Cowboys 38, Eagles 33: Dallas Tenderly Conquered the Terrible Eagles Last Night
There are only so many times one can look at a football game and say "A win is a win." Early in the season, when a team is getting its bearings, scrappy victories can be a bit charming. In Week 12, against a team that dragged in a seven-game losing streak? Hideous.
dallascowboys.com Papa Jerry, I want to play the Eagles EVERY week!
Jason Garrett and company are trolling Cowboys fans so hard right now it's not even funny. Do you know how many times Dallas has had a halftime lead at home this year? Once, in a dominating 10-7 advantage against Tampa Bay, a victory that was very much in doubt until the end.
It seems silly to hold out any kind of hope for this team in its current state. They always blow the first half, which goes back to preparation (Garrett). They almost always claw back to make it interesting, which comes from proficient desperation (Romo). They always find a way to maintain a heroically average product, which leads to public exasperation. Things will change someday, but it won't be soon. Another thing that won't change, observations and awards! Woo hoo!
Murray Returns, Running Game Improves ... a Hair: During DeMarco Murray's six-game absence, there were doubts that started to creep in as to whether he could truly save a defunct Cowboys rushing attack. What the stats don't show (23 attempts for 83 yards) is the added dimension that Murray brings to the table: the bounce-out.
The best example happened at around the 12:30 mark in the third quarter. Dallas faced a third and 1 at the Philly 42. Seeing zero daylight on his designed path over right guard, Murray cut to the edge on the right and zipped 27 yards downfield. It's a play that we've seen Felix Jones get stuffed on during the last six weeks, but in this case it extended what would ultimately be a touchdown drive. DeMarco can't rescue the running game completely on his own, but it's plays like that which prove why he's the number one guy and a key piece of Jason Garrett's arsenal.
Dez Bryant: Man: Over the past four weeks, we've seen the realization of a true stud. If Dez's game were a pizza, it'd be topped with a 24-ounce porterhouse and drizzled with barely legal scotch. His first touchdown, a 23-yard catch and turbo-button sprint through the heart of the defense, showcased his top-end speed. To follow it up, Bryant later caught a quick out route and ran right through Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for another score. The thing that set this game apart from the others was the lack of mental errors. Zero penalties, zero turnovers, zero drops. Please be this or 90 percent of this always, Dez.
Defense? Well, That Fumble Recovery Was Nice: There's not really much left to say about a defense that's been picked apart by injuries. With Jay Ratliff, Bruce Carter and Sean Lee in sweats, the remaining troops played spectacularly mediocre. You see, though, the thing about injuries is that they can only be an excuse for so much, especially when your opponent's starting quarterback, running back and number one receiver are also on the bench. While Nick Foles and Bryce "Butterfingers" Brown look to be solid players, a defense simply can't allow a couple rookies to invade their stadium and maintain a lead for 55 minutes. If Dallas hadn't won, this defense would publicly be under much more heat. But hey, they got a fumble return TD so they're fixed!
And now, some awards.