The Dallas Cowboys have been waiting all season for a defensive performance like the one they produced on Sunday Night Football against the Philadelphia Eagles. The defense got pressure on Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz, forced fumbles, and intercepted two passes in the end zone, and yet it wasn’t near enough for the Cowboys to come away with the victory on Sunday night.
Though they continued to get gashed on the ground by the Philadelphia Eagles running game, they played much better in pass coverage against the Eagles. The Cowboys got to Carson Wentz and forced two fumbles and two interceptions. They sacked him four times and held him to a quarterback rating of 61.2. Wentz was just 15 of 27 for 123 yards, averaging just 4.6 yards per attempt.
Finally, the Cowboys defense got an effort they could be proud of, but here we are in week eight and now they sit 2-6 and a game and a half out of the NFC East race with the Eagles. It would have been nice to get one of these defensive performances when the Cowboys had a semblance of an offense instead of relying on trick plays and a seventh-round rookie at quarterback.
DeMarcus Lawrence stood out all game, finishing with six tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack, and two quarterback hits. Trevon Diggs played arguably his best game in his short career, coming up with both interceptions and also had four total passes defended. He did allow a touchdown and another big play in the passing game, but overall it was an improvement.
Donovan Wilson also played a noteworthy game, coming up with a sack and forcing a fumble on Carson Wentz in the first half.
It’s an encouraging sign that the Cowboys defense is beginning to show some life, however, it’s much too late for it to make a difference in 2020. And it’s unfortunate too because Dak Prescott and the offense could have used a small amount of that defensive production this season instead of trying to win shootouts every week.
The defense will get another test in week nine when they prepare to face the 7-0 Pittsburgh Steelers, a team that brings a bevy of offensive weapons at wide receiver and a running game that has performed well in 2020.
We’re going to find out really quick if this performance against the Eagles was legit or if it was fool’s gold. Either way, it won’t matter much to the 2020 Dallas Cowboys who are effectively out of it at this point with a quarterback situation that is struggling, to put it mildly.
At 2-6, the Cowboys may not have much left to play for in 2020 accept each other. On Sunday night, the defense finally showed signs of life, unfortunately, this team can’t play well on both sides of the ball at the same time. Here’s hoping they’re able to build on this performance, not for this season, but to give confidence to the young guys playing significant roles this season and beyond.