Eagles vs. Cowboys Week 17 PFF Grades: Brandon Boykin Comes Up Big

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles' second year cornerback was a critical component of the Eagles' success in their division clinching win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Pro Football Focus is a site that grades NFL player performances. Let's take a look at what they had to say about the performances in Philadelphia's 24-22 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

PFF offers explanation on their grading system on their website. Read more about that here.

OFFENSE

Best

Jason Kelce +4.6
Jason Peters +4.3
Evan Mathis +4.3
Todd Herremans +2.8
Nick Foles +2.5
Brent Celek +2.3
LeSean McCoy +1.7
James Casey +1.2
Zach Ertz +1.1
Chris Polk +1.0 (5 snaps)

Worst

Brad Smith -0.5 (4 snaps)
DeSean Jackson -0.5

Analysis: A lot of positive grades on the offensive side. The Eagles gained 366 yards as a team along with 3 TD and only 1 turnover (fumble). The entire offensive line graded positively, but mostly as run blockers. Jason Peters had the best grade in pass protection; he didn't allow a single sack, hit, or hurry. That's impressive considering he was going up against DeMarcus Ware, but then again it's Jason Peters.

Nick Foles finished with a positive grade for the second straight week in a row. The second year signal caller threw for 263 yards on 17/26 (65.4%) passing for 2 TD and a 124.4 QB rating. Foles was also sacked 5 times and fumbled once.

LeSean McCoy won the rushing title before Sunday Night Football even started, but he felt it necessary to have another big game. Shady ran for 131 yards on 27 attempts (4.9 avg) with 44 of those yards coming after contact. Fellow running back Chris Polk also contributed nicely with a catch and run for 34 yards.

All three tight ends finished with a positive grade, which is a fun sight to see. Each player contributed in different ways. Celek's contributions came both as a blocker and a receiver with 3 catches for 71 yards and 1 TD. Ertz pitched in with 3 catches for 43 yards. James Casey, who is playing more often now on offense than he has all season, graded positively as a run blocker.

As for the worse offensive performances, they weren't too bad. WR Brad Smith only played four snaps but threw an incomplete pass intended for Ertz on a WR reverse in the red zone. DeSean Jackson caught 3 passes on 4 targets but only gained a total of 28 yards.

DEFENSE

Best

Brandon Boykin +2.8
Nate Allen +1.5
Bradley Fletcher +1.4
Cary Williams +1.4

Worst

Fletcher Cox -3.6
DeMeco Ryans -2.8
Trent Cole -1.6
Patrick Chung -1.2
Connor Barwin -1.0

Analysis: Saving the best for first, Brandon Boykin absolutely had a game. Along with 1 QB hurry and a tackle, he was solid in coverage: 2 catches allowed on 5 targets for 52 yards. He recorded 2 passes defense, including a deflection on a pass to Dez Bryant in the end zone (as seen in the story picture). Boykin also made the play of the game when he picked off Kyle Orton to seal an Eagles victory. Long live the Boyking.

The Eagles secondary had a solid performance. Nate Allen was targeted 4 times and allowed 4 catches but only allowed 26 yards. Bradley Fletcher only allowed 22 yards while racking up 7 tackles and 2 stops. Cary Williams allowed 3 catches on 7 targets for 43 yards and broke up a potential game-tying Cowboys two-point-try intended for Dez Bryant.

Fletcher Cox was the Eagles' worst graded defender due to a lack of pass rush and commiting a penalty. He finished with 1 tackle and 1 stop. DeMeco Ryans made 6 tackles but was assigned blame for 66 yards and 1 TD on 4 catches. Trent Cole has played well recently but also failed to generate pass rush. Patrick Chung was the worst member of the Eagles' secondary (to no surprise) having missed 2 tackles and allowing 1 TD and 43 yards. Chung was responsible for a Bryant TD that could have tied the game had the Cowboys not failed the two point try. Outside linebacker Connor Barwin graded positively in coverage, but also struggled as a pass rusher. Barwin did have a crucial batted pass on a Dallas 4th down attempt in the second half.

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