Don't eat him Ryan Cook, Felix just won a game ball! - Elsa
The Dallas Cowboys saved their season against the Philadelphia Eagles in a 38-23 victory. Let's take a closer look at some of the individual performances that put the Cowboys over the top.
At one point in this game, it looked like the Dallas Cowboys were going to lose to a rookie quarterback with a beat up offensive line. Instead, the Cowboys finally found a way to create big plays. Make no mistake about it, big plays win games and change seasons.
There is nothing more satisfying than putting a nail in the coffin of a rivals season, and that is exactly what the Cowboys did yesterday on the road. The Cowboys have a golden opportunity to get back into the NFC East hunt. The Giants have found their mid-season valley again and are letting the Cowboys back in the race for the division. Two losses in a row puts the Giants at 6-4. With New York on their bye, the Cowboys have a chance to beat the Cleveland Browns at home next Sunday and only be one game out of first place. Considering how this season has gone, that is a huge opportunity for this franchise to turn it back around.
As usual after a win, let's take a closer look at the players who made the game balls list.
This wasn't a fantastic statistical performance from Romo, but he gave the Cowboys everything he had yesterday. The offensive line had trouble with the Eagles and their talented stable of pass rushers. Even though Romo was only sacked three times, the pressure was consistent throughout the entire game. Romo hasn't had a lot of great success in Philadelphia recently. This time around, he was able to rise to the occasion and play a big part in defeating the Eagles.
Romo completed 19 of 26 passes, good for 73.1 percent. While he may have had some accuracy issues in 2012, he didn't have any yesterday. His throw to Dez Bryant was absolutely beautiful, but his best play of the game came on a scramble where he completed a 25-yard pass to Miles Austin on 3rd and 5. It was one of his patented escape acts, and it was a thing of beauty.
The Dallas Cowboys go as far as Tony Romo goes. If Romo gets time to throw the ball and his skill players step up and play good football, then the Cowboys can go pretty far.
Against the Eagles, Felix Jones looked like the player the Cowboys spent a first round pick on back in 2008. After the Eagles scored on their opening drive, the Cowboys struck back with a scoring drive of their own. Romo orchestrated a 13-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by a 11-yard touchdown pass to Jones.
Maybe it is just my eyes, but Felix looked faster in this game. His burst and acceleration allowed him to turn short runs into sustainable yardage. Felix isn't known as a power runner, but this is an area that he has impressed at during times in his career.
Felix carried the ball 16 times for 71 yards and averaged 4.4 yards per carry. We need DeMarco Murray to come back and give us another talented runner. If Felix can continue to play at a high level, he can combine with Murray to make up a very dangerous running back tandem.
In my film session last week, I did praise Harris for his big punt return, but I also made a point that he didn't capitalize on his opportunity to score. This week Harris got another opportunity to go to the house and this time he ran by everyone and put six points on the board for the Cowboys.
Harris said after the game he knew that he was going to score as soon as the ball left Matt McBriar's foot. That 78-yard return was a huge play that the Cowboys needed. Harris went untouched up the sideline and really helped the Cowboys pull away from the Eagles in this game.
Harris has earned a role on this team just off his return ability alone, but it may be time for him to get some snaps over Kevin Ogletree in the base offense.
Bruce Carter may be the best player on the Dallas Cowboys right now. There are a lot of good players on this team, so to compliment Carter like that is saying something. Carter has transformed into an outstanding linebacker in just his second season. He doesn't have Sean Lee next to him anymore, but Carter has truly stepped up and rose to the occasion.
Once again, Carter was all over the field and finished the game with 10 tackles. Not only was Carter all over the field, he made the Eagles pay when he got a chance to hit them. One area that some criticized Carter for was his decision making and that he was a "finesse" linebacker. Have you seen anything from Carter in 2012 that makes him a finesse linebacker?
Carter is extremely physical and punishes people when he gets the chance to tackle them. In the first couple of pre-season games, Carter was a little bit hesitant. Since the regular season started, he has grown into a linebacker who sees and reacts instantly. He is studying so hard in the film room that sometimes he knows what the offense is doing before the ball is even snapped. This kid is a stud and he is going to be one of the best inside linebackers in football for a very long time.
Honorable Mentions: Brandon Carr, Dez Bryant and Ernie Sims