DALLAS (38) d PHILADELPHIA (23)
The Headline: Dallas stays alive, just, by knocking out the Eagles
It’s funny, everyone in the NFL has been waiting for Andy Reid to finally bite the bullet and bench Michael Vick thanks to his poor run of form and bad habit of committing turnovers. Reid instead has stood by his quarterback and insisted that Vick is his guy despite the overwhelming public support for his backup, rookie Nick Foles. The decision was eventually made for him however as Vick sustained a concussion thanks to some physical Dallas defense that knocked him out of the game. Foles tried to bring the Eagles back into the game but was unable to come through in the end as he began to make rookie mistakes and the Cowboys saw some scoreboard production from their defense and special teams to put the game away.
Key Stat: Philadelphia 1/10 on third down
Dallas wasn’t great either on third down converting a measly 38% of their opportunities however they were able to outperform the atrocious efforts of the Eagles who only had one successful third down conversion which came on their first drive when Vick threw a touchdown pass to Riley Cooper. From there it’s not as though the Eagles were in tough third down spots with several chances to convert third and five or less but they were unable to move the ball against the Dallas defense.
Key Play: Dwayne Harris 78 yard punt return touchdown to take a 24-17 lead
With the game evenly poised at 17-17, with the Cowboys having just drawn even thanks to a Dez Bryant touchdown, Dallas’s defense came out and forced a big three and out. On the ensuing punt, Dwayne Harris took the ball all the way back to the end zone to firmly swing the momentum back to Dallas’s side and give them a lead that they would not relinquish. On the Eagles next possession, Foles had a pass picked off and returned for a touchdown to really ice the game.
Man of the Match: Tony Romo
19/26, 209 yards, 2 touchdowns
Romo may not be the best of quarterbacks in September, October, December or January but in November the man is lethal and he had a great performance here guiding the Cowboys offense over the Eagles. On the road, with his team fighting for playoff survival Romo stepped up and delivered in the crucial moments and more importantly avoided a crucial mistake that would have killed off his team’s chances.