Cowboys Send a Statement by Routing Eagles
(973espn.com) - If it was a guarantee, it was an empty one.
Appearing on a Philadelphia-area radio station for his weekly contractual spot earlier this week Eagles coach Doug Pederson said: "We're going down to Dallas, and our guys are gonna be ready to play. And we're gonna win that football game, and when we do, we're in first place in the NFC East."
None of that was true.
The Eagles were down 14-0 just over six minutes into the game after fumbles by Dallas Goedert and Carson Wentz gave Dallas short fields to work with and the Cowboys pretty much dominated from there en route to a 37-10 win.
“Frustrated, a little embarrassed," Wentz responded when aked about the setback. "We didn’t show up and they beat the crap out of us.”
The triumph halted a three-game losing streak for the Cowboys and put Jason Garrett's team atop the moribund NFC East at 4-3 on the season, a game clear of Philadelphia, which has dropped the first two legs of a three-game road trip.
The Cowboys outgained the Eagles 402 to 283 and used a solid running game spearheaded by Ezekiel Elliott to confound the embattled back seven of Jim Schwartz's defense, which welcomed back Jalen Mills after nearly a calendar year.
Dallas has never lost to the Eagles with Elliott, who finished with 111 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, in the lineup.
Mills was better than Sidney Jones but not good enough to stop Amari Cooper from piling up five receptions for 106 yards despite the receiver dealing with a leg injury. The veteran corner, who hurt his foot last October in London against Jacksonville, did make a brilliant interception in the fourth quarter and at the bare minimum proved far more competitive than the other Eagles' CBs.
Carson Wentz had one of his worst games as a professional, completing only 16-of-26 passes for 191 yards and turning it over three times with two fumbles and an interception.
The Philly receivers continued to be a disaster area without DeSean Jackson, combining for only four receptions -- two each by Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor -- in 10 targets
The lone bright spot may have been the powerful running of Jordan Howard (50 yards on 11 carries) but that was limited when the Eagles fell behind by a significant margin.
“It starts with me," Pederson said of the loss. "I’m gonna own this one. It’s on me.”
Eagles Sunday Night Stock Market:
Jordan Howard - About the only real positive on offense was Howard's punishing running style.
Derek Barnett - Barnett showed some life against an injured Tyron Smith, getting home with a speed rush and then unleashing a spin move that flushed Prescott into Hassan Ridgeway for a sack.
Andre Dillard - The Eagles first-round pick isn't ready. After getting thrown into the deep end of the pool against Everson Griffen last week, things didn't get any easier with Robert Quinn with the low point being consecutive plays late in the first half, a bull rush for a sack followed by a spped rush which nearly resulted in a strip back.
Carson Wentz - Wentz has generally played well this season but seemed unsure of himself in a big moment. He's struggling mentally with the noise in the locker room and on the field with receivers who can't get separation.
The Defensive Back Seven - This group is just not talented enough. Maybe when Nigel Bradham gets back from his ankle injury and Rondald Darny is healthy enough to play opposite Jalen Mills, Jim Schwartz can cobble something together. Right now the talent is simply not there.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen