Plenty of plays can turn the course of a football game. It’s always hard to pinpoint just one. But there was an unexpected play in the Dallas Cowboys win over the Philadelphia Eagles that had an outsized impact, and just may play a role in future games.
The Cowboys were trailing the Eagles 34-27 midway through the fourth quarter. The Cowboys had to score to keep pace; if they didn’t it was very likely Philadelphia was going to win this thing. Then things turned brutal for Dallas. After almost losing the ball on a fumble after a sack, they gave up another sack, leaving Dak Prescott and the offense with a 3rd and 30. Yikes.
There aren’t a lot of plays to call there, so Dallas just called ‘T.Y. Hilton go long’. And bam, it worked. Hilton caught the ball for 52 yards on a fantastic catch and the Cowboys converted. They would go on to score on the drive and tie the game, then eventually win it. Without T.Y. Hilton's play, that doesn’t happen.
Hilton also made another major contribution when early in the game, trailing 10-7, Dallas decided to go for it on 4th and 8 at the Philadelphia 45-yard line. The play was unsuccessful, but Hilton drew an illegal contact call that gave Dallas the first down. CeeDee Lamb would later score on the drive.
“It was all there — his experience, his speed — to turn around and make that play,” Jones said. “That’s exactly what I thought he could get a chance to do. He was so excited about getting to come in here and be in games. I’m really proud for him. I’m really proud for our team, too, because he’ll add a dimension to this thing that just opens it up a little more.”
Good thing Hilton is producing. Because Jerry has all but thrown in the towel on signing Odell Beckham Jr. this year.
“Well, I think the big thing is me or whoever has let enough time go as we get toward the end of the season that it’s not realistic to think about having him in any meaningful way for the playoffs,” Jones said. “That’s not dismissing [signing Beckham in] the future, but it is dismissing, for the most part, the reality of him getting in here and helping us in the playoffs. That was a big part of the equation.”
This game was important for the Cowboys receiving corps. CeeDee Lamb had a monster day, and Hilton showed that he is going to be able to help the Cowboys out in spots. He will surely start seeing more snaps after this game.