What was anticipated as a high scoring affair coming into this game with the Cowboys and Eagles both near the top in offensive numbers quickly turned into a defensive struggle, with the Cowboys coming out on top, 17-3. The Eagles have now lost their last nine games at home, setting a franchise-record.
The Cowboys now sit in first with a record of 4-3 in the NFC East division. Quarterback Tony Romo threw for 317 yards and one touchdown, while running back Joseph Randle did a fair job of filling in for Murray, rushing for 65 yards on 19 carries.
Dallas overcame a very sluggish start in the first half to pull away in the second half. On the first drive of the third quarter, the Cowboys managed to pound it in on a Phillip Tanner one-yard rushing TD to make it 10-0. That would prove to be all the offense the Cowboys would need, as the Eagles failed to reach the end zone all game.
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles came into this game with a groin injury that was downplayed all week. The Eagles staff and Foles himself continued to say that it wasn’t an issue. It certainly looked like it was, as Foles went only 11 for 29 with 80 yards, highlighted by inaccurate passes for most of the game. He was eventually knocked out of the game due to a head injury. Backup Matt Barkley wasn’t much better, throwing for 129 yards and three interceptions in his NFL debut.
The Cowboys defense continues to play well, recording three sacks and allowing only 293 yards on offense despite missing three of their four projected defensive line starters for the second straight week. However replacements continue to fill in very nicely and star linebacker Sean Lee seems to be back in complete form.
All of this came without star LB and defensive leader DeMarcus Ware, who missed the first game of his entire career Sunday. A quad injury snapped his 136-game streak of making an appearance in a game. Ware was projected to miss three to four weeks, but he quickly shot that down saying he will be back much sooner. That shouldn’t come as a surprise since he was listed as a game-time decision for Sunday despite missing practice all week.
Philadelphia (3-4), will look to bounce back next week versus the New York Giants. What might not be a question anymore is who the starting quarterback should be for the Eagles. When Michael Vick is healthy, it’s proven to this point that he is their best option. They should look to work Vick back into the starting lineup with Foles dealing with groin and head injuries, and rookie Matt Barkley clearly not ready for a starting gig.
Dallas (4-3), will head to Detroit with a matchup with the Lions. The Cowboys are 12-10 all-time versus the Lions. The 1st place Cowboys can take control of a lackluster division for good by continuing to play good football. The Eagles have issues at quarterback at the moment, the Redskins (2-4) have a tough schedule left with the Broncos coming up next week, and the Giants are still looking for their first win of the season. If the Cowboys keep up the high-powered offense led by Romo and pressure on defense with Ware and Lee at the helm, expect them to anchor this lowly NFC East for the rest of the season.