The Philadelphia Eagles scored a walkoff touchdown in overtime to take down the Dallas Cowboys and improve to 4-4 on the year. The running game looked sharp, the defense was inconsistent but made a couple big plays, and even the much-maligned kicker got in on the action. Let's take a look at how each unit played:
Overall grade: B
Very few people, if any, expected the Eagles to cruise to an easy win Sunday night. That's just not the nature of the rivalry, and it's definitely not in line with how the 2015 season has gone. It was a tightly contested game from the beginning, and while the Eagles certainly didn't look like world-beaters out there, they executed well enough and made big plays when necessary. As a result, the Eagles are back to .500 and head home for a two game home stand against the reeling Dolphins and Buccaneers. Not too shabby.
Sunday night may be the most the Eagles offense has looked like a Chip Kelly unit all season. The run game continued to perform well, and the up-tempo offense wore down the Cowboys defense late in the game. Bradford wasn't stellar, and only threw one touchdown. But it was a 41-yard strike to Jordan Matthews to end the game in overtime.
Former Cowboy DeMarco Murray paced the Eagles' backs with 18 carries for 83 yards and a score, while the running game picked up 172 yards in total. With Jason Peters out and Dennis Kelly starting at right tackle, things could have gotten ugly fast. But the offense was able to use tempo to move the ball down field and tire out the Dallas defense. The Eagles had five drives of seven or more plays, and all three touchdown drives came from a long field: two drives went 80 yards, while one went 95.
The Eagles offense still had its struggles, though. Drops and penalties continued to be an issue. And the offensive line is still not as consistent as it needs to be, especially where penalties are concerned. But for now, it's perfectly reasonable to be content with a hard-fought win over Dallas in Big D.
After seven games as by far the team's best unit, the defense put up its weakest showing of the season Sunday. Dallas running back Darren McFadden ran 27 times for 117 yards. It was his second 100-yard rushing game in three weeks. Before that? His last similar performance came in Week 2 of 2013 against Jacksonville.
The pass defense wasn't much better. Matt Cassel picked on Nolan Carroll II early, and eventually settled on Malcolm Jenkins, who was charged with covering Cole Beasley in the slot. Cassel finished the night 25-of-38 for 299 yards, three touchdowns and a pick (which went for six), but played by far his best game of the season. The highlight of the night was Dez Bryant's end zone Hail Mary catch, which is more a testament to Bryant's physicality than anything.
But perhaps the biggest play of the entire game came on defense. Cassel's lone interception of the night came courtesy of Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate Jordan Hicks, who read the play beautifully and took the ball 67 yards to the house.
The defense is capable of playing a better game, but give the Cowboys some credit - some of their offensive liabilities played well.
Special teams: B+
The Eagles deserve credit for holding on to kicker Caleb Sturgis after a rough start to the year. Sturgis hit a huge 53-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that kept the Eagles in the game and helped get them to overtime. And Donnie Jones had a terrific game as well. The Cowboys were able to stifle the return game, but it's hard to complain when your inconsistent kicker nails a long field goal in a must-win game against the Cowboys.