An absolute thriller. There’s no other way to characterize the Dallas Cowboys’ 40-34 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The defense was by no means dominant, but they were opportunistic and came up with the big plays when they mattered most. They forced the Eagles, who are the league’s best in turnover differential, to commit four of them.
Special teams also answered the call, with Brett Maher once again being flawless. The win was a holiday treat for the Cowboys as it leaves hope for a Christmas miracle of still being in contention for an NFC East title. The offensive stars also shined bright, but none brighter than the quarterback. Raise your egg nogs for the man of the hour and recipient of this week’s game ball, Dak Prescott.
In a game his team needed to have, Prescott was pinpoint and responded well to some early adversity of his own making. After his early interception that was returned for a score, the Cowboys trailed 10-0. Prescott accepting the challenge, pointed to himself in front of his teammates after his mistake as if to say, “my bad, I got it this”. Indeed, he did. After that interception, Prescott lit the scoreboard on fire and completed 14 straight passes directly after the turnover.
Here’s his overall breakdown for the game. 27 completions on 35 attempts (77%), 343 passing yards at nearly ten yards per attempt. He managed to do this with a struggling running game that averaged under three yards a carry between the two primary ball carriers. Not to mention, he was sacked a season-worst six times by a fierce Philadelphia pass rush.
Yet, under the pressure, Prescott pushed his team forward. Whether he had to extend a drive by fighting a defender off his back and deliver a pass for a first down, or scrambling out of pressure to deliver strikes in the end zone, Prescott kept fighting. A great example of Prescott playing through adversity was his long bomb to T.Y. Hilton.
At that point in the game, you could feel the game starting to slip away from Dallas. The Eagles had just scored another touchdown to a take seven-point lead on a long 13-play-drive. Given the way the Eagles were moving the football, the Cowboys could not afford to give the Eagles the ball without answering back.
It wasn’t looking good. The Cowboys had allowed sacks the previous two plays, narrowly kept possession of the football and faced a 3rd and 30. Prescott, undeterred, stepped up in the pocket and uncorked a perfect pass deep to T.Y. Hilton that traveled 59 yards in the air, in a spot only his receiver could get it. Prescott would follow that up with a 7-yard touchdown to tie the game and the Cowboys never trailed after.
Numbers never lie
Prescott read the Eagles’ defense like it was Twas the Night the Before Christmas. He posted a season-high in Next Gen Stats with a score of 91 and went 24 for 24 when the Eagles played a zone defense for 300 yards. Prescott also posted a near-perfect passer rating of 124.3. Prescott was absolutely off the charts.
Per @NextGenStats, Dak Prescott went 24-for-24 for 300 yards when Eagles played zone.— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) December 25, 2022
Eagles defense allowed points (4 TDs, 4 FGs) on 8 of 10 Cowboys possessions.
Eagles' 2nd-worst defensive performance of the season, based on EPA per drive.
The circumstances demanded it and the game was thrust upon Prescott. Once again, he delivered in the clutch. This game marks Prescott’s fifth game-winning drive against the Eagles and his 12th career fourth-quarter comeback. Furthermore, with today’s win, Prescott continues command the NFC East, improving to a .818 career winning percentage that also includes an 8-3 record against the Philadelphia Eagles. Merry Christmas, Dak Prescott.