When the Eagles beat Dallas, the report card is going to be full of A’s — even when the final score is only 17-9.
Then again, that score doesn’t necessarily reflect how soundly the Eagles defeated the Cowboys. Missed field goals and Miles’ Sanders decision to slide and chew the last seconds off the clock rather than score a touchdown cost the team 13 points. So, really, the final could’ve been 30-9.
When you think about it like that, these grades make far more sense. Not that they need to, because the Eagles beat Dallas.
Carson Wentz: 31/40, 319 YDS, TD, 6 CAR, 22 YDS
What can you say negative about this performance? Wentz was accurate. He got the ball out of his hands. He used his mobility. He didn’t turn the ball over. He won. Whether this was “the biggest game of his career” or not is fodder for somebody else, but whatever the exact magnitude of this moment, Wentz absolutely rose to the occasion.
Miles Sanders: 20 CAR, 79 YDS, TD
Not a classically great game in terms of numbers, at least on the ground (not until ripping off a 38-yarder at the end, anyway), but tremendous effort nonetheless. Sanders would not be denied at the goal line in the third quarter, finally plunging in from the 1-yard line on his third try, and Boston Scott pitched in 19 yards from scrimmage on nine touches. No fumbles for the duo, either.
Wide receivers and tight ends
Dallas Goedert: 9 REC, 91 YDS, TD
Tremendous improvement from the receiving corps. Goedert is finally holding on to the football. Greg Ward (4 REC, 71 YDS) is making plays down the field. Robert Davis recorded his first catch as an Eagle, a first down. Even J.J. Arcega-Whiteside made some plays (2 REC, 39 YDS). The team effort was massive considering Zach Ertz (4 REC, 28 YDS) missed some action and was presumably slowed with a rib injury suffered early on.
The pass protection was largely excellent, with only three quarterback hits in 43 dropbacks – though one strip sack surrendered by Jason Peters. Elsewhere, the O-line’s performance needs improvement. The Eagles averaged just 3.9 yards per rushing attempt (inflated by Sanders’ late run), while Peters and Jason Kelce each committed a penalty to kill an Eagles drive in Cowboys territory. A fine job overall, but far from great.
Fletcher Cox: 3 TKL, FF
With the Cowboys’ quarterback hurting, stopping the run was priority No. 1. The Eagles’ front clogged lanes early as Ezekiel Elliott was limited nine yards on five carries in the first half. Elliott found more room as the game wore on (8 CAR, 38 YDS), but the D-line continued creating negative plays. Cox’s strip resulted in a huge turnover, while Josh Sweat and Vinny Curry each recorded a sack and a tackle for loss.
Nigel Bradham: 5 TKL, TFL
Solid job of finishing plays when Elliott was bottled up around the line of scrimmage, or getting the All-Pro back to the ground when he came barreling through a hole with a head of steam – no easy task. Bradham, Nathan Gerry and T.J. Edwards combined to make 13 tackles. The only complaint, other than a dearth of big plays, is the Cowboys seemed able to work the middle of the field in the passing game.
Jalen Mills: 8 TKL, PD
Some good, some bad. There’s no doubt the Cowboys did the Eagles’ DBs some favors. Dak Prescott wasn’t sharp, and his receivers left quite a few catchable balls on the turf. Nonetheless, Prescott was limited to a 56.8 completion percentage, 6.0 yards per attempt and no touchdowns, while Mills, Avonte Maddox, Malcolm Jenkins, Ronald Darby and Sidney Jones all broke up a pass.
Jake Elliott: 1/3 FG, 2/2 XP
Rough game for Elliott, who made this game a lot closer than it needed to be with a pair of missed field goals – granted, from 53 and 55 yards away. Not Cameron Johnston’s best work, either – the ball seemed to come off his foot funny a couple times, and punts that would usually land inside the 20 were coming up short.
Eagles’ record: 8-7
The Eagles outgained Dallas by over 100 yards. They converted 2-of-3 trips to the red zone with touchdowns while the Cowboys settled for field goals on both trips. Philly controlled the clock 36 minutes to 23. Dallas committed the game’s only turnover. And the Eagles have a chance to be NFC East champions, having out-coached and out-efforted a bitter rival who won convincingly in November. Kudos to the coaches who have this ragtag group on a three-game winning streak.
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