For once, the Dallas Cowboys didn’t need their lightning rod of a quarterback to win the game. Scoring three touchdowns through a Tony Romo pass to Dez Bryant, a punt return by Dwayne Harris and an interception by Brandon Carr in less than three minutes did the job.
Entering the game were two troubled teams, and while the Dallas Cowboys didn’t suddenly fix all of their problems thanks to a win, they leave Philadelphia with a lot less headaches and a bit more smiles than what the Eagles are left with. Questions at quarterback, questions at head coach. For the Cowboys, improving to 4-5 and being very much in the race of the NFC East, seeing as the Giants are having their usual November slump while this month is usually when the Cowboys and Romo excel.
He is now 20-3 during the month of November, winning 87% of his games. Problem is his December and January form, winning only 37% games on the final month of the season. The Cowboys are going to need a big two months if they want their season to extend beyond the regular season schedule.
Despite all the penalties against them and despite allowing the Eagles to sack Romo three times, Dallas dominated, partially thanks to a rookie quarterback playing for Michael Vick, although Nick Foles arguably did a better job than Vick has done under this offensive line this season. The highly criticized group allowed him to be sacked only once, but his passing was off the mark to many times, and the Cowboys simply killed the game with that 2:35 stretch in which they came back from 10-17 to lead 31-17.
Tony Romo did very well against the Eagles front four, 16-of-20 against four or fewer pass rushers. Romo completed all 12 attempts against four or fewer rushers Sunday with the Cowboys trailing, including both of his touchdowns. He finished the game with 19-26, 209 yards, two touchdowns and a 122.1 passer rating. His favorite target? As usual, Jason Witten, who caught 8 passes for 47 yards. Dez Bryant (3 receptions 87 yards) and Felix Jones (3 catches, 22 yards) scored the touchdowns off of Romo’s passing.
Felix Jones had a big day with 93 yards from scrimmage, his second best of the season, adding 71 on the ground on 16 rushes, and was probably at his quickest and most elusive he’s been all season. The Cowboys have a problem concerning the ground game when DeMarco Murray is out, but at least Jones has a decent day once in a while. The Cowboys’ easier schedule down the road means that Murray’s loss might not be so disastrous when it’ll all be said and done.
The Cowboys can’t forget they caught a break with Dez Bryant’s touchdown, which was probably an incomplete pass, but even after review, the officials couldn’t find conclusive evidence that he didn’t have control of the ball. It’s like that for the Cowboys this season – getting killed on the penalties (especially Maurice Claiborne with 2 offside 2 holding, 1 pass interference) but getting the benefit of the doubt on review-able calls. For once, it also paved way for only their second win over the last six games.