During the first half of the game, Dallas had more first downs (19) than the Eagles in total offensive plays (18). The Cowboys reached the end zone on three of four trips to the red zone in the first two quarters and had outscored the visitors 261 yards to 121. That led to a 20-7 lead at halftime that Philadelphia was never able to overcome. .
Using Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard’s one-two running back, the Cowboys were able to rack up 160 total rushing yards in the game, the perfect complement to Dak Prescott’s effort through the air. The quarterback threw for just 238 yards, but completed 80.8 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions for an impressive 143.3 passer rating.
Going into the night, however, the concern was on the other side of the ball, where injuries have devastated the Cowboys’ defensive line. But even though the Eagles totaled 367 yards of offense, they were mostly empty yards, as Dallas limited Philadelphia to just 12 first downs, a 33 percent third-down conversion rate and just 63 rushing yards.
The youngsters replaced coordinator Dan Quinn as rookie Osa Odighizuwa won the first sack of his career with two quarterback pressures and four tackles. He was joined by fellow rookie Micah Parsons, who had quarterback pressure along with a tackling for loss, pass defended and four tackles. Sophomore Trevon Diggs had another interception with three passes defended, while rookie Chauncey Golston, in his first NFL game, finished with three solo tackles.
The Cowboys wasted no time to get on the scoreboard, needing just over 3 minutes on their first possession to reach the end zone. A 44-yard bomb from Prescott to CeeDee Lamb did the real damage, putting the team at the Eagle’s 1-yard line. Elliott then worked his way through the points and in the process moved to sole possession of third place in Cowboys history by rushing touchdowns (48).
However, in a strange sequence of events, Philadelphia soon tied it. Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown intercepted a pass from Jalen Hurts at the Cowboys’ 1-yard line, ending that threat. But just two plays in the Dallas series, Prescott was caught in the end zone with the fumble bouncing off the players and into the arms of his nemesis Fletcher Cox for the Eagles touchdown.
Dallas appeared to have a second marker late in the quarter when in the quarter and goal, Prescott tried to sneak in. But even though on replay the ball appeared to cross the goal line, officials on the field ruled that Philadelphia had made the save.
Never mind. After the Cowboys defense forced the Eagles to go 3 and out, Prescott and company took control at the 50 yard and 6 plays later got their points. This time it was Pollard and Dalton Schultz’s show, as the former ran four times for 24 yards and the latter added two receptions for 31 more. The last of them was a 19-yard touchdown grab from Dallas, the advantage forever.
The Cowboys took over when the second frame kicked in and just lined up the visitors and manhandled the Philadelphia defense. In a 13-play, 65-yard drive that took 7:50 off the clock, the combination of Elliott and Pollard chewed up 42 rushing yards down the middle, the last of which was a Zeke bull run into the end zone. . from 3 meters away. Not that it means much to the overall score, but Greg Zuerlein missed the extra point, the second time he did so this young season, putting the Cowboys up 20-7 at the half.
The hopes the Eagles had for a quick counterattack when they took possession to open the third quarter were quickly crushed when cornerback Diggs stepped forward to a pass from Hurts for the interception. Even better, he ran without touching 59 yards for the first touchdown of his career. With his pick, Diggs became the first Cowboy to intercept a pass in the first three games of a season since Everson Walls did it in 1985.
But in typical style of rival NFC East games, the Eagles weren’t going to fall silent. At least not yet. Midway through the quarter, the visitors started at their own 90-yard line and went the distance in eight plays. The injured connected with wide receiver Quez Watkins for 41 yards and then found tight end Zach Ertz for another 27. Three plays later, Ertz was wide in the end zone for the 3-yard touchdown pass.
That fleeting momentum from the Eagles certainly didn’t last long. The Cowboys capped off a long 12-play, 61-yard drive early in the fourth quarter by going for the quarter-and-goal at the Philadelphia 2-yard line. Prescott rolled to his right, couldn’t find Lamb wide open, but remained patient and threw a dart at Cedrick Wilson in the back of the end zone to score.
Schulz would then record the first multiple touchdown game of his career with a nifty catch and run, blasting his way 22 yards for the score. He became the Cowboys’ first tight end with at least two touchdowns since teammate Blake Jarwin had three for the New York Giants on December 30, 2018.
The Eagles would add one last pointless touchdown, a 15-yard touchdown catch by Greg Ward with just over three minutes to go, but it was too little, too late. Dallas improving to 2-1 on the season.