Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cowboys send Eagles to record ninth-straight home loss

Philadelphia, PA -- Despite missing All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus  Ware, the Dallas Cowboys shut down the Philadelphia Eagles' offense in a 17-3 victory in South Philadelphia on Sunday.

"We didn't play well offensively. We couldn't do anything to help out our defense. I thought we had a good week at practice, good energy. To go out there and play the way we did was unacceptable," mused Birds head coach Chip Kelly.

Many  people  expected a high-scoring  game when the  two teams took the field in a battle  for first place in the NFC East. Coming into the contest, Dallas  was  second in  the NFL  with an average  of 30.5  points per game and Philadelphia was fourth with 27.2 ppg.

But  the Dallas  defense,  which  came into  the  contest  allowing 25.3  ppg, recorded  three  sacks,  intercepted  rookie quarterback  Matt  Barkley  three times and limited LeSean McCoy to 55 yards on 18 carries.

"We just didn't finish any drives and didn't execute at all," said McCoy. "We just didn't play well. I think this was one of my worst performances since being a rookie."

One positive for the Pitt product was that he set a record for the most yards from scrimmage (952) by an Eagle through the first seven games of a season. With 6,406 career yards from scrimmage, McCoy passed Steve Van Buren (6,383) for eighth place in team history.

On  the offensive side  of the ball for the Cowboys (4-3), Tony Romo completed 28-of-47  passes for 317 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. A fourth-quarter  touchdown pass  to Terrance  Williams  extended Romo's  streak to  20 consecutive games with a TD pass.

"This was a good win for us, to come up here to Philadelphia and get a division win on the road is important," said Dallas head coach Jason Garrett. "We played well enough in all three phases to win this game."

Joseph  Randle, filling  in for an injured DeMarco Murray, carried the ball 19 times for 65 yards. Dez Bryant caught eight passes for 110 yards.

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, making his second straight start for an injured Michael  Vick,  connected on just 11-of-29  passes for 80 yards before leaving after three quarters with a head injury. Barkley completed 11-of-20 passes for 129 yards in relief.

Vick  announced  Thursday during a joint  press conference with Foles that his injured  hamstring is still not 100 percent. Vick suffered the injury during a Week 5 win over the New York Giants.

Philadelphia  (3-4) had  a  two-game winning  streak snapped  and  set a  new, dubious franchise record with its ninth straight home defeat. The Eagles' last win at home came on Sept. 30, 2012 against the New York Giants.

A scoreless first quarter featured six punts. Dallas managed to move the ball into opposing territory just once during the frame. The drive stalled when Romo was sacked by DeMeco Ryans on 2nd-and-7 from the Philadelphia 38.

The only three points of the first half came with 3:17 left in the second stanza. The Cowboys used three passing plays of at least 10 yards to move the ball to the Philadelphia 23. Four plays later, Dan Bailey made a 38-yard field goal.

The Eagles finally moved the ball past midfield in the final minute of the second quarter. Faced with a 2nd-and-1 from the Dallas 42, Foles threw two incomplete passes. Eagles coach Chip Kelly decided to send kicker Alex Henery onto the field, but he missed a 60-yard field goal.

Romo heaved the ball into the end zone with just seconds left, but rookie Earl Wolff came up with his first NFL interception.

Dallas opened the second half with a 10-play, 66-yard scoring drive. Bryant caught three passes of at least 11 yards to move the ball inside the red zone. On 3rd-and-goal, Bradley Fletcher was called for defensive pass interference. Phillip Tanner then rumbled into the end zone from one yard out, making it a
10-0 game.

The Cowboys were driving again when Romo was picked off by Ryans, who returned the ball 36 yards to the Dallas 30. Three plays later, Foles almost threw an interception in the end zone. Upon further review, it was determined that a pass intended for Jason Avant hit the ground first. McCoy picked up two yards
on 4th-and-1 for a fresh set of downs, but the Eagles settled for a 31-yard field goal from Henery.

Dallas stole back any momentum that Philadelphia had gained with a 10-play, 72-yard scoring drive. This time around, Bryant caught passes of 16 and 10 yards to fuel the march. After Cole Beasley picked up a first down on 3rd- and-2, Williams caught a 9-yard TD pass to make it 17-3 with 9:25 left in the fourth.

''It's a testament to how hard and committed these guys are to practicing,'' Romo said. ''It's neat for them to have a game like this. They would've won it by themselves.''

Barkley, who was selected by the Eagles in the fourth round of this year's draft, took over for an injured Foles. The Southern Cal product did not fare much better, throwing three interceptions the rest of the way.

Notes: Philadelphia's three points were the fewest since absorbing a 24-0 loss in Dallas on January 3, 2010, and the fewest in a home game since Seattle's 42-0 thrashing on December 5, 2005 ... The Cowboys hold a 62-47 edge in the all-time series ... Ware (quadriceps) had a streak of 134 consecutive games played snapped. Murray sat out with a knee injury ... Philadelphia safety Patrick Chung missed the game with a shoulder injury ... Riley Cooper hauled in six passes for 88 yards for the Eagles, who racked up just 278 yards of total offense ... Coming into Sunday's game, the Eagles were 29th in points allowed (29.8) and Dallas was 21st (25.3).
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