But the Cowboys allowed the Eagles and their rookie quarterback to nickel-and-dime them all night with slants, curls, square-ins, square-outs and flares. [Carson] Wentz completed 32 passes against the Cowboys for 202 yards. It was a controlled game of keepaway, and the Eagles were executing the game plan to perfection, keeping Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and the NFL’s third-best offense off the field.
Philadelphia’s success this season has been based on its ability to control the ball and not make mistakes. The same with Dallas. The Cowboys entered the game leading the NFL in time of possession at 33 minutes, nine seconds per game. The Eagles ranked second at 32 minutes, 16 seconds.
But it was the Eagles who dictated the tempo, controlling the ball for more than 33 minutes in regulation, with Wentz continually throwing in front of the defensive backs, making them become tacklers instead of covermen. The ball was coming out quick, and there was little pressure on the quarterback. Wentz was sacked just once by the Cowboys in the first 41 times he dropped back to pass.
But [Terrell] McClain, [Tyrone] Crawford, [Sean] Lee, [Orlando] Scandrick and [Cedric] Thornton delivered when the game was on the line.
“At the critical moments we were able to make the plays and get off the field,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “That’s really important when you’re in a game down by two scores. The defense did a really good job in the latter part of the game.”