The Dallas Cowboys won on Christmas Eve. The Philadelphia Eagles lost on Christmas Eve. These two statements are both true because the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in the game that they played against one another on Christmas Eve. Read it a thousand times.
After a long one last week, this coming stretch of days promises to be as merry and bright as the decorations hanging around many households at the moment. While the Cowboys were hardly perfect on Saturday afternoon against their bitter rivals, they ultimately showed the mark of an elite team picking up a huge win and erasing a 10-point deficit in the process (which they did twice).
This particular game featured a lot of frustration but it had the right recipe when things mattered most. The Cowboys have 11 wins to show for their work on Christmas morning and that is something to be incredibly proud of.
We discussed everything from Saturday’s game on the latest episode of The Postgame on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
It is often said that the NFL is a quarterback’s league and that football is ultimately about the signal-caller playing for each team. The Cowboys received a remarkable performance from theirs under the proverbial Christmas tree and he is a big reason why they walked away winners.
Who else shined? Who needs to improve in the coming weeks? It is time for our normal stock report here at BTB with a bit more people showing up on the nice list as opposed to the naughty one.
Stock Up: Dak Prescott
The pick six at the beginning of the game was awful. Nobody will deny that.
But as soon as it was over Dak Prescott went to work and was about as flawless as you could be with everything on the line. He was the one constant that the team depended on throughout the game and while that is obviously his job, the fact that he did it to such a high degree is insanely impressive.
I mean, who converts this? Who?
Contrary to popular belief, no NFL team is perfect but the Dallas Cowboys have secured a chance to fight for this year’s Lombardi trophy, and doing so with a quarterback playing at this level means entering the contest with more than a puncher’s chance.
Stock Up: CeeDee Lamb
Let me be very clear in saying that I am a huge fan of Amari Cooper, recognize all that he gave to the Cowboys, and believe that trading him away was a mistake. HOWEVER.
As great as Cooper was for the Cowboys, his greatness wasn’t always the most consistent thing in the world (many people have noted this). CeeDee Lamb has been on absolute fire as of late and is dominating opposing defenses on a week to week basis. We have not seen this level of sustained play from the top Cowboys wide receiver since the last one that wore number 88 when he was at his peak.
Lamb had over 100 yards in the first half alone against the Eagles. It is his world right now.
Stock Up: Daron Bland
He is unlikely to win it, but DaRon Bland needs to at the very least be mentioned in the conversation for Defensive Rookie of the Year. He is incredible.
The way that the Cowboys have had to lean on Bland has been scary, but the first-year professional has more than answered the call. The Eagles committed a number of turnovers on Saturday afternoon but perhaps none were more impressive for Dallas than Bland’s.
DaRon Bland's INT was so impressive. Anticipates the break, takes the perfect angle to click and close on the catch point and then he just out-competes the WR for the ball.— John Owning (@JohnOwning) December 25, 2022
STUD. Future is bright! #Cowboys pic.twitter.com/uZYpwOxVre
Interceptions are not the whole story (as we have heard from Trevon Diggs’ detractors) but Bland has five of them through 15 NFL games. For just one comparison, consider that New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner only has two at the moment.
Stock Up: Michael Gallup
He may or may not have lost a ball in the bright lights of AT&T Stadium (sigh) but after that, Michael Gallup was fairly clutch for the Dallas Cowboys.
It has been a bit unsettling how slowly Gallup has come along (compared to his normal self) since returning from injury but that was always possible given the nature of his particular injury. Still, though, he was a proper wingman to CeeDee Lamb on Sunday afternoon which is notable.
Stock Up: Kellen Moore
Like everything else there is no perfect coordinator but Kellen Moore remains a bit over-scrutinized.
The Cowboys offense was on absolute fire against the Eagles on Christmas Eve. Just consider all of their possessions:
- Interception (pick six)
- Field Goal
- End of Half
- Field Goal
- Field Goal
- Field Goal
- End of Game
The pick six is obviously not Kellen Moore’s fault, but other than that the Cowboys only punted once. They scored on eight of nine true possessions (discounting the end of each half). That is remarkable efficiency. There are so many people who expect Moore to be perfect and on Saturday he almost actually was.
Stock Up: Nahshon Wright
It appears as if the Cowboys are done toying around with Kelvin Joseph and understandably so given that Nahshon Wright held his own against one of the better wide receiver duos throughout the entire NFL.
This isn’t to say that anybody should suddenly feel extremely confident about Wright on the outside opposite of Trevon Diggs, but he did his job and deserves due credit for it.
Stock Up: Brett Maher
Brett Maher attempted eight total kicks against the Philadelphia Eagles and made all eight of them. Some people will say that this is simply him “doing his job” as we just referenced with Wright, and while that may be true it is hardly an easy one.
All told Maher booted 16 points through the uprights for the Cowboys and was an incredible point of stability for them. As we just noted, the Cowboys scored on all but one true possession and Maher deserves credit for literally half of that.
Honorable Mention: T.Y. Hilton
If you want to put Hilton into the stock up category then I have absolutely no qualms with it, but it felt like something different made sense given his incredible introduction to the Dallas Cowboys.
Has anybody ever had a more impressive first catch as a member of the team?!
Honorable Mention: Tyler Biadasz
Similarly Tyler Biadasz deserves a special shout out for his massive fumble recovery.
Remember that the Cowboys traded up in 2020 to draft Biadasz and executed that trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Stock Down: Dan Quinn
Forgive me for turning into a Grinch now, but is Dan Quinn not the person who many people have assigned all of the Cowboys success to? Is Dan Quinn not the coordinator who we have been told walks on water?
The Eagles committed four turnovers in this game which is a nice and bright shining star for the defense, but they never punted. Their penultimate possession was only one play before the fumble so it ended at their own 25-yard line, but save for that one every Eagles possession saw them get to at least their own 40 (and even that particular possession was two plays).
Everyone is willing to understand that the Cowboys are dealing with injuries on the defensive side of the ball but at a certain point something has to give. Quinn relentlessly sent pressure on third downs and got beat over and over and over on them by Gardner Minshew.
This was not his best day.
Stock Down: Trevon Diggs
Similarly to Dan Quinn, Saturday was not Trevon Diggs’ finest hour. It seemed like he was going to rebound well from getting beat by A.J. Brown early on but then the DeVonta Smith touchdown happened.
He got beat. A lot.
Stock Down: Anthony Barr
All credit in the world to Anthony Barr for coming away with a fumble recovery at the right time, but it was a struggle of an afternoon for him for the most part.
The Cowboys very clearly miss Leighton Vander Esch and are fortunate to have survived what was happening over the middle of their defense against Philly.