If you’re a fan of a team other than the Philadelphia Eagles or Dallas Cowboys, you probably enjoyed Sunday night’s game. If you’re an Eagles or Cowboys fan, you probably felt sick for a while after the clock finally reached zero. In the end, the Eagles escaped with a 28-23 win, but damn, it wasn’t easy. As always, we give out 10 awards if you win, lose or draw.
Let’s face it: The Eagles had a ton of breaks in this game, and that’s why they won.
• They made three blunders on offense and made up for all three.
It is incredibly fortunate to be able to fix all three errors.
• The Cowboys were 🤏 close to scoring a touchdown that instead resulted in a turnover on downs because Luke Schoonmaker’s knee hit the ground juuuuuust before the ball broke the plane of the end zone.
• And finally, when Dak Prescott tried to score a two-pointer, he went out of bounds before diving for the pylon. These points turned out to be extremely significant.
The Eagles had a lot of games where a lot of breaks didn’t go their way. Fortune turned against the Cowboys in a big way.
2) The “Hot Knife Through Butter” Award 🔪🧈: The Cowboys passing attack vs. the Eagles secondary
Dak Prescott was 29 of 44 for 374 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs. He hit CeeDee Lamb 11 times for 191 yards and TE Jake Ferguson 7 times for 91 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles’ defense often appeared helpless when trying to contain the Cowboys’ passing attack, as Lamb and Co. were often left wide open. The Eagles’ defense was particularly frustrating when it forced the Cowboys into long downs and distances, as they (eventually) converted three third downs of 10 yards or more.
- 2nd Quarter: 3rd and 14: Prescott hits Lamb for a 20-yard reception. This drive ended with a touchdown for the Cowboys.
- 2nd Quarter: 3rd-and-15: Prescott hit Lamb for a 14-yard reception, then they converted on 4th-and-1. This drive ended with a Cowboys FG.
- 4th Quarter: 3rd and 10: Prescott hits Ferguson for 12 yards.
The Eagles’ slot corners weren’t able to cover Lamb, the linebackers and safeties couldn’t handle the Dallas tight ends, and James Bradberry really struggled in this game.
The Eagles have a lot of fixing to do on the back end of their defense.
3) The “Toughness” Award 💪: Jalen Hurts
Hurts was badly shot on his already injured knee by DeMarcus Lawrence in the second quarter:
Ouch. He struggled to get to the sideline after the hit, but he never showed weakness and never missed a snap. When necessary, he continued to run with the soccer ball on his limp leg, even though he couldn’t even slide. He continued to deliver from his own pocket, most notably with that excellent dime to DeVonta Smith for a TD in the third quarter.
These are not empty words. Hurts is a true, tough leader.
4) The “Closer Part I” Award 🔒: Brandon Graham
On the Cowboys’ second-to-last drive of the game, Brandon Graham had sacks on consecutive plays. The first was an inside move against Cowboys RT Terence Steele:
He then hit Steele again and shared a sack with Jalen Carter.
And as mentioned above, Prescott went out of bounds before going for a two-pointer. That won’t happen if Graham doesn’t come in from behind and go after Prescott.
5) The “Closer, Part II” Award 🔒: Josh Sweat
On the Cowboys’ final drive, with the Eagles clinging to a five-point lead and roughly 99.9 percent of Eagles fans expecting the game to end in a loss, Josh Sweat made the most consequential play of the game.
Once again, Steele was the victim as Sweat brushed him around the edge for a mammoth sack.
This wasn’t the best day for the Eagles’ pass rushers, as Prescott often had plenty of time to throw, but as is often the case, they made monster plays with the game on the line. Normally Haason Reddick is the Eagles’ closer, but Graham and Sweat will borrow that title for this game.
6) The Big Balls Nick, And Then Not So Much Award: Nick Sirianni
On the Eagles’ first drive, Sirianni hit a 4th-and-1 at his own 32, and (surprisingly) the Eagles successfully converted a brotherly shove. Later on that drive, he scored on a fourth-and-3 from the Dallas 27. Again the Eagles converted, this time with a 15-yard completion to Dallas Goedert.
There probably isn’t a coach in the NFL who would go for a 4th-and-1 on his own 32 points on his offense’s opening play. This is the Nick Sirianni that Philadelphians can be proud of.
However, Sirianni’s courage faltered late in the fourth quarter when his offense had the ball with 1:17 to play and the Cowboys had all three timeouts. A first down would have ended the game, but Sirianni instead chose to run it on three consecutive plays, bleeding out the Cowboys’ timeouts and then throwing it away.
I don’t know what play Sirianni was watching all night, but as mentioned above, the Eagles couldn’t stop the Cowboys’ passing attack all day, and as an added bonus, the officials handed out pass interference/illegal contact/defensive holding calls (on both teams). all day like candy on Halloween. I don’t know how he decided it was better to rely on his defense instead of his offense, but he’s very lucky Sweat saved him because it would have been a tough two weeks if the Cowboys had their last Drive would have scored a goal and won this game.
7) The “Oh Hey, New Injuries” Award 🤕: Hurts, Dallas Goedert, Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean and ???
It was a physical game that left several Eagles injured.
Goedert suffered a forearm injury that looked pretty bad. After he got injured, he went straight to the locker room.
Other Eagles beaten up: Hurts, Jordan Davis, Darius Slay, James Bradberry and Nakobe Dean.
So… we’ll see.
8) The “Rest Up” Award 🛌: The Eagles’ tired bodies during the bye week
The bye week comes at an opportune time for the Eagles after an emotionally and physically demanding game. They will likely bring Cam Jurgens back from injured reserve, and the long list of players with injured bodies will have a chance to bounce back.
On the other side of the field, the Chiefs are waiting for the Birds in Kansas City, and then the unpleasant part of the Eagles’ schedule continues.
• Week 9: Cowboys: W
• Week 10: Bye
• Week 11: At the Chiefs
• Week 12: Bills
• Week 13: 49ers
• Week 14: At Cowboys
• Week 15: At Seahawks
But for now, the Eagles can breathe easy and enjoy their best 8-1 record in the league.
9) The “Cushion” Award: The Eagles’ place in the NFC East
An updated look at the NFC East standings:
As you can see, the Eagles now have a 2.5 game lead over the Cowboys. But even in the tiebreak they are now in top form. The first three tiebreakers for the division are as follows:
- Head-to-head games
- Division record
- Common opponents
With the Eagles’ head-to-head win over the Cowboys on Sunday, they at least secured a tie in the tiebreaker (duh). But on top of that, they’re now 3-0 in NFC East play and already have a win over the pesky Commanders under their belt. They still have three division games left – one more against the Cowboys in Dallas and two against the woeful Giants, who they already own.
Should the Cowboys defeat the Eagles in the Week 14 rematch and both teams sweep the other two NFC East doormats, it will go to common opponents where the Eagles already have a big win against the Dolphins under their belt. An updated look at the NFC East’s most common opponents outside of the division and results so far:
The Cowboys’ loss to the Cardinals is just…yuck.
Either way, with this win over Dallas, the Eagles have secured a very dominant position in the NFC East.
10) The “Just Win” Award 🤷♂️: The Eagles
In so many of these “10 Awards” post-game articles, there are a lot of valid criticisms that can’t be picked out…after the Eagles win. They aren’t always pretty and have rarely been comfortable this season, but they always find ways to get the job done.
“Winning” is a skill. And the Eagles have it.
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