clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Winners and Losers from the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys game

New, comments

The Eagles get a big win in Big D.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

It took an extra quarter of football, but the Philadelphia Eagles took down the Dallas Cowboys to keep their season alive, and likely end Dallas'. Despite the absence of left tackle Jason Peters, the offense moved the ball well. Quarterback Sam Bradford didn't turn the ball over, the run game moved well, and the up-tempo offense wore out the opposition.

Defense was a different story. Matt Cassel had his best game as a Cowboy, and Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley made life difficult for the secondary. But some timely play by a familiar face helped keep the Eagles in the game until the offense was able to end the fight with a knockout punch.

Let's take a look at who performed well, and who'll need to improve going into the upcoming homestand:

Winners

Eagles run offense: It was another impressive performance by the Eagles' backs on Sunday night. DeMarco Murray made his return to Dallas on Sunday night, and led all Eagles' runners with 18 carries for 83 yards and a score. In total, Philadelphia's three running backs carried 35 times for 172 yards and two scores.

But it was more than just the box score. Murray continued his strong play over the last couple games, and was able to pick up some seriously tough yards late in the fourth quarter and overtime. Murray had 46 yards on the Eagles' game-winning drive in overtime, including two runs of more than 15 yards.

As for the other backs, Ryan Mathews continues to look like the Eagles' best runner. His ability to get to the edge and pick up first downs combines the power of Murray with the speed of Darren Sproles - who chipped in 23 yards on five carries.

Jordan Hicks: The rookie continues to make his case to be the first Eagle ever named Defensive Rookie of the Year. Hicks was third on the team with seven tackles, and made an enormous play by picking off Matt Cassel and taking it 67 yards for the touchdown. In a game that ultimately went into overtime, Hicks' individual performance made all the difference.

Dennis Kelly: With Jason Peters out for the game, Lane Johnson moved to the left tackle spot. That meant Kelly was in charge on the right side. And he deserves a lot of credit - he performed well. The Cowboys moved Greg Hardy to Kelly's side on occasion, and he was able to keep Hardy away from the quarterback. Hopefully Peters returns soon and the line can go back to normal, but it's encouraging to know that the Eagles have a backup who can play outside and inside well enough to play if needed.

Jordan Matthews: If Hicks' pick was the play of the night, Matthews' touchdown was a close second. With the Eagles driving on the opening possession of overtime, Bradford evaded the rush from Hardy and hit Matthews on a game-ending 41-yard touchdown. Matthews finished the night as the game's leading receiver with nine catches for 133 yards and a score.

Caleb Sturgis: In his four previous games as the Eagles' kicker, Sturgis had hit all his extra points and field goals just once. But Sunday he made up for it by nailing a 53-yarder. Sturgis has looked better in recent weeks, and with the Eagles' offense still not functioning at top speed, the Eagles may need more of the same from their replacement kicker.

Losers

Eagles secondary: Matt Cassel started the game by going after Carroll, who spent much of the first quarter matched up with Dez Bryant. But later in the game he moved on to Malcolm Jenkins, who was unable to contain Cole Beasley. The 299 yards given up through the air are the most for the defense this season, and the one interception came from the linebackers, not the secondary.

Eagles run defense: Sunday night marked the second subpar game in a row. Darren McFadden ran for 117 yards, and while there were some impressive stops in the backfield, the Cowboys were able to pick up chunks of yardage on the ground. The good news is that they were able to eliminate big plays - McFadden's longest run was for 17 yards.

Greg Hardy: This might feel like piling on, but screw it. He's a loser and has no place on the football field. It's fitting that his missed sack on Bradford was the final play of the game.