Grayson’s Grades: Eagles at Cowboys
ARLINGTON, Texas - The Philadelphia Eagles watched control of the NFC East stay in Dallas as the Cowboys embarrassed the Eagles 37-10 on Sunday Night Football.
With the win, the Cowboys have a one game lead over the Eagles in the division and own the tiebreaker with the head-to-head win.
The Eagles fumbled twice in the first quarter and the Cowboys turned both of them into touchdowns. The offense continued to struggle while the defense did the same and the Eagles trailed 27-7 at halftime.
The second half saw the offense turn it over again and also fail to get the ball in the end zone once it entered the red zone. The Cowboys dominated the Eagles in many statistical areas. They gained 119 more yards than the Eagles. The Cowboys were eight of 14 on third down and four turnovers by the Eagles certainly contributed to their demise.
Here is the latest edition of Grayson's Grades:
Carson Wentz - Wentz looked awful in this game. He fumbled a snap. Wentz also threw an interception. It was flat out ugly. He was under pressure a lot and held onto the ball too long at times. Sure, he was trying to extend plays, but sometimes an incomplete pass and throwing it away can be a positive play. Wentz and Pederson need to get on the same page with the idea and scheme they are trying to do. There clearly seems to be a disconnect in that area. Consider this a defining moment for Wentz and the offense. Will this embarrassment result in a further collapse or cause them to fix at least some of what is wrong and get the train back on the tracks. Wentz completed 16 of 26 passes for 191 yards and one touchdown as well as one interception and two fumbles lost.
Doug Pederson - This team looked totally unprepared and was never in this game. That reflects solely on the Head Coach and trickles down from there. Pederson's play calls lacked any kind of flow or rhythm. He cannot take care of the ball, that responsibility falls on his players, but turning it over four times is inexcusable. While it does not look that way, the season is in fact far from over. Beating Dallas in Philadelphia later this year will erase the tiebreaker advantage the Cowboys currently have. However, there is clearly a lot of work to do to fix a lot of issues on this team. The season hangs in the balance and feels like this could be a defining moment that either causes a collapse or fires up a strong second half of the season.
Dallas Goedert - The Eagles went with a lot of 12 personnel (one running back and two tight end formation). That had Goedert on the field frequently. He was targeted on the opening drive and caught it but fumbled when he took a big hit. He rebounded by making a great catch for a 28 yard touchdown.
Wide Receivers - Wide Receivers accounted for a whopping total of just four receptions in this game. Alshon Jeffery caught a pair of passes for 38 yards. Nelson Agholor also caught two passes for 24 yards. Agholor appeared to have a good shot at catching a deep ball that might have gone for a touchdown, but he looked to slow up and did not extend himself or dive for the pass that seemed to be within reach. Agholor's explanation of the play after the game was that the trajectory of the ball was lower than he thought and he picked it up late causing the incompletion. Carson Wentz said that he thought it was going to be a touchdown when he let it go, so clearly a little chemistry is lacking between the two players.
Offensive Line - The offensive line could not put together much of a sustained drive. There were moments where they opened big enough holes for five yards or so, but not consistently. They also failed to protect Wentz giving up three sacks and five quarterback hits. This was supposed to be one of the top offensive lines in the league, but has clearly failed to live up to that hype.
Defensive Line - The defensive line failed to stop the run giving up 189 yards on the ground. Ezekiel Elliott had 22 carries for 111 yards. The Eagles also failed to get much pressure on Prescott giving him all kinds of time and space in the pocket to operate. One of the few bright spots was when Derek Barnett flat out beat his man off the line of scrimmage and got to Prescott quickly for a sack. The lack of pressure has been an ongoing problem for this defense this season.
Defensive Backs - The defensive backs made plenty of mistakes in this game. Jalen Mills returned to the field for the first time in a year. He did get an interception, but also gave up some big plays down the field. Many of the defensive backs missed tackles and committed costly penalties. That includes Malcolm Jenkins who played his worst game of the season. Orlando Scandrick literally ran circles around Tavon Austin when trying to tackle him on the first touchdown of the game.