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PHI 23, DAL 9: Cowboys Can’t Score, Drop to 2-6 in Division Loss

The Philadelphia Eagles tried to give this one away but the Dallas Cowboys were just too weak on offense to take advantage. Despite winning the turnover battle, Dallas ultimately fell 23-9 and have fallen to 2-6 at the midway point of the 2020 season.

Ben DiNucci first start in the NFL looked like you’d expect from most 7th-round rookies. He completed only 21 of 40 passes for 180 yards and no touchdowns. While DiNucci didn’t throw any interceptions, he did give up two fumbles and had several errant throws which Eagles defenders failed to haul in.

The Cowboys’ inability to get into the endzone was their undoing tonight. Carson Wentz tried to hand them the win with four turnovers but Dallas just wasn’t solid enough offensively to capitalize.

CB Trevon Diggs had his best game of 2020 with both of the Cowboys’ interceptions. However, the rookie also was the primary defender on key positive plays for the Eagles. We can only hope his natural ball skills are eventually joined by more consistent coverage.

Still, the Cowboys defense did enough to win. DeMarcus Lawrence was beastly with a sack and other tackles in the backfield. His energy level was clear tonight as Tank tried to lead by example.

Unfortunately, the offense just had no juice with DiNucci at quarterback. Between the ongoing offensive line struggles and just the sheer pressure of his first game as a starting QB, the rookie lived up to reasonable expectations.

Now the Cowboys get to head home and prepare for the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. Even if Andy Dalton can’t return from his concussion, you have to wonder if DiNucci will remain the starter now that Cooper Rush has returned to the QB depth chart.

Other Notes

  • Ezekiel Elliott was held to 63 yards on 19 carries but did manage to avoid fumbling for a second-straight game. Tony Pollard had 40 rushing yards on just seven carries, looking more explosive with his opportunities.
  • Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz were DiNucci’s favorite targets with seven and six catches each. The Eagles seemed content to let them eat up passes underneath while avoiding any big plays from Amari Cooper or CeeDee Lamb.
  • In addition to his two picks, Trevon Diggs also tied for the team lead in tackles (7) with Jaylon Smith. Unlike Diggs, Smith didn’t have any big plays to make up for the ones he gave up. As he has most of the year, Jaylon looked lost at times and is woefully underperforming his contract and prior accomplishments.
  • Sean Lee made his season debut tonight but was quickly shaken up on a play and wasn’t visible the rest of the way. Having considered retirement this offseason, you have to wonder if The General will keep playing once the Cowboys have no shot of winning the division.
  • Dallas is now 1-2 in the NFC East with head-to-head losses to Philadelphia and Washington. The Eagles already had a narrow lead thanks to their tied game on their record and now are the only team in the division with three wins.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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  1. I think the Cowboys defense is beginning to turn things around. These next 8 games will show whether this a one game fluke or something to look forward on the Cowboys defense expectations.

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