Before Sunday’s matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, neither the Dallas Cowboys’ defense or special teams had scored a touchdown all season. By the closing whistle, the defense had two scores and the special teams one, each of which proved to be huge in a 38-23 road victory over the hated Eagles on Sunday.
Following the opening kickoff, the Eagles marched straight down the field to open up the scoring, with an 81-yard drive that took just about five minutes off the clock before Michael Vick hit Riley Cooper for a two-yard touchdown pass. Just like that, Philly led 7-0, but things turned sour for the home team in short order.
The Cowboys equaled the Eagles before the quarter was out, responding immediately to the Eagles with a touchdown drive of their own. Felix Jones capped the 80-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown reception, and finished with 71 yards rushing on 16 carries to lead the Dallas rushing attack.
After the kick, the Eagles were dealt another blow as, on the tail end of a three-and-out, Vick would suffer a concussion, head to the locker room and, as we found out quickly, be ruled out for the rest of the afternoon as a result.
Dan Bailey hit on a 30-yard field goal attempt to give the Cowboys the lead at 10-7 in the second quarter, a lead that would stand going into halftime.
Philadelphia came back behind backup quarterback Nick Foles in the third quarter, taking the lead once more on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Foles to Jeremy Maclin. That lead was extended to 17-10 on a 40-yard field goal by Alex Henery, but Dallas answered swiftly, and in volumes.
Dez Bryant caught a 30-yard TD pass from Tony Romo as time ran out on the third quarter to tie the game; then, just around a minute and a half into the fourth quarter, Dwayne Harris ran a punt back 78 yards for a touchdown to give Dallas the lead at 24-17; then, for good measure--on the Eagles’ next drive following the punt return--Brandon Carr took his first interception as a member of the Cowboys 47 yards for a touchdown and the first pick-six by a member of a Cowboys since last November.
The three touchdowns came in a span of just 2:35 and gave Dallas a 31-17 lead.
Stanley Havili’s one-yard touchdown run with around two minutes remaining kept Philly in the game but Henery missed the extra point to keep the score at 31-23. Dallas recovered the onside kick following the touchdown and, after running the clock down to about a minute, gave the Eagles the ball back at their own 11-yard line. But any remaining hope for Philly was quickly quashed as Foles was sacked near his own goal line on a hit that forced the ball loose. It was recovered by Jason Hatcher to put a nail in this one, by a final of Cowboys 38, Eagles 23.
At 4-5, the Cowboys will host the Browns in Arlington next Sunday.
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