Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/12/12
Hero: Tony RomoThough it was Dwayne Harris who actually gave the Cowboys the lead on his 4th quarter punt return touchdown, it was Tony Romo who almost single handedly brought the momentum back to the Cowboys after the Eagles took a 17-10 lead.Up until that point Romo and the Cowboys offense had little to no success aside from their first drive of the game, and they were coming off two straight drives of three and out. The much criticized Eagles defense was finally playing up to their potential, sacking Romo three times and locking down the Cowboy receivers. So with the Cowboys facing 3rd and 4, and two Eagle defenders bearing down on Romo, it looked like more of the same.However Romo was able dodge both lineman, side step another and find Miles Austin for a 25 yard completion to keep the drive alive. Just three plays later Romo fired a 30 yard touchdown to Dez Bryant to tie the game at 17 (while I would agree the catch on this play was debatable, Romo's pass was right where it had to be in tight coverage). This was soon followed by Harris' touchdown and Brandon Carr's pick six to put the Cowboys up by two scores, a lead they would not relinquish.However if Romo takes the sack on 3rd and 4 (like 95% of NFL quarterbacks would in that situation) and the Cowboys punt again, I would argue those two touchdowns never happen. The Eagles had scored on  back to back drives, and if they got the ball right back they probably would've scored again on a ragged Cowboys defense. Romo's numbers in this game will not pop out at you: 19/26 for 209 yards and 2 TDs. But the most important stat was 0 interceptions and 0 fumbles. That coupled with his ability to make plays in the most critical moments make this a definite standout performance for Tony Romo, the kind of performance he will have to have on a regular basis for the Cowboys to have a shot at the playoffs. Zero: Eagles Offensive LineIn a game between two teams that you could describe as "dumb and dumber" there were plenty of lackluster performances on both teams. Had the Cowboys lost, the unfortunate title of "zero" would have gone to rookie Morris Claiborne who managed to rack up six penalties while giving up a touchdown.However, with the Eagles losing, the zero of the game instead goes to the entire Eagles offensive line. While the line can't be directly blamed for Mike Vick's injury, it was the Eagle's miscommunication on the line that let Ernie Sims come up the middle untouched to knock down Vick on what turned out to be Vick's last play of the day.The line seemed to improve after Vick left, at times providing running room for LeSean Mccoy and giving rookie Nick Foles plenty of time on his touchdown to Jeremy Maclin. But it was the penalties from the offensive line that made their performance the worst. Specifically it was tackles Demetress Bell and King Dulap who were responsible for all five of the Eagles offensive line penalties. Two of these penalties were extremely costly for the Eagles, essentially ending their drives. In the second quarter on a 2nd and 3, Nick Foles completed a first down pass only to have the play brought back on a holding penalty by Bell, leading to an Eagles punt.Then in the third quarter on critical 3rd and 5 completion that would have put the ball at the Cowboys 2 yardline, Dunlap was called for illegal hands to the face bringing the play back and forcing the Eagles to settle for a field goal. If the Eagles scored a touchdown on that drive, it woud've made it a two score game at 21-10 and made it much more difficult for the Cowboy to come back.The final nail in the coffin was on the Eagles last real chance to win, getting the ball with 0:53 seconds down by 8, Bell began the drive by committing a false start, and then he and Dunlap allowed Foles to be simultaneously clobbered by Anthony Spencer and Demarcus Ware, causing him to fumble the ball which was recovered in the end zone by Jason Hatcher. Though by the stats you may see only two sacks allowed and a decent yards per carry, the Eagles offensive line was a big reason for their loss.
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