The Cowboys did not play on Sunday, but the team received some good news in regards to its division title chances.
The Cowboys have lost two straight games to fall to 6-6. Yet, they enter the final month of the season with a one-game lead in the NFC East, thanks to a loss by the Eagles in Miami.
Philadelphia sits at 5-7, one game behind the Cowboys and the two teams will meet again in Philly on Dec. 22.
Shockingly, the Cowboys are still in first place of the NFC East by a full game. Philadelphia couldn’t take advantage of the Cowboys’ two-game losing streak as the Eagles lost on the road to the Dolphins, 37-31. The Cowboys have four games to play – at Chicago, LA Rams, at Philly and Washington to close out the season.
That is an ugly loss for Philly.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ 37-31 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday was the worst of the coach Doug Pederson era -- a kind of defeat that has the ability to splinter a locker room, and one that will test this team’s leadership group with four games left. Facing a stripped-down 2-9 Miami team and with a clear path to the NFC East title right in front of them, the Eagles choked.
A defense that had held its past four opponents to 17 points or fewer reverted to its old ways, as the secondary yielded one big play after another -- mostly to DeVante Parker (7 catches, 159 yards, 2 TDs), who became the eighth wideout to eclipse the 100-yard mark against this unit. Miami hadn’t scored this many points since October 2015.
Familiar issues appeared on offense, such as drops (the one by tight end Zach Ertz near the goal line late in the third quarter was a killer) and bad penalties.
The good news is that the Eagles (5-7) remain just a game back of the Dallas Cowboys (6-6) and, with a home game against Dallas looming, still somehow control their own destiny. They could end up division champs, but after a loss like this, it’s hard to think they deserve to be.
The Eagles choked in Miami and fans had fun ripping them and the brutal NFC East - Andy Nesbitt, USA Today
The NFC East has been anything but good this season, to say the least.
Then the Eagles went out on Sunday and made that help irrelevant as they threw away what looked like an easy when in Miami. Philly gave up a 28-14 lead before losing to the Dolphins, 37-31. It’s yet another painful loss for a team that has fallen apart in recent weeks.
A win would have drawn the Eagles even with the Cowboys atop the NFC East, now they’re 5-7 and remain in second place in a division that has quickly become a dumpster fire.
Philadelphia gave up one of the most creative touchdowns in Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins but the Eagles also allowed 37-year-old QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw for 365 yards and three touchdowns, which is totally unacceptable.
The NFC East should be banned from this year’s playoffs.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) December 1, 2019
Likely January game: the Cowboys or Eagles hosting the 49ers or Seahawks in an NFC Wild Card round game.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 1, 2019
Will the Cowboys show that they are the best team in the NFC East, or will the division champ just be the best bad team?
Then there is Week 16 when the Eagles host the Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. The Cowboys won the first game against Philadelphia this season at home in Week 7 by a score of 37-10. But their season has gone in the wrong direction since. Dallas has lost three of their last four games, albeit against teams with winning records. They are 0-5 against teams above .500 this season; the Eagles are 2-3.
The loss to Buffalo on Thanksgiving opened speculation that head coach Jason Garrett needs a long playoff run to save his job. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson will avoid that talk by virtue of the Super Bowl ring on his finger. But these are two franchises who had plenty of high expectations at the start of the year and have failed to meet them. One of them is going to host a home playoff game in January. It just won’t be a smooth ride getting there.
Dolphins punter throws touchdown pass to kicker Jason Sanders in trick play of the season - Jeff Kerr, CBS Sports
The Dolphins ran a really cool play to score a touchdown to win their game versus the Eagles on Sunday. Check it out if you missed it:
The Miami Dolphins found a way to pull of the trick play of the 2019 NFL season, and it came against the head coach who pulled off the “Philly Special” in the Super Bowl in Miami’s 37-31 win on Sunday. On a fourth-and-goal from the Philadelphia Eagles’ 1-yard line, the Dolphins set up a unique formation which the punter lined up in shotgun formation, clearly showcasing the Dolphins had no intention to kick the ball on the play.
Here’s where the chaos ensued once Dolphins punter Matt Haack received the snap:
Here’s what NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday about who might be the replacement for Garrett at season’s end.
“I am told keep on eye on Lincoln Riley, the promising young coach out of Oklahoma. Here’s one of the reasons why. The Joneses, Jerry and Stephen, already have formed a close relationship with Lincoln Riley going back to the recruitment of walk-on quarterback John Stephen, who is Jerry Jones’ grandson. Lincoln Riley took a home visit with the Joneses … That is the time they realized what a genius this guy was at offensive football and how they became smitten with him.”
The @NFLGameDay Notebook with @MikeGarafolo: When #Texans star JJ Watt will return, all the #Patriots are sick, why #OU coach Lincoln Riley is a name to watch for the #Cowboys and how #Redskins President Bruce Allen's future isn't secure. pic.twitter.com/bPyE81amw6— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 1, 2019
The Cowboys are ready to get back to work. Thursday will be here quickly.
“Guys are definitely frustrated,” said Zack Martin. “We know what we have in this locker room -- we’re not getting it done and being where we’re at.”
Martin was sure to point out that the Cowboys have the capacity to change that. At 6-6, the Cowboys still sit on top of the NFC East. Thanks to another loss by Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon, they still look like favorites to host a playoff game.
Given what all has happened to this point, that’s not a terrible place to be.
“That’s the thing about it is, we’re still in control of our own destiny and it’s up to us to block out the noise and come in this week and get it done,” Martin said.
Judging from the start to their week, that sounds like the goal heading into Chicago.
There’s a lot happening with the first place Dallas Cowboys. We discussed it all on the latest episode of The Ocho.
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