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The Eagles ran the ball just 10 times in the first half and averaged only 3.5 yards per carry. But they exploded for 125 yards in the third quarter, 71 on a run by Jay Ajayi compliments of a big block by left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai. The Eagles finished with 215 yards, their second 200-plus rushing performance of the season.
Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery both had touchdown catches. Carson Wentz’s overall passing numbers were modest, but he didn’t have a turnover, wasn’t sacked and completed all five of his third-down attempts in the second half, including Smith’s 11-yard TD catch.
The Eagles struggled at times against the Cowboys’ ground game. Alfred Morris rushed for 91 yards on 17 carries. The Cowboys’ 27 rushing attempts were the most against the Eagles this season. But they still only finished with 112 yards.
Dak Prescott came into the game with just four interceptions. The Eagles picked him off three times. Their front four did a good job of keeping Prescott in the pocket and not allowing him to extend plays. Rookie Derek Barnett had two of the Eagles’ four sacks, including a strip that Nigel Bradham returned for a touchdown.
The Eagles’ gave up a game-opening 61-yard kickoff return to Ryan Switzer. To make matters worse, kicker Jake Elliott suffered a concussion trying to tackle him, but no one realized he was hurt until after he missed a 34-yard field goal attempt late in the first quarter. Linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill did a nice job handling kickoffs after that, and the Eagles went for two points (they converted three of four) after touchdowns.
This game told you a lot more about the Eagles than the previous nine. Accustomed to jumping out to big leads, the Eagles were behind at the half. But the offensive coaches made some nice adjustments that opened up the run game and they were off to the races.