Micah Parsons: Cowboys played well enough to beat Eagles, we have more confidence now - Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk
The Cowboys have work to do between now and their Week 14 home game versus the Eagles to make it as meaningful as the one that slipped away Sunday in Philadelphia.
Losing to the Eagles on Sunday did not shake the Cowboys’ confidence, linebacker Micah Parsons says.
In fact, Parsons says that by going toe-to-toe with the NFC East-leading Eagles in Philadelphia, the Cowboys believe in themselves more than ever.
“We know we played good enough to win that game,” Parsons said, via TheAthletic.com. “But we didn’t. That’s just how the dice rolls sometimes. Sometimes you play good enough and good enough isn’t good enough. That’s just the reality of the game. I feel like we have even more confidence now. I feel like everybody had us out and everyone was praising this Eagles team. Obviously, we gave them their best fit. I’m not even going to spit fuel on the fire. We’ll see them again in four weeks.”
The Eagles now have a 2.5-game lead over the Cowboys in the NFC East. Parsons thinks the division race is far from over.
The Cowboys had a good game plan but lacked the killer instinct on the road against their biggest division rival.
A knee down just before the goal line on a fourth-down completion to Luke Schoonmaker with goal-to-go in the third quarter, a toe on the boundary on a two-point conversion attempt in an otherwise master class showing by Prescott, so forth and so on, and the Cowboys are 5-3 heading into Week 10.
“Our offense had a great game,” said defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. “ … It’s a part of the game [that] when you come into hostile territory, you have a lot of things working against you. I feel like my team stood up tonight and fought well. We didn’t come out with the win, but we’ll learn from this one and get better.”
The defense clamped down in the fourth quarter to allow for an opportunity at a comeback by the Cowboys, and only six yards separated them from glory in Philly — a first-and-goal with only seconds to play, down 28-23, that devolved into a false start and then a sack.
Suddenly, the Cowboys were 22 yards away, and they’d never get any closer.
In all, Prescott finished with 374 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 115.2 to go along with 14 rushing yards — having a hand in 96 percent of the Cowboys’ total offensive production (406 yards) on the day.
The Cowboys opted to leave Terence Steele in one-on-one pass rush situations against the Eagles fearsome defense, and it led to key pressures and sacks against Dak Prescott.
1. Terence Steele
What is it with the Cowboys and handing out contract extensions to players who are coming off major knee injuries? They did it with Michael Gallup two years ago and followed suit with Terence Steele this past offseason after he suffered a torn ACL in the second half of the 2022 schedule. Both decisions look regrettable.
The Cowboys were handed a gift of an opportunity to steal the game and Steele allowed a massive sack of Dak Prescott that made it impossible.
On 1st and 10 from the Eagles 11-yard line, Prescott got sacked for an 11-yard loss. While Haason Reddick gave Steele fits all game, it was fellow edge rusher Josh Sweat who got the better of Dallas’ right tackle in this moment.
Out of timeouts, precious seconds ticked off the clock. In desperation mode, Prescott threw an incomplete pass in the end zone for Jalen Tolbert before he connected with CeeDee Lamb five yards short of the end zone.
Steele’s pass protection (or lack thereof) killed the Cowboys in the entire second half. He’s been a liability all season but has coasted by. Now, though, some uncomfortable (but necessary) conversations will be had about his role going forward.
The First Read: Unconventional midseason awards; plus, MVP rankings and Week 10’s must-see game - Jeffri Chadiha, NFL.com
The Cowboys secondary led by Daron Bland and Stephon Gilmore at cornerback kept the Eagles passing game in check as long as they could, but failed to create a takeaway and committed some costly penalties.
Best player nobody saw coming (defense): DaRon Bland, CB, Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys were supposed to be in a huge bind when All-Pro cornerback Trevon Diggs sustained a season-ending knee injury in practice prior to a Week 3 loss to Arizona. As significant as that setback was, it also created an opportunity for Bland to display more of what he can offer. The second-year pro has already shown the same penchant for turnovers that turned Diggs into a star. Bland has returned three interceptions for touchdowns already this season, which is a franchise record. He also picked off five passes as a rookie last season, when injuries forced the former fifth-round pick into extended playing time. The beauty of Bland is that he’s been effective playing in the slot and on the outside, which gives defensive coordinator Dan Quinn critical flexibility with his schemes. The Cowboys knew they had a promising talent when Bland was in Year 1. He looks more like a hidden gem with each passing day.
Cowboys reportedly working out wide receiver Martavis Bryant after five-year hiatus - Matthew Lenix, Blogging The Boys
After a quiet game from every receiver besides CeeDee Lamb, do the Cowboys need help out wide, and can Martavis Bryant be an answer?
Dallas is staying true to that statement as they are currently looking for more wide receiver help. In this case, it’s former fourth-round pick Martavis Bryant, who was recently reinstated by the NFL after a five-year hiatus. He will work out for the Cowboys, according to Dianna Russini of The Athletic, as Dallas has an open spot on their practice squad.
Bryant racked up 76 receptions for over 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns in his first two seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was hit with a four-game suspension in 2015 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and missed the entire 2016 campaign once he violated it again. After being conditionally reinstated in 2017, Bryant registered 50 receptions for 603 yards and three touchdowns.
A new journey began for Bryant in 2018 when he was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders. He would be released that September but was re-signed 10 days later, although he was facing a one-year ban for another substance abuse policy violation. Bryant played in eight games and produced 266 yards on 19 receptions. However, after being placed on injured reserve that December with a knee injury, Bryant was suspended indefinitely for violating the terms of his reinstatement. Bryant applied for reinstatement in 2019 but was unsuccessful.
NFL power rankings: Steelers, Browns join Ravens, Bengals in top 10; Bills, Cowboys drop out for Week 10 - Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News
Now with a head-to-head win against the Cowboys, the gap between Philadelphia and Dallas is as big as it’s been all season.
NFL power rankings Week 10
1. Philadelphia Eagles 7-1 (previous week: 1)
The Eagles were in a classic tough NFC East battle with the Cowboys but their offense struck the right balance and their pass rush and run defense up front saved their secondary. Jalen Hurts and Philadelphia keep flexing as reigning NFC champions.
5. Detroit Lions 6-2 (6)
The Lions were the other felines on a bye and can feel great about their chances to compete with the other NFC heavyweights in the second half and into the playoffs. But first they have work to do as the Vikings won’t go away.
8. San Francisco 49ers 5-3 (8)
The 49ers needed to regroup during their bye with the three-game losing streak caused by their pass rush not helping their offense and Brock Purdy making too many mistakes. They will hope Chase Young provides a Christian McCaffrey-like spark.
10. Cleveland Browns 5-3 (14)
The Browns got Deshaun Watson back from his shoulder injury and although he didn’t do a lot, he did enough to facilitate a running game and defense-fueled walkover. He needs to play much better with Jackson and the Ravens next.
11. Dallas Cowboys 5-3 (7)
The Cowboys went toe-to-toe with the Eagles and Dak Prescott was up to the challenge to duel with Hurts. But unfortunately, they had defensive breakdowns at the wrong time and that may continue to haunt them against the NFC powers.
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