line. McCoy rushes again, this time to the right, and is brought down by Ratliff for only a 4 yard gain. On the next play, Foles throws a dump pass to Maclin, who is brought down for a loss of a yard. The next play showed the comfort level Foles has with his second team player, DeMarius Johnson, who catches the ball on the 1 yard line, but a flag on King Dunlap for illegal use of his hands sends the Eagles back to the 22 yard line. This penalty ultimately leads to a field goal and its Cowboys ball.
The Cowboys get the ball back on their own 20 yard line and Romo rolls out for a quick pass to Witten, but is wrapped up and brought down by Kendricks for a loss of 1 yard. Kendricks makes a beautiful tackle, wrapping Witten’s legs. But on second down, Romo drops back and finds Witten for a 15 yard gain outside on a post route. Romo throws another short pass for a 6 yard gain to Witten, and is stopped by Kendricks again. One third down and 4, Romo makes a big play, spinning out of a potential sack twice, stepping up and firing deep to Austin for a 25 yard pick up. Romo completes another pass to Bryant for 8 more yards, but lose a couple of yards after a handoff to FB Vickers is met with resistance from DeMeco Ryans. The Cowboys would end the quarter with a shotgun pass to Bryant in the end zone for a touchdown and a flag for pass interference on Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie. The Eagles challenge the ball on whether or not Bryant actually had possession, but the ruling on the field stood and the Cowboys kick the extra point to end the third quarter.
The score is tied 17-17 to start the quarter. Nick Foles and the Eagles open on the 22 yard line. Foles drops back, is looking for McCoy on a screen pass, but is intercepted by Anthony Spencer, who returns it back for a touchdown; or so everyone thought. A flag was thrown on Claiborne for defensive holding on Riley Cooper and an automatic first down for the Eagles. After a short run by McCoy and two incomplete passes to DeSean Jackson, the Eagles are forced to punt. However, Dwayne Harris runs it down the side line with absolutely nobody there to stop him and scores the easy touchdown on 78 yards. The only two Eagles I saw actually giving effort on the return were Jamar Chaney and the punter Matt McBriar. I saw Casey Matthews just absolutely give up on that return. Despicable! The score now is 24-17, Cowboys with the lead.
The Eagles go back to work and Foles completes a 14 yard past to Brent Celek over the middle. Foles hands it off to McCoy to the outside for a gain of 2 yards. Then on second down and 7 to go, Foles does a three step drop, throws to his right behind DeSean Jackson and is picked off by Brandon Carr, who runs it all the way back for back-to-back defensive scores. The Cowboys extend their lead 31-17 with only 12:25 to go in the game. If you go back and look at that play, you can see King Dunlap giving up – no excuse. He had a chance to push Carr out of bounds around the 5 yard line, and possibly settle for just 3 points
So the Cowboys kickoff again and the Eagles get the ball back on their own 21 yard line. After the Cowboys give up an off-sides penalty, Foles hands the ball off to Bryce Brown for no gain. On second down, Nick Foles throws to Clay Harbor in the middle of the field for a gain of 10 yards and a first down. Foles throws again to his left, and it is caught one-handed by Maclin on the 46 yard line. Foles rushes the offense back for a no-huddle play from shotgun, and throws a complete pass to Riley Cooper, but a flag is thrown for illegal use of the hands, AGAIN on King Dunlap! Foles was unable to continue the drive after that and the Eagles were forced to punt again with 8:29 remaining in the game.
The Cowboys start the drive with a Felix Jones run, but for no gain and a personal foul – illegal use of the hands on DT Mike Patterson for 5 yards. Jones gets the hand-off again a couple more times and the Cowboys call their first time out. Jones runs again, but is short of the first down; and the Cowboys are forced to punt.
The Eagles offense comes back onto the field. After an incomplete pass to Cooper on first down, Foles drops back, scrambles out of the pocket to his right, being chased by Spencer, throws across his body and it is complete to Jeremy Maclin; a gain of about 14 yards. Scandrick gets shaken up as he tries to block Maclin and is walked off the field. Foles drops back again, and connects with Maclin again for another 13 yards; and now the Eagles are at midfield. The Eagles go no-huddle as McCoy rushes for a gain of 9 yards. Foles goes no-huddle again, drops back, throws a curl route to Maclin for 7 yards. Back to the line, handoff is to McCoy for another 6 yards. Taking command of this offense, Foles drops back, but overthrows an incomplete pass to Maclin. The Eagles regroup, get back to the line of scrimmage in shotgun formation, the ball is snapped, Foles drops back, and he is SACKED by Butler, loss of 5 yards. It’s now fourth down and 9 and the Eagles are going for it. Foles in the shotgun, he steps back, he’s looking, gets forced to his right by the rush, finds Demarius Jones and he is wide open for a gain of 32 yards at the Cowboys 1 yard line. After an offsides penalty on Dallas and the two-minute warning, the Eagles hand the ball off to FB Havili, who runs it in for the touchdown! The field goal unit comes out, but Alex Henery is unable to pick up the extra point and now the game is 31-23, Cowboys lead.
The Eagles kick onsides, but Jason Witten recovers at Philadelphia’s 47 yard line, and the Cowboys start the drive with a short field. Jones gets the hand off for a gain of 2 yards, and the Eagles take their second time out. Jones gets the hand off again for a loss of 1 yard, and the Eagles use their final time out with 1:44 left. A couple of plays later and a second timeout by Dallas, the Cowboys punt the ball out of bounds on the 11 yard line.
This final drive by the Eagle was nothing but a dagger in the back of fans in the stadium. A false start penalty is called on LT Bell and a loss of 5 yards. Then on first down and 15, Foles is sacked and fumbles the ball in the end zone. Anthony Spencer falls on top of the ball in the end zone for the second defensive touchdown by the Cowboys and the score is now 38-23. The Eagles go for one more drive, but are unsuccessful as time expires in the game.
Game Day Stats:
Eagles – Foles: 22/32, 219 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 FUM; McCoy: 16 rush, 82 yards, Maclin: 8 Rec, 92 yards, 1 TD
Cowboys – Romo: 19/26, 209 yds, 2 TD; Jones 16 rush, 71 yards, Bryant: 3 Rec, 87 yards, 1 TD.
Penalties – Cowboys 13 penalties for 75 yards; Eagles 6 penalties for 50 yards
Third Down Efficiency – Cowboys, 5 out of 13 (38%); Eagles 1 out of 10, (10%)