There is nothing like beating the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s one of those true treasures in life like finding a straggler onion ring in your bag from the drive-through.
For the Dallas Cowboys, this was a big win that serves as a huge thermometer for what kind of mood we’re in this week. We got the dust off our victory Monday polo shirts that have been neglected in our closet for a month. We didn’t have to listen to people at work ask us what’s wrong with the team or if Jason Garrett was going to get fired. It was a big win and we intend to enjoy every second of it.
Winning is great, but it’s even more satisfying because of the way it happened. The Cowboys put on a clinic. Unlike previous games, there was no slow start, the offense wasn’t careless with the ball, and the intensity was off the charts. There was a lot to love about this game, but here are some key things that stood out after re-watching the tape.
Run with authority
It was impressive that the Cowboys put up 189 rushing yards and scored three rushing touchdowns against the Eagles second-ranked run defense. The offensive line did a fabulous job against the Eagles front, opening the way for a big game on the ground.
But it wasn’t just the clean lanes that propelled the Cowboys running attack. The running backs were driving hard on each run as they kept those legs churning and lunged for every extra yard they could get. And it wasn’t just a bunch of power running, as both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard showcased a nimbleness that would’ve made Barry Sanders proud.
The Cowboys running backs ran hard against the Eagles. The shiftiness of Zeke and Pollard was ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/cQBEAOs5rN— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) October 21, 2019
Such beautiful chemistry
On the one-year anniversary of the Amari Cooper trade, it’s a good time to reflect on just how great of a move it was for Dallas. The Cowboys knew exactly what their new young franchise quarterback needed, and they went out and got it.
With each new game, this duo keeps getting more and more in sync. This is our future, people. And it’s spectacular.
The more these two play together, the more Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper develop this cosmic twins ESP-like power that we once saw with Aikman and Irvin. pic.twitter.com/W3QrsqkB8o— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) October 23, 2019
Cooper is a special player and he’s helping bring out the best in Dak as Prescott is doing something this year that hasn’t been done in 30 years. (Hat tip to Michael Gelhken for this nugget).
Over the last 30 years, the quarterback with the highest yards/attempt in a season, who has also completed at least 70% of his passes is....Dak Prescott....this season! pic.twitter.com/7jPMGxJK6Q— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) October 22, 2019
The play-calling was outstanding
The Cowboys got back to their winning ways, and with it comes some brilliant play-calling by Kellen Moore. Maybe it’s the execution that was better that allowed these plays to get results, but it sure seems like the game plan was a lot more creative on Sunday night. The Cowboys offense had the Eagles defense on their heels all night. There was a lot more motion happening, plenty of misdirection, and some clever tricks on the money downs to keep those drives going.
The Cowboys wasted no time with a great third-down conversion in the red zone that allowed them to do something they haven’t done all year - score on their first possession of the game.
I love how NBC conveniently introduces Orlando Scandrick right before Tavon Austin embarrasses him on national television.— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) October 21, 2019
Also, this is a well-designed play. Please do more of that! pic.twitter.com/e8fHrCOSam
All night, the Cowboys reached into their bag of tricks to make plays when they counted the most. Whether it was at the goal line or on fourth down, the offense had a play for everything.
I'm loving the bootleg/roll out's by Dak to his right. Any way the defense plays it, there always seems to be good option available. pic.twitter.com/HDBHZgqCQ4— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) October 23, 2019
They constantly got favorable matchups by getting the Eagles defense to favor one side of the field while they attacked the other. It’s really nice to see what can happen when all the cogs in the machine are working together.
Normally, I'm not a fan of these quick passes to receivers on third and long, but this is well designed. Pollard goes in motion and the blockers get out in front of Gallup to clear a path. pic.twitter.com/U0tdHNeeAb— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) October 23, 2019
Not every play was a winner, but there was plenty of great play-design on display. One of my favorites was a play that only ended up being a four yard gain, but it was so close to being much more.
Sometimes the best plays are the ones that don't work. This is a well designed screen play that has the Eagles defense going the wrong way. If the linebacker doesn't slither through to tackle Zeke, this play goes to the house. pic.twitter.com/AkswHPIJdP— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) October 23, 2019
The Cowboys stayed aggressive all night as they never let up. After going up 21-7 with just under seven minutes left in the first half, the defense wouldn’t let the Eagles make a push to finish out the second yard. Dallas made quick work of their offense, and turned around and tacked on two more field goals within the last two minutes of the half.
Nobody is talking about this, but this is great clock management. With 91 seconds left, PHI had 1st &10, but DAL came away with points.— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) October 23, 2019
1. Ensure PHI drive stalls before using TO's.
2. Start saving clock.
3. Work sidelines for small chunks because you have faith in your kicker. pic.twitter.com/pB2pGS9aNp