Cowboys Explode, Eagles Implode: the Great, the Good and the Not Too Bad
By Richard Ball
A few observations from the Dallas Cowboys 37-10 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. There was some great, some good and some not too bad play.
The Dallas Cowboys won their fourth game of the season on Sunday to take over first place in the NFC East. The Cowboys defense flipped the script from the previous two ugly losses and helped the offense get out to a quick 14-0 first-quarter lead.
The Week Seven contest against the Eagles was like most football games with plays you loved and plays you would love to forget. Below we’ll breakdown the great, the good, and the not too bad of the Cowboys’ fourth win of the season.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper has now played sixteen regular season games with the Cowboys. Dallas was blasted for overpaying a first-round pick for the underperforming at the time Oakland Raider receiver.
Since the acquisition during the Cowboys bye week in 2018, Cooper has caught 91 balls for 1,346 yards and 11 touchdowns. Maybe, more importantly, he has helped quarterback Dak Prescott transform from the ugly duckling at the beginning of the 2018 season to a swan with the third-most passing yards in 2019.
The bond between Cooper and Prescott is obvious. Cooper’s elite route running creates wide-open spaces for Prescott to make many easy completions. Yet, it was a tight window throw from Prescott to Cooper at the start of the fourth quarter that is worthy of further discussion.
The Cowboys started the fourth quarter with a commanding 27-10 lead and had the ball at the Eagles 44-yard line facing a third and six. The Eagles had slowed Dallas down in the third quarter becoming the first team to hold America’s team without a point in the third quarter.
The first play of the fourth quarter could have been the momentum swing the Eagles needed to get back in the game. Sensing a pivotal play, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz sent six men to pressure Prescott.
All five linemen locked onto an Eagle rusher and rookie running back Tony Pollard stepped up to take out his man. The blockers gave Prescott enough time to launch the ball down the right sideline.
When the ball was thrown, Cooper was in a trailing position to Eagles corner Jalen Mills. The ball appeared as if it would incomplete at best or possibly intercepted.
NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth was nearly beside himself with the burst Amari Cooper found to layout to make a spectacular catch along the sideline. Cooper, in about three steps, raced past Mills to haul in Prescott’s pass for a 28-yard pick-up to the Eagles 16-yard line. Three plays later, Dallas tacked on another field goal for a 30-10 lead which killed any momentum the Eagles may have found.
In a game with many spectacular plays for the Cowboys, this catch ranks near the top. The tight window throw from Prescott to Cooper that was inches away from being broken up by Mills gives hope that Prescott will grow into a top-tier quarterback in the league. It also shows that Cooper is a big-time wide receiver worthy of the draft pick investment.