Instant Observations: Eagles-Cowboys
ARLINGTON, TX — Here’s what we saw during the Eagles’ 33-27 win over the Cowboys from AT&T Stadium:
Sam Bradford connected with Jordan Matthews for a 41-yard touchdown pass in overtime to lift the Eagles to a 33-27 win.
*Bradford caught fire in the second half. He engineered a seven-play, 95-yard drive on the Eagles’ first possession of the third quarter, going 5-for-5 for 74 yards on the drive — equaling his entire output from the first half. He threw a number of pretty balls in the second frame, including a perfect pass to Zach Ertz down the right sideline in the fourth for a gain of 27 that led to a 31-yard field goal by Sturgis that made it 24-21.
Bradford ended 25-of-36 for 295 yards with the TD.
*Matthews, who has struggled this season with drops, had nine catches for 133 yards.
*DeMarco Murray handed in a big night against his former team. The back posted 161 total yards and ripped off some big runs in overtime to lead the drive into Dallas territory.
*Caleb Sturgis nailed a 53-yard field goal with 1:46 remaining that lifted the Eagles to a 27-24 lead.
The key play in that drive was a 34-yard Matthews catch-and-run to set the Eagles up in Dallas territory.
*Lane Johnson made his first start at left tackle in place of the injured Jason Peters. He yielded a sack to Greg Hardy and committed a pair of false start penalties in the game — including one in overtime. The offensive line seemed to do OK given the circumstances, though there were some breakdowns along the way.
*Good cutback by Ryan Mathews on his 21-yard gallop in the second quarter to spark the touchdown drive. He had 11 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown.
*Josh Huff appeared to drop a Bradford pass near the goal line that was nearly intercepted. Miles Austin also had a drop, though the play was negated because of a penalty.
*Questionable play call on third down of that same drive. Facing a third-and-goal from the one, Chip Kelly opted to put Bradford in the shotgun and roll him out, resulting in an incompletion. Murray pounded it in on fourth down, though, for six.
*The Eagles are making a habit of throwing short of the sticks on third down. Did so on each of their first two possessions before punting it away.
*Byron Maxwell was flagged twice for pass interference on the Cowboys final possession of regulation. Both seemed questionable. Malcolm Jenkins was whistled for holding later in the drive, setting up a 44-yard field goal attempt that Dan Bailey bounced off the left post and in to knot it at 27-27 to force OT.
*Jordan Hicks‘ remarkable rookie season continues. He picked a pass intended for Darren McFadden and raced 67 yards down the sideline for the score. He now has 2 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries, 3 passes defensed, a forced fumble and a sack on the season.
*Matt Cassel threw one up for grabs early in the fourth, and somehow, the defense let Dez Bryant come down with it. The QB scrambled this way and that before chucking one into the back of the end zone. With multiple defenders in the area, Bryant leapt up and snared it to knot the game at 21-21.
*Cole Beasley gave the Eagles defense fits. Both of his touchdowns came with Malcolm Jenkins lined up over him. On the second score, it appeared Jenkins was waiting for help on the inside that never came. There was some confusion on the defensive side pre-snap.
*E.J. Biggers came up with a key pass-break-up on a 3rd-and-6 pass intended for Beasley late in the fourth, forcing Dallas to settle for the field goal.
*For the third straight game, the Eagles yielded a touchdown on the opponent’s first drive of the game. Cassel, Eagle killer, went 4-of-6 for 70 yards including a TD strike to Beasley, who got away from Jenkins on a double move.
*With DeMeco Ryans out, Mychal Kendricks and Jordan Hicks started at inside linebacker. Kiko Alonso rotated in when they went to nickel.
*Alonso appeared to take a bad angle on a 16-yard McFadden run late in the second quarter, running right past the play. He seemed a bit rusty overall.
*Nolan Carroll told Josh this week that the plan was to go more straight man-to-man against Dez Bryant with less help than they gave for Odell Beckham. While they appeared to switch their approach up some, Bryant took advantage of that man-to-man coverage in the first quarter, beating Carroll for a 51-yard gain.
*Brandon Graham had a pair of strip sacks in the game, including a big one on third-and-long late in the second quarter to knock the Cowboys out of field-goal range and force the punt. He also committed a bad penalty in the third quarter, as he was called for taunting after the Eagles had just stopped Dallas on a third-and-short.
*Hardy was called for unnecessary roughness following the Eagles’ PAT in the second quarter, shoving Matt Tobin over a fallen Cowboys player late.
*Johnson appeared to injure his left ankle later in the half, but walked off under his own power. He did not miss a play.
*Riley Cooper reportedly had x-rays taken on his left foot. He returned but was working through a limp and was in and out of the lineup. Jerome Couplin sustained a shoulder injury.
*Nelson Agholor (high ankle sprain), who was listed as a full participant at practice this week, did not suit up.