Paul Domowitch is a pro football writer for the Inquirer and Daily News, where he has worked since 1982. He has covered nearly 30 Super Bowls and has been a selector for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the last 15 years.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Five quick observations on the Eagles’ win over the Cowboys Sunday night at AT&T Stadium:
The Eagles forced four Dallas turnovers, including three interceptions by Dak Prescott, which was just one fewer than he had in the Cowboys’ previous nine games this season. They held the Cowboys without a touchdown and continued to shut teams down on third down.
Playing from behind
The Eagles have been able to force teams to abandon the run this season by jumping out to early leads. They had outscored their first nine opponents in the first half, 138-42. Sunday night was just the second time this season they trailed at the half. But it didn’t matter. The Eagles came out and put up 30 unanswered points in the second half.
The Eagles had to play most of the game without kicker Jake Elliott. He suffered a concussion on the opening kickoff when he tried to tackle Ryan Switzer on his 61-yard return. It wasn’t diagnosed until late in the first quarter after he missed a 34-yard field goal attempt. Linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill handled kickoffs the rest of the game. After touchdowns, they went for two, converting three of four.
Early third-down struggles
The Eagles came into the game ranked third in third-down efficiency. They had converted 46.8 percent of their third-down opportunities in the first nine games. Carson Wentz was ranked first in the league in third-down passing. But the Eagles failed to convert any of their six third-downs in the first half. They came out in the second half, though, and converted two in a row on an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that gave them the lead and five of their first six third-down opportunities in the second half.
The Eagles had just 35 rushing yards on 10 carries in the first half. But their ground game exploded in the third quarter when they rushed for 125 yards, including a 71-yard run by Jay Ajayi. Doug Pederson regularly rotated Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement. The Eagles finished with 200-plus rushing yards for just the second time this season.
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