Jason Garrett’s Cowboys are the best team in the NFC, cementing that title further Sunday night with an overtime win against the rival Eagles. It may not have been pretty, but an emotional win like this one doesn’t always have to be.
“It’s a great team win. One of the best team wins I’ve ever been around.” – Jason Garrett, addressing his team after the game.
Garrett’s squad was anything but perfect coming off of their bye week, as rookie QB Dak Prescott went through some rookie struggles in the first half before leading a game-tying 90 yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.
Dak then followed this up with a winning drive in overtime, which was kept alive after a fourth and one conversion via the QB sneak. Prior to that play, Garrett can be seen on his headset confident in the decision to go win this game with a touchdown.
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Jason Witten, who Garrett also praises highly as his ideal role-model for what a Cowboys player should be, capped off this drive with his first touchdown of the season – an amazing ending to a record-breaking game for the tight end.
With his start in this game, Witten broke the franchise record for consecutive starts in the star, helping him earn a well-deserved game ball.
Behind Witten during his locker room speech were three steps of a “Formula for Winning”, all of which were exemplified in this Sunday Night Football victory.
1. Win The Ball
The Cowboys won the ball both in the trenches and in the timely turnover battle, as this offensive line made every play when it mattered to march this offense down the field. On the defensive line, Terrell McClain shot through the gap to force a fumble on Wendell Smallwood early in the fourth quarter, staging Dallas’ comeback.
Dak Prescott did throw one interception in the end zone to Jordan Hicks, which evened the game’s turnovers at one, but he more than made up for this mistake with his second half theatrics.
The only ball that mattered in the end was the one that Dak Prescott lobbed to Jason Witten for the win – and not an Eagle was in sight to stop that magic from happening.
2. Win The Big Plays
When it came to big plays, the Eagles turned to RB Darren Sproles to give them a spark, and he consistently turned in impressive runs. However, Sproles longest dash was for 19 yards, which was longer than any completion from Carson Wentz.
On 4.7 yards per attempt, Wentz could not dink-and-dunk his way to a road win against Rod Marinelli’s defense.
Meanwhile, Garrett’s Cowboys made a plethora of big plays on offense and special teams in the second half, including a fake punt dialed up by Dallas in the third quarter to pump some energy into the building – as Chris Jones turned the corner for 30 yards to set up a Bailey field goal.
On the game-tying drive in the fourth, there was Cole Beasley emerging for his first receptions, on gains of 12 and then 10 yards to move the chains each time.
Dez Bryant then capped off the drive with a touchdown that came as a beautiful site to Cowboys Nation, snagging a fade route in the end zone over helpless Eagles defenders.
Elliott, Prescott, and Beasley, and Witten all plugged into this winning formula in overtime, and the Cowboys winning streak survived.
3. Win The Fourth Quarter
I already touched on how the Cowboys turned this game around in the fourth quarter to finish the fight, but the Cowboys defense really stepped up in these critical 15 minutes. Philadelphia managed just 52 fourth quarter yards, punting three times and having Wentz sacked twice.
We all wanted this Cowboys defense to prove to a national audience that their bend-but-don’t-break style was effective enough to get the job done, and thanks to the likes of a dominant Sean Lee, and an inspired DeMarcus Lawrence, they did just that.
This was a win that everyone around America’s Team will remember for some time. From the fans that sat through what was looking like a disappointing end to a winning streak, only to see a thrilling win, all the way up to Jerry Jones – who announced that rookie Dak Prescott will start again this week right after the game.
Right in the middle of all of it is Jason Garrett. This is his football team, and they are winning in every way possible right now.
How ’bout them Cowboys!?