Eagles Up-Down Drill: Best and worst from the Eagles' win over the Cowboys

Eagles running game

UP – Of the Eagles’ 28 first half plays, only nine were designed runs. Did the imbalance have anything to do with the first half woes? It’s hard to say. But when Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement started getting theirs in the second half, the Eagles exploded and the Cowboys imploded.

Ronald Darby

UP – The Eagles cornerback, back after missing the previous eight games, was arguably the MVP of the game. Darby made a key tackle on Dez Bryant and a play later broke up a third down fade to the receiver into the end zone on the Cowboys’ first possession. He later notched his first interception in midnight green.

Carson Wentz

UP – The Eagles quarterback completed just two of his final 12 passes of the first half for nine yards, but he rebounded after the break and had several spectacular throws – one of them to Alshon Jeffery on a two-point conversion.

Derek Barnett

UP – With each week the rookie defensive end keeps showing why the Eagles drafted him in the first round. Barnett had the second two-sack game of his young career in just the last month. The second forced a fourth quarter fumble that Nigel Bradham scooped up and returned for a touchdown.

Kamu Grugier-Hill

UP – With Jake Elliott sidelined by a concussion, Grugier-Hill stepped in and ably handled kickoffs. The former high school punter and soccer player said that he was willing to kick extra points or field goals, but the Eagles didn’t need his services. They converted 3 of 4 two-point conversions and scored a fourth down touchdown inside the red zone.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai

UP – Big V has been an unheralded hero for the Eagles over the last month. Aside from a few hiccups when he initially stepped in for the injured Jason Peters, Vaitai has been a rock at left tackle.

Alshon Jeffery

UP – The Eagles’ passing game wasn’t potent on this night, but the Eagles receiver made several clutch grabs, including a third down catch on the opening drive of the second half. His 17-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter was vintage 2014 Jeffery.

Kenjon Barner

UP – His special teams duties got him the nod ahead of Wendell Smallwood, who didn’t dress. But Barner was pivotal on the Eagles’ opening drive. He made a toe-tapping 22-yard catch down to the 4-yard line and capped the drive on the next play with a resilient touchdown run.

Lane Johnson

UP – The Eagles’ right tackle continued to make the argument that he’s Pro Bowl worthy. Johnson kept NFL leader DeMarcus Lawrence from sacking Wentz and was instrumental in the Eagles’ ground success.

Brent Celek

UP – He has nobly accepted a lesser role over the last several years, but when called upon, Celek has delivered. Faced with a third down and 1 on the Eagles’ first drive of the second half, Wentz faked misdirection and hit the tight end for a 28-yard gain.

Torrey Smith

SIDEWAYS – The Eagles receiver, who dropped an early pass, redeemed himself with an 11-yard touchdown grab in the third quarter.

Doug Pederson

UP – The Eagles keep finding new ways to not only win, but to show that they’re legitimate postseason contenders. In their last four games, they’ve won by a collective 89 points, and in three of those games, they performed poorly in the first 30 minutes. Pederson, of course, deserves his share of credit.