In a game, where it seemed like neither team wanted to win at first, the Dallas Cowboys (8-5) defeated the Philadelphia Eagles (6-7), 29-23, in overtime. With the victory, the Cowboys now have a commanding two-game lead in the NFC East and extended their winning streak to an impressive five games.
The Eagles, on the other hand, saw their playoff hopes take a significant hit and two-game winning streak snapped. From the onset, it appeared that things would not go the Eagles’ way as they lost a challenge on what appeared to be a clear fumble recovery by linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill.
In addition to the various miscues by the refs, including a phantom OPI called on Dallas Goedert, which negated a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The Eagles’ offense was inconsistent throughout the entire game, along with the defense, which fell apart in the fourth quarter.
Here are three takeaways from a disappointing Week 14 loss:
1. Eagles’ defense has a complete meltdown
After letting Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott go off a month ago at Lincoln Financial Field for big performances, the Eagles’ defense did a better job of keeping the tandem in check for the first three quarters.
In regards to Prescott, the defense forced him into three turnovers, including two in the second half. Those two turnovers surprisingly gave the offense solid field position and led to nine points.
The third-year quarterback eventually turned it on in the fourth quarter, taking advantage of Philly’s battered defense and torching them for multiple big plays through the air. Prescott finished the game with 455 passing yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions.
Elliott, however, had an excellent first half, where he had 72 rushing yards on 11 carries. But in the second half, the Eagles’ defense tightened up and held Elliott to only 42 yards on 17 carries.
This has been a constant theme for the Eagles’ defense over the last few weeks and will continue to haunt them.
2. Wentz, offense start slow once again
What seems to be a recurring issue throughout the season, reared its ugly head once again on Sunday. The Eagles were held scoreless in the first half and had an ugly first quarter to back it up.
In the first quarter, the offense looked like they were putting things together as they made it an emphasis to run the ball. On their opening drive, Josh Adams had three carries for 30 yards.
However, for the rest of the game, the former Notre Dame product only had three carries for zero yards. Wentz also struggled in the first quarter, only passing for 12 yards and missing key throws to Goedert and wide receiver Golden Tate.
In the first half, Philly’s offense only had 70 total yards and four first downs. But in the second half, thanks to the play of the defense, gave the offense some life.
Wentz hit Jeffery for a wide receiver screen touchdown in the third quarter, then found Goedert and Darren Sproles for late fourth-quarter touchdowns. It was not pretty by the Eagles and it is something that will be talked about over the course of the week.
3. Ertz crosses another milestone
Even though this season has not been good for the Eagles, tight end Zach Ertz has played at a superstar level. On Sunday, the veteran tight end not only crossed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career but came close to the 100-yard reception mark.
Against the Cowboys, he had five receptions on 12 targets for 38 yards. The 28-year-old tight end now has 98 receptions for 1,013 receiving yards with three games left in the regular season.