Dallas Cowboys finally put together complete game
By Tyrone Starr
It only took seven weeks, but the Dallas Cowboys finally played their most complete game of the 2019 season in a dominant 37-10 over Philadelphia.
The Dallas Cowboys were facing a lot of uncertainty heading into Sunday Night’s game against the divisional rival Philadelphia Eagles. At 3-3, with three straight losses, including an embarrassing effort against the previously winless Jets, these Cowboys were at a crossroads.
Another loss, especially to the Eagles and the upcoming bye week would be full of questions regarding the immediate future of the coaching staff. Dropping another game would greatly reduce their chances of making the playoffs. Since 2002, teams that start out 4-3 make the playoffs 51% of the time. Those who start out 3-4, however, only make the playoffs 17% of the time.
So, how did the Dallas Cowboys respond? Exactly how this mind-boggling team always seems to do.
With their backs up against a wall, the Dallas Cowboys put together their most complete game of the season. Dallas dominated all three phases of the game, sending the Eagles home with the biggest blowout the Cowboys have had in this series since 1998.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott posted the first 100-yard game against the Eagles since he did it to them last December. Receiver Amari Cooper eclipsed 100 yards, continuing his domination over their secondary since coming to Big D.
The Dallas Cowboys defense, specifically their pass rush, was phenomenal, generating pressure on 52% of the Eagles pass attempts. That pressure, along with some aggressive tackling created four turnovers. Four. That, alone, is almost unfathomable for this team.
Meanwhile, kicker Brett Maher made history. After drilling yet another 62-yarder right before the half, Maher became the first player in NFL history to make three kicks from 60+ yards.
Will this be a season-defining win? Could this be the one that will catapult the Cowboys in the right direction?
After starting both 2017 and 2018 at 3-3, Dallas ended up with winning records in both seasons. The upcoming bye week will help get almost everyone on the team healthy and ready for the stretch run. It should also allow for the team to finally identify the things they need to do in order to be more consistently successful.
As an added bonus, the embarrassment of the Eagles is having ripple effects on the Dallas Cowboys’ only threat to a division title. Philadelphia released cornerback Orlando Scandrick and defensive lineman Akeem Spence on Monday after both had less than stellar efforts in the blowout.
There are also rumblings of in-fighting within the Philadelphia locker room. On Monday, head coach Doug Pederson had to field questions about receiver Alshon Jeffrey’s suddenly not-so-private feelings about his quarterback as well as player’s disappointments in the lack of moves being made by the front office.
None of this is what any team wants at any time. It is especially bad timing when you consider Philadelphia’s next four opponents are the Bills, Bears, Patriots, and Seahawks. The combined record of those four teams? 20-6.
The next four weeks may ultimately shape who emerges as the winner of the NFC East. Sunday’s dominant, complete victory by the Cowboys could go a long way towards giving them a leg up in this race. Hopefully, this is the start of yet another strong finish for this team.