The Dallas Cowboys pieced together a tough victory against the Eagles on Sunday by repeatedly making plays. There was a lot of messiness that needs to be cleaned up, but the Cowboys also made a lot of great plays from a lot of different players.
Here are 13 plays that played a big role in the Cowboys victory.
1. This is what happens when you don't block Sean Lee
Sean Lee drops DeMarco Murray for one of his many tackle for losses.
2. The Eagles offensive line is not as good as they think they are
I don't know what type of blocking scheme the Eagles were running, but this strategy doesn't look like a good one.
3. Joseph Randle was elusive
Joseph Randle didn't break any big runs, but he did a great job grinding out the yards. DeMarco wasn't the only RB who had some work to do in the backfield, but Randle seemed to have more luck getting out of trouble. Here, he turns this backfield loss into a four yard gain.
4. Randle is in trouble again
But still peels away for a three yard gain.
5. And Darren McFadden did a little escaping as well
On this play, McFadden should be taken down in the backfield for a four yard loss, but instead turns it into a four yard gain.
The Eagles couldn't move the chains because they struggled on early downs. The Cowboys moved the chains because they pounded out the dirty yards. The ability to turn these plays into positive gains kept the offense in more manageable situations.
6. A rookie with some hustle
When Malcolm Jenkins picked up the ball after the Gavin Escobar fumble, he was off to the races, but rookie La'el Collins chased him down and made a touchdown saving tackle. If Jenkins scores here, this game changes significantly. The very next play, the Eagles botch the snap and the Cowboys get the ball back so this play turns out to be huge.
7. Tyler Patmon spoils a big reception
Miles Austin has made some big plays for Dallas, but he wouldn't make any against them on this day. Patmon gets his hand in to break up the pass and stops the Eagles from a big third down completion.
8. The rookie makes his mark
J.J. Wilcox got all the glory, but it was Byron Jones getting his hand in there that caused the ball to be tipped up in the air and eventually intercepted. This is a big time play for the Cowboys first-round draft pick.
9. Another special play by the rookie
Danny McCray swung around and had a clear path to block the punt, but look at the Eagles blocker in the middle. He had to focus his attention to his right where Byron Jones was flying in. This left things open for McCray to get the block.
The special teams was outstanding. Chris Jones was kicking the snot out of the ball and flipped the field position in the first quarter. The punt unit almost had another great play when Corey White saved the ball from going into the end zone, but Jeff Heath's feet (that's hard to say) were just a little too big to prevent it from being a touchback.
Side note: the last time the Cowboys blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown was 1992. I wonder how they ended up doing that year?
10. Stopping Darren Sproles
The Cowboys had success stopping the run because they penetrated the Eagles offensive line rather easily. But they stopped the Eagles screen-pass game by swarming and wrapping up. This first down play to Sproles was a small gain.
11. Happy-feet Witten
Jason Witten abused the Eagles defense with his quick-step cut and precision route running. Witten only caught seven passes for 56 yards, but these plays were very important in sustaining drives. These plays also frustrated Eagles linebacker, DeMeco Ryans who struggled covering Witten all night. He would get flagged for defensive holding, get replaced in coverage and then rush the QB, where he got a hands to the face penalty. The very next play, he'd be back on Witten and immediately got burned again.
The play in this photo is one of my favorites for two reasons. First, it just illustrates how Witten gets good separation on his cuts. And second, this play is late in the game and is a dead on accurate pass from Brandon Weeden. This connection is going to be huge for Dallas to keep their offense going over the next couple months.
12. Cool-hand Weeden
The Eagles bring six pass rushers on this play. Weeden stays calm and hits Terrance Williams in stride for a 42-yard touchdown that put the game out of reach.
13. DeMarco just couldn't catch a break
DeMarco Murray thought he found the end zone late in the game, but Barry Church had a little bit of bad news for him. So close.
|Don’t forget to resister for our Blogging the Boys meet-up!
Oct 24-25, 2015
Cowboys-Giants in the beautiful Poconos
|Three awesome Cowboys-centric events!|
|Saturday, October 24
(8:00-10:00 PM): Dinner the night before the game
|Sunday, October 25
(9:00 AM - 1:00 PM): Pre-game brunch
|Sunday, October 25
(4:30-8:30 PM) Cowboys-Giants game, with free buffet
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