Observations: Eagles 24, Cowboys 22

Here’s what we saw during the Eagles’ 24-22 win over the Cowboys.


* The Eagles’ offense was up-and-down in their 24-22 win against the Cowboys. Nick Foles went 17-for-26 for 263 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. But he did most of his damage in the first half (12-for-16 for 197 yards). In the second half, Foles was 5-for-10 for 66 yards and he fumbled once.

* The Eagles put together an 11-play, 60-yard drive in the fourth quarter, running the ball on nine plays. Bryce Brown got in the end zone from 6 yards out. LeSean McCoy came up big on the drive as well. Overall, McCoy ran it 27 times for 131 yards (4.9 YPC). Brown had two carries for 11 yards and a score.

* On the Eagles’ first drive, Foles found Chris Polk on a wheel route for 34 yards down the right sideline. He also rifled a 16-yard pass to Riley Cooper to set up a 47-yard Alex Henery field goal. Lane Johnson was called for holding on the drive, which set up third-and-long.

* On the Eagles’ second drive, they went 88 yards on 10 plays. Foles made a couple nice throws to Zach Ertz. Jason Avant made a fantastic 22-yard grab on a jumpball. Foles found McCoy from 3 yards out for the touchdown.

* The offense struck quickly near the end of the first half. Brent Celek made a great play on a 50/50 ball for a 35-yard grab. Foles then found him for the 14-yard TD run and catch.

* The offensive line had issues in protection, and Foles did a poor job of feeling the pressure at times in the second half.

* Bad red-zone sequence for the Eagles in the second half. On first down, they had Brad Smith attempt a pass (incomplete) to Ertz. On second down, Foles didn’t see an open DeSean Jackson. And on third down, Jackson got stopped at the 1. The Eagles went for it on fourth down, and Foles was stopped on a QB sneak.

* The Eagles host the Saints in the first round of the playoffs at the Linc Saturday night at 8 p.m.


* The defense was shaky for most of the game, but came up big late. Brandon Boykin intercepted a Kyle Orton pass with 1:43 left to ice the game. It was Boykin’s sixth interception of the season, second-most in the league. Impressive, considering he came in playing only about 51 percent of the defensive snaps.

* On another second-half possession, Connor Barwin came up with a huge batted pass on fourth down.

* Overall, Orton went 30-for-46 for 358 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. DeMarco Murray got off to a hot start, but ended up with just 51 yards on 17 carries. In the second half, he had six runs for 8 yards.

* Mychal Kendricks bailed the Eagles out in the first half, coming up with a forced fumble and an interception. He led the Eagles with 12 tackles. In his last three games, Kendricks has three sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble. Cris Collinsworth was drooling over Kendricks all game long.

* The Eagles struggled with Orton’s hard count throughout. Cedric Thornton, Bennie Logan and Fletcher Cox were all whistled for penalties.

* The Eagles did not do a good job of pressuring Orton and often got burned on blitzes. No sacks or quarterback hits in the first half. The official box score showed no sacks and two QB hits.

* Boykin gave up a 39-yard completion to Terrance Williams in the first half. Tough to tell whether Nate Allen was supposed to be helping him. Orton found rookie tight end Gavin Escobar for a 17-yard TD. It was a blown coverage by the Eagles. Either DeMeco Ryans or Allen was supposed to pick him up. The Eagles sent six rushers at Orton and didn’t get to him on the play.

* The Cowboys used motion in the fourth to get Patrick Chung on Dez Bryant. Bryant beat the Eagles’ safety for a 32-yard touchdown. But Cary Williams came up with a huge pass break-up on the two point conversion to help preserve the Eagles’ lead.

* Boykin found himself one-on-one on Bryant in the end zone and did a good job of breaking up the pass in the second half.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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