ARLINGTON, Texas -- Forget the three-headed monster of 2003. The Eagles have somehow invented a four-headed monster. And somehow it works.
On Sunday, the Eagles got contributions from four running backs in their 37-9 demolition of the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium (see Roob's observations). And that’s not supposed to happen.
New acquisition Jay Ajayi again showed tremendous explosiveness, gaining 84 of his 91 yards in the second half, including a 71-yard scamper run to set up a third-quarter TD. LeGarrette Blount had his best game in a while with 57 yards on 13 carries.
Rookie Corey Clement once again did his thing, rushing just six times for 50 yards and a touchdown and also catching a two-point conversion. And even Kenjon Barner had a role Sunday night, with a career-long 22-yard catch and then his first touchdown of the season to open the game.
Four backs in uniform. All contributed. Not easy to do.
"Those guys all bring a different skill set," Carson Wentz said. "They do such a good job. The big boys up front lead the way with that. We can spread those guys out and use them at what they're best at. They make my job a heck of a lot easier."
Ajayi was getting 20 carries per game with the Dolphins. He has only 15 in two games with the Eagles but has certainly made the most of them.
He’s the third player in NFL history with consecutive games of eight or fewer carries and 77 or more rushing yards. Former Eagle Felix Jones did it for the Cowboys in 2009 and Warren Williams for the Steelers in 1990.
Ajayi is also the first Eagle since Ricky Watters in 1996 with runs from scrimmage of 45 yards or more in consecutive games.
“It’s different,” Ajayi said. “It’s definitely not what I’m used to, but at the same time, it’s exciting to see all of us make plays. For me, whenever the number is called, just make your plays count and take advantage of your opportunities."
Sunday’s game was the Eagles’ first in 56 years in which three running backs each ran for at least 50 yards.
Last time it happened was also in Dallas — at the Cotton Bowl. On Oct. 22, 1961, Billy Ray Barnes [89 yards], Timmy Brown  and Ted Dean  did it in a 43-7 win over the Cowboys.
“Everybody has their role,” Clement said. “I have a specific role, LaGarrette, (Wendell) Smallwood, Kenyon, Jay, we’re not selfish out there. To have four guys in the rotation, it means a lot because defenses really can’t keep up with the style of running that we have.”
When training camp began, Blount was the No. 1 back and Darren Sproles, Smallwood and rookie Donnel Pumphrey were next in line. Of that group, only Blount was even in uniform Sunday night.
And they still ran for 215 yards, including 180 in the second half.
Ajayi and Barner both joined the team during the season, and Clement just keeps earning more and more playing time and more and more touches as an undrafted rookie. Blount has the fifth-highest per-carry average in the NFL among backs with at least 100 carries.
It’s a unique group. They each have different skill sets and they each have different roles and they each seem to genuinely not care who makes the big play.
And judging by the laughs and good-natured ribbing and trash talk in the locker room after Sunday's win, they all genuinely like each other.
“We’re all focused on ‘we,’ we’re not focused on ‘I,’” Barner said. “We all understand our roles, we all want to see the other guys do well, and we’re all unselfish. It starts with (position coach) Duce (Staley), who really sets the tone in the (meeting) room.”
The Eagles are now second in the NFL with 145 rushing yards per game, second only to the Jaguars' 161. They're tied for fourth at 4.6 yards per run
Their 2,313 rushing yards are their most through 10 games since 1949, when they had 2,317.
And they're doing it all without anybody on pace to rush for 900 yards.
“It all starts with preparation and everybody knows their role,” Blount said. “Everybody has a significant role on this team. All the backs do — me, Jay, Wendell, Corey, Kenjon, all the way down. Everybody has a role and they’re good at it and they all embrace it."