Cowboys vs. Eagles: Dallas has its offense moving and leads Philadelphia
Dallas adds FG: A 26-yard field goal by kicker Brett Maher has upped the Cowboys' lead to 17 points. The kick was set up by a 44-yard strike from Dak Prescott to wide receiver Amari Cooper. (Cowboys 24, Eagles 7 with 1:31 left in the 2nd quarter)
Cowboys add to lead: Dallas has its offense in gear. The Cowboys restored their lead to 14 points with a one-yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to tight end Blake Jarwin. Prescott rolled to his right and found Jarwin uncovered in the end zone, with the Eagles apparently focused on stopping the run. The Cowboys converted on fourth and one near midfield earlier on the drive with a pass from Prescott to Ezekiel Elliott. An apparent touchdown catch by Amari Cooper was negated when he was called for offensive pass interference and left tackle Tyron Smith was called for holding on the play; the Eagles declined the interference penalty and accepted the holding. But the Cowboys were not to be denied. (Cowboys 21, Eagles 7 with 6:40 left in the 2nd quarter)
[email protected] makes it look easy to @Jaws_47 #PHIvsDAL | #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/2zliH1RO67- Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) October 21, 2019
Eagles bounce back: It's been an eventful first quarter at AT&T Stadium. The Eagles have bounced back with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Carson Wentz to tight end Dallas Goedert. That capped an 87-yard drive aided by two personal fouls called on the Cowboys, one for a roughing-the-passer infraction on a third-down incompletion. Wentz and Goedert teamed for the touchdown after each lost a fumble on Philadelphia's first two possessions of the game, leading to two Cowboys' touchdowns. (Cowboys 14, Eagles 7 with 4:38 left in the 1st quarter)
Perfect throw, beautiful catch, and we're on the board.#PHIvsDAL | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/JsxTIPFjcQ- Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 21, 2019
Two Eagles' TOs, two Cowboys' TDs: That victory "guarantee" by Eagles Coach Doug Pederson isn't looking too good so far. The Eagles have lost two fumbles leading to two Cowboys' touchdowns. Ezekiel Elliott scored on a one-yard run for Dallas after the Cowboys recovered a fumble by Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz on a sack by DeMarcus Lawrence. Elliott appeared to have scored on a 14-yard run on the previous play but was ruled down at the 1-yard line on an instant replay review. Lawrence, on his sack, got around Philadelphia right tackle Lane Johnson and knocked the football from Wentz's hand. It was Lawrence, remember, who issued the public warning for Pederson to remain on the sideline (where else would he be?) after the coach said early last week that the Eagles would win this game, then denied that he'd made a victory guarantee. (Cowboys 14, Eagles 0 with 8:56 left in the 1st quarter)
Cowboys cash in on turnover: The Cowboys have the early lead over the Eagles, cashing in on a fumble lost by Philadelphia tight end Dallas Goedert. The Cowboys took over at the Philadelphia 45-yard line and scored on a 20-yard run by Tavon Austin. (Cowboys 7, Eagles 0 with 10:08 left in the 1st quarter)
TAY ALL DAY! @Tayaustin01 gets the TD for the #DallasCowboys #PHIvsDAL pic.twitter.com/HUVuVFYIcK- Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) October 21, 2019
The NFC East has been in full retreat, with the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles leading the way. They began the season resembling legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Instead, they are .500 teams entering their "showdown" Sunday night in Arlington, Tex., for first place in the surprisingly feeble division.
The winner, at least, will emerge feeling better about itself and its prospects to get things headed back in the proper direction.
The urgency is particularly high for the Cowboys, given that they are playing at home and that they are on a three-game losing streak that has followed their 3-0 start to the season. For three games, quarterback Dak Prescott looked like a leading league MVP candidate and the Cowboys seemed to be justifying the big-money contract extensions handed out by owner Jerry Jones to running back Ezekiel Elliott and other players. Only a few weeks later, the situation is relatively dire, and the Cowboys are coming off a particularly embarrassing defeat to the previously winless New York Jets.
Things have gotten bad enough that it is being debated whether Jones would fire Jason Garrett as his coach if the Cowboys lose to the Eagles. It probably wouldn't happen, given that Jones has dismissed only one head coach - Wade Phillips - during a season. But the fact that is has become a topic of public conversation is telling. Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer added to the intrigue when he said in a radio interview that he "absolutely" would be interested if the Cowboys were to come calling after the season.
When: Sunday at 8:20 p.m. Eastern
Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex.
The Cowboys at least are getting healthier. Offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La'el Collins returned to practice last week and could be back in the lineup. Wide receivers Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb were listed as questionable on the team's injury report.
That puts the Cowboys in better shape than the Eagles. Quarterback Carson Wentz again will have to do without the big-play capabilities of wide receiver DeSean Jackson. He is to remain sidelined because of an abdominal injury. Rookie Andre Dillard, a first-round draft choice out of Washington State, is to start at left tackle in place of the injured Jason Peters. The Eagles also are to be without running back Darren Sproles, defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, linebacker Nigel Bradham and cornerback Avonte Maddox.
The Eagles are coming off to a loss to the Minnesota Vikings in which the Philadelphia defense could not stop quarterback Kirk Cousins and wide receiver Stefon Diggs. So the Eagles will have to be particularly mindful of the Prescott-to-Cooper combination, if Cooper indeed plays.
The buildup to the game last week included Eagles Coach Doug Pederson saying on a Philadelphia radio station that the Eagles would win, then denying that he'd made a victory guarantee. That led Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to advise Pederson to keep quiet and "stay on the sideline."
The Cowboys swept the Eagles last season and have won the teams' last three meetings. What once looked to be a big game in the race for NFC supremacy has been reduced to being a game in which one team will have to be satisfied with creeping above .500 and stopping things from getting any worse.
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