It looked like this game was going to be an easy one for the Birds as they jumped out to a 20 to 0 lead. The offense scored on four of their first five drives and the defense came away with two picks, one by C.J. Gardner-Johnson (via James Bradberry tip drill) and another by Darius Slay.
But then a long kickoff return by Dallas at the end of the first half set the Cowboys up for three points. That score combined with Lane Johnson being ruled out of the game saw the momentum shift in the Cowboys’ favor. Dallas made it a three-point game early in the fourth quarter.
It was the Birds who then answered with a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to extend the lead back to two possessions. CJGJ made an impressive diving pick not too long after that score to really give the Eagles control of the game again.
Though it wasn’t as pretty as it could’ve been for the Eagles, this was a HUGE win. Dropping the Cowboys to 4-2 while advancing to 6-0 is a big deal. Philly clearly stands alone as the top team in not only the NFC East but the entire NFC.
Next up for the Eagles is … their bye week! They’ll return to action when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8. One would think Johnson could be back by then.
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage, including the BGN Radio postgame show!
- Notable attendees on the field before kickoff include Joel Embiid and FLOTUS Jill Biden.
- Meek Mill performed a portion of Dreams and Nightmares on the sideline shortly prior to kickoff:
Meek Mill with Dreams and Nightmares right before Eagles/Cowboys kickoff pic.twitter.com/qrPorEvFpz— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) October 17, 2022
- The Eagles won the coin toss and elected to defer.
- The Cowboys got to 3rd-and-2 after a Kyzir White pass breakup. Then Josh Sweat came crashing from the edge and stopped Ezekiel Elliott to force a three-and-out. Great start by the defense.
- The Eagles started at their own 29-yard line. Jalen Hurts completed his second pass attempt to DeVonta Smith on a slant for a first down. Hurts got thrown to the ground on a sack to bring up 2nd-and-19. It didn’t look too dissimilar to the roughing call that Tom Brady drew last week but no penalty. Hurts had A.J. Brown open on 3rd-and-8 but overthrew him by a good bit despite having a clean throwing platform to work with. Bad miss.
32 net yards on that last Arryn Siposs punt. #Eagles need him and the coverage to be better. Had an opportunity to pin the Cowboys in there.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) October 17, 2022
- Marcus Epps had a great diving pass breakup on 3rd-and-4 to force a Cowboys punt. Lack of zip on that ball from Rush certainly helped.
- The Eagles curiously went with Boston Scott, who hadn’t played since Week 3, for their first carry of the night. 2-yard gain. Then Hurts hit Dallas Goedert — wait, no, that was Jack Stoll! — for a 21-yard gain. The Eagles drove to 3rd-and-5 from the Cowboys’ 40-yard line. On third down, the Eagles handed off to ... Kenneth Gainwell for a 2-yard gain. Real curious RB usage. Nick Sirianni decided to go for it on fourth down and the Eagles drew up a nice design to get a crossing Brown running wide open in the flat.
execution here is perfect. Micah Parsons is the option read, but look at Lane Johnson and DeVonta Smith: pic.twitter.com/GDDDSStkC2— Kevin Kinkead (@Kevin_Kinkead) October 17, 2022
Easy conversion and then some. The Eagles got to 3rd-and-1 in the red zone and successfully snuck it with Hurts. The Eagles got to 3rd-and-12. Hurts threw to Brown short of the sticks and he powered his way to 4th-and-4. Sirianni went for it again ... and on 4th-and-4, the Cowboys got called for netural zone infraction. Wow! Hurts got Dallas with the hard count.
Nick Sirianni is every Eagles fan watching that offsides call pic.twitter.com/9AnMGRx0VF— Patrick (@76Iggles) October 17, 2022
- The Eagles began the second quarter at 1st-and-goal from the 5-yard line. Miles Sanders’ second carry of the night immediately resulted in the first score. On the extra point, Jake Elliott made his first kick since returning from injury. All told, really nice drive by the offense. 15 plays, 80 yards, 7:36 off the clock. EAGLES 7, COWBOYS 0.
I appreciate the Eagles waiting to score until the 2nd quarter to continue padding their 2nd quarter scoring stats pic.twitter.com/tngtTT4mqt— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) October 17, 2022
- Cooper Rush threw into coverage over the middle and James Bradberry tipped it into the air before Chauncey Gardner-Johnson came down with the interception! Rush’s first turnover of the year was bound to happen tonight.
- The Eagles took over at the Cowboys’ 44-yard line and ran six straight times. Sanders had the first three carries, running hard and looking good. Then Scott took two, one of which went for a first down. A Sanders run was stuffed behind the line to bring up 3rd-and-3. On third down, the Eagles ran the SAME PLAY they ran on 4th-and-3 earlier where they read Micah Parsons and got A.J. Brown running wide open in the flat. This time it resulted in a touchdown! Great job by the coaching staff. EAGLES 14, COWBOYS 0.
The Eagles have now led by at least 14 points in all six of their games this season.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) October 17, 2022
- The Cowboys got to 4th-and-1 from their own 35-yard line ... and Mike McCarthy went for it. Ballsy. Rush’s pass was thrown behind his target and broken up by Bradberry for a turnover on downs!
- The Eagles went three-and-out and brought Elliott in for a 51-yard field goal attempt. He made it! Boom. EAGLES 17, COWBOYS 0.
- The Cowboys started at their own 9-yard line after good special teams kick coverage and a Dallas unnecessary roughness penalty. The Cowboys drove to 3rd-and-9 from the 26-yard line and Rush threw another duck that got picked off, this time by Darius Slay. Eagles defensive feast.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Cooper Rush is 0 for 5 with two picks on passes traveling at least 10 yards downfield. His three completions have totaled 8 air yards.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) October 17, 2022
- The Eagles took over at the Cowboys’ 46-yard line. They drove to the red zone but got set back with Scott being tackled for a loss and a false start penalty on Jordan Mailata. On 3rd-and-18, the Eagles ran a draw with Hurts that gained 12 yards. Sirianni went for it on 4th-and-6 ... except he didn’t. It was just another attempt to draw the Cowboys offsides. Hey, it worked earlier! Elliott came in for the 34-yard field goal attempt and made it. EAGLES 20, COWBOYS 0.
- A 62-yard kickoff return by KaVontae Turpin allowed the Cowboys to start in Eagles territory. Special teams had been looking good to that point ... but that was a reminder that they’re certainly not special. The Cowboys got to 1st-and-10 from the 12-yard line and Cooper floated a pass to Noah Brown for what looked to some like an incredible touchdown catch. Except possession clearly wasn’t established until he was out of bounds, which a review overruled. Good job by the refs. Javon Hargrave deflected Rush’s second down pass. Then Rush’s third down pass was tipped in the end zone by — who else — Bradberry. Briefly a scary moment since the deflection almost accidentally led to CeeDee Lamb catching it but no dice. Mike McCarthy opted to kick a field goal to make a three possession game ... a three possession game. EAGLES 20, COWBOYS 3.
Through two quarters, Cooper Rush has completed 5-of-16 attempts (31.3%) for 36 yards and 2 INTs.— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) October 17, 2022
The #Eagles defense has also tallied 9 pass breakups, which is their most in the first half of a game since 11/19/06 vs Tennessee (12). #FlyEaglesFly
The Eagles' 112 points in the second quarter this season are more than the total points of 11 teams this season — including the Rams and the Packers.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) October 17, 2022
- The Eagles picked up one first down but then had to punt on their first drive of the second half.
- The Cowboys started at their own 21-yard line. They utilized a lot of play-action to get into Eagles territory. Then Dallas drove into the red zone. Elliott took a carry for 14 yards and the Cowboys’ first touchdown. K’Von Wallace had a bad angle and was unable to be in position for a tackle. Not the way you’d like to see the Birds start the second half on defense! EAGLES 20, COWBOYS 10.
- Hurts almost threw a pick to Parsons on a pass intended for Goedert. Ball too inside. After the play, Parsons got called for unsportsmanlike conduct for flexing over Goedert. Nice gift for the Eagles to avoid a 3rd-and-10. But the Birds had to punt anyway with Dallas bringing the blitz on 3rd-and-7. Perhaps the Cowboys realized how the Eagles struggle to get it out hot when extra pressure is sent their way.
- The Cowboys took over at their own 7-yard line. They got to 3rd-and-2 and Elliott ran up the middle for a first. Then the Cowboys got to 3rd-and-1 and Elliott ran outside for a first. Dallas slowly but surely drove into Eagles territory again. The Cowboys somehow got away with an obvious block in the back by Tony Pollard where the refs threw the flag and then picked it up after discussion for some reason! Very cool stuff.
Difference between that obvious block in the back that somehow got picked up is 2nd and 19 from the Eagles' 46 vs. 1st and 10 from the Eagles' 20.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) October 17, 2022
- The Cowboys converted 3rd-and-2 from the 12-yard line to set up 1st-and-goal. On 1st-and-goal from the 7-yard line, Rush hit Jake Ferguson on play action and the tight end dodged a CJGJ tackle to get in for the score. Uh oh. EAGLES 20, COWBOYS 17.
Eagles were the third worst tackling team by @PFF’s grading entering Week 6.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) October 17, 2022
48 missed tackles in their first 5 games.
- Sanders broke a 13-yard run with a pulling Landon Dickerson putting a big hit on Parsons. The Eagles got to 3rd-and-4 and Hurts took off running up the middle for a first. On the next 3rd-and-4, Gainwell took a handoff up the middle for another first down. On 3rd-and-1, the Eagles snuck it for another conversion. Automatic. The Eagles finally threw the ball and Hurts hit Brown short and the wide receiver broke through contact to make it to the 7-yard line. Swole Batman is a beast after the catch. On 1st-and-goal, Hurts threw a heater (seemed unnecessary!) to a wide open DeVonta Smith, who was able to hang on. Phew. The Cowboys were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and Sirianni opted to go for a two-point conversion from the 1-yard line. Right thinking! But the Eagles inexplicably decided to do a handoff from shotgun instead of just trying to power it in with their unstoppable QB/OL sneak combo. Don’t get that. EAGLES 26, COWBOYS 17.
A.J. Brown ruined his night pic.twitter.com/Qab5y5FWu4— Brenden Deeg (@BrendenDeeg_) October 17, 2022
- Brandon Graham pressured Rush into not being able to fully step into a deep throw, resulting in a duck and a very nice diving pick by CJGJ! Huge takeaway to really take back control of the game. Second interception for Ceedy on the night.
Brandon Graham with the pressure that leads to a game sealing interception by CGJ. pic.twitter.com/0w9Zp2f82s— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) October 17, 2022
- The Eagles took over at their own 47-yard line. They picked up one first down but then ultimately got knocked back with Hurts not being ready for the shotgun snap and the Eagles being fortunate to recover the ball.
- An Arryn Siposs punt went out of bounds to put the Cowboys at their own 12-yard line with 2:35 left in the game and two remaining Dallas timeouts. The Cowboys reached 3rd-and-3 at their own 30-yard line at the two-minute warning. On third down, Rush quickly threw to Zeke in the flat to move the chains. A big completion to CeeDee Lamb over the middle moved the ball to the Eagles’ 41-yard line. Slay knocked down a Rush pass to bring up 3rd-and-10. On third down, Haason Reddick logged a quarterback hit as Rush threw to ... no one for an incompletion. The Cowboys brought Brett Maher in for a 59-yard field goal attempt ... and it was NO GOOD. Game.
- The Eagles were able to run the clock out. The Cowboys tried to start a fight, some real sore loser shit.
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES WIN, 26 TO 17.
- Lane Johnson was evaluated in the medical tent late in the second quarter and entered the tunnel before the rest of the team. Jack Driscoll came in to replace him. Johnson was then ruled OUT with a concussion early in the third quarter.
- C.J. Gardner-Johnson got hurt early in the third quarter. He appeared to be having shoulder/arm pain after trying to strip a ball. K’Von Wallace came in to play safety. CJGJ jogged out of the tunnel and to the Eagles’ sideline late in the third quarter. He then re-entered the game.
- Jalen Hurts seemed to get banged up in his ribs in the third quarter but didn’t leave the game.
- Landon Dickerson limped off the field midway during the fourth quarter. Sua Opeta came in. Dickerson returned shortly after leaving.
This game isn’t just about which team is the best in the NFC East. The winner of this battle has a strong claim to being the top team in the entire National Football Conference.
With an undefeated record, the Birds are entering this one as the better side on paper. But it’s up to them to prove they can take down their biggest challenge yet. They’ll have assistance from a juiced Lincoln Financial Field crowd.
Gotta make it happen.
Bleeding Green Nation will be covering this game with live updates in the form of highlights, commentary, analysis, etc. Make sure to follow along and refresh the page often.
(NOTE: This is NOT a game thread; it’s a live blog that will turn into a game recap. Use BGN’s designated game threads for each quarter to discuss in-game happenings. The first quarter thread is HERE.)