In quite a weird turn of events, even without DeMarco Murray and DeMarcus Ware playing, the Dallas Cowboys didn’t need a great game from Tony Romo to win back-to-back games for the first time this season, knocking out Nick Foles and getting a horrendous debut from Matt Barkley as their main course of action.
And it’s not that Foles looked good before leaving the game. He had his worst game since his starting debut against the Redskins last season. He completed only 11-of-29 passes, was sacked three times and was an awful 0-of-8 for throws travelling more than 15-yards downfield. Putting all that together resulted in a 17-3 win for the Dallas Cowboys, in a game that turned out very differently from how people imagined it to be.
Not the part where the Cowboys won. Even with their defensive line banged up and missing their best running back (Again), the Cowboys have a better team than the Eagles right now – a better defense, and a better situation at quarterback. All of Chip Kelly’s offensive prowess was sunk by his QBs terrible play, as Matt Barkley threw three interceptions on 11-of-20, making it a debut he’d rather forget, but will probably appear in a nightmare or two.
Tony Romo didn’t have the greatest of games, throwing for 317 yards and a touchdown, but also intercepted twice – one on a hail mary to end the half; the other early in the second half, in a play the Eagles developed into their only three points. However, he did produce an impressive milestone in NFL history, making his 100th start in the NFL, and setting he NFL record for most passing yards through a player’s first 100 starts, reaching 27,485, beating Kurt Warner (27,441) for the record. It might mean that despite all of the criticism over the years, Romo is truly a great quarterback, or it just might mean that passing yards is a overrated stat to evaluate quarterbacks by.
Obviously, our defense was outstanding. That offense challenges you in so many ways. They have a really good scheme. Our defense played sound, played together. They were physical and our tackling was outstanding.
The Cowboys limited the Eagles to only 278 yards, keeping LeSean McCoy and the running game at 84 yards. The game in total had only 646 yards, coming from teams that averaged 58.2 points per game and allowed a combined 55.2 going into the game. Even without DeMarcus Ware, missing a game for the first time in his NFL career, the Cowboys got to the Foles three times for the sack and five more times for the big hit. After being worried so much about defensive line depth, the Cowboys might be covered not too badly after all.
Another player who deserved a good word was Joseph Randle, who ran for 65 yards, getting his first chance to be a feature back for this team, catching three more passes for 28 yards. Clearly, he’s not as good as a healthy Murray, but the Cowboys are prolific enough in their passing game to rely on someone like Randle, who should only get better, even if he’ll play against defenses slightly better than what the Eagles have to offer in the near future.