Eagles

After stifling him all game, Eagles had no answer in OT for Dak Prescott

After stifling him all game, Eagles had no answer in OT for Dak Prescott

ARLINGTON, Texas — Dak Prescott didn't complete more than two consecutive passes at any point in regulation Sunday night.

In overtime, he couldn't miss. 

Prescott, 14-for-34 through four quarters, torched the Eagles' defense in overtime, completing all five of his passes for 56 yards and the game-winning five-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten that gave the Cowboys a 29-23 walk-off win at AT&T Stadium.

Overtime was a nightmare for the Eagles, who watched the Cowboys drive 75 yards in 12 plays to complete a comeback from 10 points down early in the fourth quarter.

“Obviously disappointing for the defense, because that’s the position we want to be in,” Jordan Hicks said. “That’s the position you hope to be in at the end of the game.

“Defense on the field, going out there, holding them, keeping them out of the end zone. That’s exactly where we want to be, and we just came up short.”

A year ago, the Eagles beat the Cowboys in overtime in the same stadium on Jordan Matthews’ 41-yard touchdown catch from Sam Bradford.

In that game, Sam Bradford was 5-for-5 for 56 yards and a touchdown, and the Cowboys never got on the field.

This time, Prescott duplicated Bradford's numbers, and the Eagles never got on the field.

It's the first time the Eagles have gone into overtime and never run an offensive play since a 1999 loss to the Redskins in Landover.

On the Cowboys’ overtime drive, the Eagles’ defense — so sharp much of the game — just had no answers for Presecott.

Prescott connected with Cole Beasley on a 24-yard gain down to the Eagles’ 37, he gained two yards on a 4th-and-1 keeper at the Eagles’ 28, he connected with Ezekiel Elliott for 10 yards down to the 4, then threw the Eagles’ defense off with a spin move on the final play of the game before finding Witten wide open in the end zone.

“He just improvised,” Nolan Carroll said. “Especially on the last play. Just scrambled and found the open guy.”

Prescott with 6½ minutes left in the fourth quarter was 9-for-26 for 152 yards, with no TD passes and one interception.

He was 10-for-13 for 134 yards with two TDs and no interceptions in the final 13½ minutes.

“Everybody in the league knows that Dak can scramble and he extends plays with his legs and gets guys open and there’s nothing else to really say about it,” Jalen Mills said.

“Very frustrating. We pride ourselves on playing great football as a defense, and we just didn’t make the plays we had to make at the end.”

The Cowboys scored the last 16 points of the game and beat the Eagles in overtime for the first time ever.

“It was 0-0 when we got the ball,” Prescott said after his first career overtime game. “We’ve been great in the first few games of getting the ball first and scoring. That’s kind of how I took it and thought of it. We got the ball and needed a touchdown.”

The Eagles got the Cowboys in only one third down on the game-winning drive — and they stopped them. But the fourth-down conversion was lethal.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett could have sent out Dan Bailey, the most accurate kicker in NFL history, for a 45-yard field goal, but went for the kill instead.

It was the first fourth-down attempt against the Eagles in 34 overtime games in franchise history.
 
“He was asking if we should kick it,” Prescott said. “I was going back and forth with Coach on what to do. I said ‘I’ve got those big guys in front of me, we can get that yard,’ and that’s exactly what we did. They made some space for me to get that yard.” 

The Eagles had so many chances to put this game away, but it was all Dallas in overtime.

“It just wasn’t good enough,” Connor Barwin said. “We needed to come up with a play here, a play there, to at least hold them to a field goal and give our offense a chance.”

Going into Sunday, the Eagles were the stingiest second-half defense in the NFL, allowing only 19 points after halftime.

In Dallas, they allowed 16 in the final 13½ minutes.

“For them to be able to drive down the field on us, that was very uncharacteristic of us and the way we play defense,” Nigel Bradham said. “They don’t score, we win. That was our mindset. We did some good things, but a disappointing way to finish.”

Eagles Inactives: Alshon Jeffery (ankle) active against Cowboys

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USA Today Images

Eagles Inactives: Alshon Jeffery (ankle) active against Cowboys

ARLINGTON, Texas -- As expected, Alshon Jeffery is active and will play against the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. 

Jeffery popped up on the injury report Thursday with an ankle injury that has been bothering him for a little while. He came into the weekend listed as questionable. 

But head coach Doug Pederson said he expected Jeffery to play and even Jeffery said he would "most definitely" play in the game. 

Zach Ertz and Ronald Darby are also returning for this game. Ertz missed the Denver game before the bye with a hamstring injury and Darby hasn't played since Week 1 in Washington. 

The Eagles' inactives are Nate Sudfeld, Shelton Gibson, Steven Means, Elijah Qualls, Wendell Smallwood, Will Beatty and Dannell Ellerbe. 

This is the first healthy scratch of the season for Smallwood. The only reason he was active before the bye week was because of Zach Ertz's hamstring injury that kept him out of the game. Smallwood is the biggest loser after the team brought in Jay Ajayi. 

Beatty and Ellerbe are inactive after being added to the roster last week. During the week, Pederson said he wanted them to get more time with the team before throwing them out there.

The Cowboys' inactives are Tyron Smith, Sean Lee, Dan Bailey, Jeff Heath, Darren McFadden, Daniel Ross, Blake Jarwin.

Breaking down Eagles' 2018 Pro Bowl chances

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AP Images

Breaking down Eagles' 2018 Pro Bowl chances

Pro Bowl voting began this past week, and ideally, the Eagles won't have anybody actually playing in the game.
 
The 2018 Pro Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 28 — a week before the Super Bowl — and players from the Super Bowl-bound teams will be headed to Minneapolis that weekend, not Orlando, where the Pro Bowl will be held this year.
 
But with the Eagles sitting at 8-1 heading into Sunday's game against the Cowboys, there's a good chance they'll have a sizable contingent selected for the annual exhibition.

Let's take an early look at the Eagles' locks, hopefuls and longshots for 2018 Pro Bowl honors.
 
And remember, once again, the NFL is picking Pro Bowl teams based on the conference.
 
Locks
Carson Wentz: Wentz is a lock to make his first Pro Bowl, which would make him the fourth Eagles quarterback in the last 10 years to receive the honor, following Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and Nick Foles. No other team has had more than two. Interesting that the Eagles have had only four players make a Pro Bowl team within their first two years since 1990 - Donovan McNabb in 2000, DeSean Jackson in 2009, Nick Foles in 2013 and Cody Parkey in 2014.
 
Fletcher Cox: The only lock from the defense, which is more of a statement on the brand of team defense the Eagles are playing these days than anything else. This will be Cox's third Pro Bowl, something only five Eagles defensive linemen have ever achieved — Reggie White (seven), Hugh Douglas (three), William Fuller (three), Charlie Johnson (three) and Floyd Peters (three).
 
Zach Ertz: It's always tricky for players to get to that first Pro Bowl, but it's hard to imagine Ertz not getting picked. Despite missing the Broncos game, he's been the best tight end in the NFC. He leads all NFC tight ends in catches and yards and is tied for the lead in TDs with Seattle's Jimmy Graham with six. Barring a huge dropoff, Ertz is a lock.
 
Hopefuls
Lane Johnson: Johnson has played at a consistently high level, but a few things are working against him. His two suspensions shouldn't be a factor, but they won't help his chances. Players are branded a certain way, and Johnson has to overcome a league-wide reputation as a guy who's tested positive twice. But if it's based on level of play, he'll go.
 
Jason Kelce: Kelce probably has a better chance than Johnson, just because he's an already a two-time pick and has that Pro Bowl reputation around the league. He made the team last year despite not having a very good year. Kelce has been exceptional this year and is in the middle of the No. 1 offense in the NFL. Close to a lock.
 
Brandon Graham: Graham once again has everything but the sacks. He's played very good football, consistently pressured the quarterback, been exceptional against the run, but … it's all about the sacks with defensive ends. He has 5.0, which is a good number after nine games and just 1 1/2 shy of his career-high of 6 1/2 from 2015, but nine NFC defensive ends have more. Have they played better than Graham? Probably not. But he needs to get to double digits to really have a good shot at making his first Pro Bowl.
 
Malcolm Jenkins: Jenkins made his first Pro Bowl in 2015 and should have made the team last year, but didn't. He's having a great year but doesn't have any interceptions and he's going to probably need at least two or three to get himself in the picture. What he does have going for him is that he's extremely popular among his fellow players. His activism, his strong voice within the NFLPA and his reputation as a guy who's going to fight for player rights will really help. That stuff shouldn't matter but it does.
 
Longshots
Brandon Brooks: Brooks is in his seventh year and has never made a Pro Bowl. The longer you play without making one, the harder it is to get picked. Especially at a non-skill position. But he's sure deserving. That whole right side of the O-line is with Kelce, Brooks and Johnson.
 
Jalen Mills: This is going to come down to interceptions. Mills needs to overcome the fact that he was never a big-name college guy, wasn't a high draft pick and his personality might bug some opposing wide receivers — the ones who vote for CBs. But he's got three interceptions, and right now Detroit's Darius Slay is the only NFC cornerback with more. If he can get to five? He'll be in the mix.
 
Patrick Robinson: Robinson is in a very similar position as Mills. He doesn't have that league-wide reputation as a top corner, but he's sure played like one. Robinson is now with his fourth team in four years, and he's an eighth-year player who's never been a Pro Bowler, so he needs to overcome that journeyman reputation. But like Mills, he has three interceptions. A couple more gets him in the picture.
 
Nigel Bradham: Bradham has one sack, no interceptions, and no forced fumbles. Without stat numbers, it's tough for outside linebackers to make a Pro Bowl team, no matter how solid they are against the run and in coverage. Bradham is a sixth-year veteran without a Pro Bowl on his resume, and he'll probably need INT and sack numbers to make his first one.
 
Jake Elliott: Elliott doesn't have the accuracy of some kickers, so his only chance is to keep racking up the 50-yarders. Going into Dallas, he shares the NFL lead with five 50-yarders, including, of course, the game-winning 61-yarder against the Giants. But overall, he's at 85 percent, which sounds high but is actually only sixth-highest among regular NFC kickers. And he's missed three PATs. His only chance is another game-winner or two and a bunch more 50-yarders.
 
Rodney McLeod: McLeod has a couple interceptions and has played well all year, but it's hard to imagine him making the Pro Bowl and Jenkins not. And it's hard to imagine both safeties getting picked. Like any DB, McLeod can improve his chances with a couple INTs and maybe a pick-six during the voting period.