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Cowboys news: Dallas handles Jalen Hurts and Philly at home 37-17, keeps playoff hopes alive

Another Monday, another victory! Your Monday morning edition of Cowboys news.

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Cowboys vs. Eagles score: Michael Gallup leads aerial assault against Philly, keeps Dallas alive in NFC East - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports

Relive the resounding win:

Why the Cowboys won

It’s tough to say who delivered more this week: Amazon Prime or the Dallas Cowboys.

When they needed a big play on offense, they delivered it. When they needed a big play on defense, they delivered it. Time and again, the Cowboys carved out chunks of the Eagles heart and fed it to them, in a game that began to get away from them early. It wasn’t the usually downtrodden and floundering defensive effort, or lack thereof, that caved after seeing the opposition score two touchdowns in the first quarter. Instead, they clamped down, and with the help of defensive end Randy Gregory — whose three forced fumbles are the most by any Dallas defender since 2016. Gregory not only helped contain an uber-mobile Hurts, he bullied him on-demand, and it helped the Cowboys secondary join the party in a big way. With Hurts feeling the pressure in the second quarter and beyond, he became nervous — as most NFL rookie quarterbacks would — and that’s when the giveaways showed up.

It was a provocative complement to the offensive output, one that saw both Gallup and Cooper finish with 121 receiving yards, and the former combining with Lamb for a combined four TDs. The Cowboys scored 34 points after the first quarter, and the Eagles scored only three after hanging 14 on them in the first 15 minutes.

Cowboys Rookie Class Has Gotten Valuable Experience in 2020 - Matthew Lenix, Inside the Star

The young guns are firing on all cylinders

If there’s one thing the Dallas Cowboys don’t lack its veteran star power. Names like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Aldon Smith keep that ever so bright spotlight on America’s Team.

The 2020 season has brought a little something different to the Cowboys. An infusion of young talent from the NFL Draft has been at the forefront of the team’s success this season, even though there hasn’t been a lot to get excited about, at least not consistently. Nonetheless, these building blocks for the future have gotten much-needed experience during their rookie campaigns.

5 thoughts from Cowboys-Eagles: Dallas’ playoff hopes are alive and well after third straight win - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News

What vaulted them over the top:

Michael Gallup’s wonderful day

While everyone marvels at CeeDee Lamb’s rookie season, Michael Gallup is Dallas’ real No. 2 receiver. In McCarthy’s mind, he’s a No. 1 target. Gallup finished with six catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Gallup has quietly had a productive season while not as sexy as Lamb or Cooper, who reached a regular-season career-high in catches (86) on Sunday. Yet, Gallup is a reliable threat for whoever is at quarterback.

Slowing down Jalen Hurts

The biggest challenge to the defense was the elusive Jalen Hurts. The Eagles’ quarterback can beat you not just with his legs, but as a smart, calm passer. The Cowboys chased him out of the pocket, forcing him to throw several off-balance passes. Hurts finished 21-of-39 for 342 yards and a touchdown and had 69 rushing yards. Now, the defense did give up an 81-yard touchdown reception that was fun to watch as DeSean Jackson somersaulted into the end zone while trolling the Cowboys secondary. But that was the last we heard of Jackson. The Cowboys got pressure on Hurts and had some tight coverage down the field. Of course, it wasn’t a perfect effort. The Cowboys defense allowed 477 yards. But, hey, the offense is carrying this team so the defense can continue to leak.

Eagles go silent in second half of 37-17 loss to Cowboys - Philadelphia Inquirer Staff

From the City of Brotherly Love:

The Eagles imploded in Dallas, losing to the Cowboys, 37-17, and are now officially eliminated from the playoffs. The Eagles got the help they needed by both the Washington Football Team and the New York Giants, but squandered a 14-3 first-quarter lead to fall to 4-10-1 on the season. Jalen Hurts had his worst game as the team’s starter, committing three turnovers to go along with one throwing touchdown. The Eagles had an obvious advantage running the ball early against Dallas’ terrible run defense, but couldn’t sustain drives as the game wore on and it cost them. The defense, marred by an injury-riddled secondary, needed the offense to put up points, but didn’t get the help it needed. Both Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup had 121 receiving yards and Gallup scored two touchdowns against undrafted rookie free agent Michael Jacquet. The Eagles will finish the season at home against the Washington Football Team. Washington can clinch the NFC East with a win, while the winner of the Giants-Cowboys regular-season finale hopes the Eagles play spoiler.

Jerry Jones Keeps Telling Dallas Cowboys Fans Exactly What They Don’t Want to Hear About Mike McCarthy - Joe Kozlowsk, Sportscasting.com

Jerry is the opposite of a fan favorite right now.

During the first few weeks of the season, the Cowboys’ defense looked like a disaster; they simply couldn’t get a stop, forcing Dak Prescott and his offense to perform heroics to simply stay in the game. Everything, however, would change in Week 5.

During the Cowboys game against the New York Giants, Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury. Since then, Andy Dalton, Ben DiNucci, and Garrett Gilbert have all seen time under center. As you might assume, that’s not exactly a recipe for success.

While the Cowboys are still technically capable of making the playoffs, that shouldn’t overshadow the disappointing reality of the 2020 campaign. On paper, Dallas has plenty of talent; even if they’re not Super Bowl ready, they shouldn’t be 5-9 while playing in the worst division in football.

Cowboys’ playoff chances still alive, thanks to their offense and Washington - Todd Archer, ESPN

What did the Bee Gees say? Stayin’ alive...

As for winning the division, the Cowboys (6-9) still need help and it needs to come from the team they just beat. In Week 17, Philadelphia needs to beat the Washington Football Team and the Cowboys need to beat the New York Giants.

Since the Cowboys were swept by Washington, they lose a tiebreaker, requiring the Eagles to do them another favor.

The Eagles’ first favor was employing a defense that could not match Gallup, who finished with 121 yards on six catches, and Amari Cooper, who had four catches for 121 yards. Cooper established a career high in receptions and went over 1,000 yards for the fifth time in his six seasons. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott even came through with 105 yards on 19 carries, including a season-long 31 yarder to salt the game away.

A Cowboys defense that was gashed on the first two drives — 75 yards on the first drive that ended in a 4-yard touchdown run, and an 81-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson — allowed three points the rest of the game. The Cowboys even managed two more takeaways with an Anthony Brown interception in the end zone and a Jaylon Smith fumble recovery inside the Dallas 15.

Updated NFL Playoff Picture Following Week 16 - Nick Selbe, SI.com

Who’s in the hunt?

By beating the Rams on Sunday, the Seahawks clinched the NFC West for the first time since 2016. In the East, Washington can seal the division by beating the Eagles next week in Philadelphia. If the Eagles win, then the East champion would be either the Cowboys (6-9) or Giants (5-10), who face off at MetLife Stadium next week.

For the wild card, there are three teams fighting for two remaining spots, with Tampa Bay already ensured to be in the field. The Rams can clinch a spot with a win at home against the Cardinals (8-7). Similarly, the Bears would secure a playoff bid by beating the Packers at home in Week 17. If the Bears lose and the Cardinals win, then Arizona and Los Angeles would get in. If the Rams win, then the Bears would get the final playoff spot regardless of their result against Green Bay. The Rams would only miss out if they lose to Arizona and the Bears win.

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