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PHI 37, DAL 9: Cowboys Squander Early Opportunities

The Philadelphia Eagles struggled early, appearing out of rhythm following their bye week. They punted on five drives and had a missed field goal on another. The Dallas Cowboys failed to take advantage of that opportunity and only had a 9-7 lead after two quarters.

Then the NFC East leader woke up after halftime.

The Eagles scored touchdowns on their next three drives in the third quarter and finally put the Cowboys away with a touchdown off a Dak Prescott fumble. The Cowboys wouldn’t score another point after halftime and were barely able to function on offense.

Missing Tyron Smith for the second-straight game, the Cowboys could not protect their quarterback. Prescott was sacked four times and pressured into three interceptions, a new career high. He only managed 145 passing yards, mostly short throws to Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams with no real gains after the catch.

Alfred Morris stepped up with 91 rushing yards on just 17 carries, but his production came in bursts.  He broke a couple of big runs but did not have sustained, consistent yardage throughout the night to help settle the offense.  Dallas faced far too many 3rd-down plays and had to leave guys back to help Byron Bell at left tackle, crippling the offense.

The slow first half for Philly gave Dallas a chance at a bigger halftime lead, but they couldn’t get in the endzone. With the defense expected to struggle without Sean Lee again, the Cowboys couldn’t afford field goals. Those first-half failures left the door wide open for the Eagles to come back.

Other Notes

  • Ryan Switzer took the opening kickoff 61 yards, his first big return of the year. Unfortunately, Dallas did not have any plays on offense that were as exciting.
  • Despite eight catches tonight, Dez Bryant remains tied with Bob Hayes at 71 receiving touchdowns for the franchise record. He will get two more opportunities in the coming weeks to become the all-time leader in front of the home crowd.
  • The Cowboys did not record a sack tonight, something that wouldn’t have surprised us in 2016 but seems shocking now. DeMarcus Lawrence was close on several occasions but Carson Wentz showed off his elusiveness throughout the night.
  • While Dallas still desperately needs Sean Lee back in the lineup, Jaylon Smith looked sharper tonight than earlier this year. Confidence in his body and recognition of plays will continue to improve for the redshirt rookie, and tonight was a sign of progress.
  • Dan Bailey could be back on Thursday, but give some credit to Mike Nugent for a solid run in his absence. After going 3-for-3 tonight, Nugent is 7-of-9 since joining the Cowboys.
  • The Cowboys will host the 3-6 Los Angeles Chargers this Thursday for the annual Thanksgiving game. They put a 54-24 beat down on the Buffalo Bills earlier today, but that was thanks largely to five interceptions from the Bills’ new starting quarterback, Nathan Peterman.

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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