Eagles vs. Cowboys score, takeaways: Philadelphia holds off Dallas comeback to remain undefeated

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

PHILADELPHIA -- The Dallas Cowboys made things more interesting than they had any right to, but the Philadelphia Eagles ultimately remained perfect on Sunday night, improving their record to 6-0 by defeating their division rivals, 26-17.

The Eagles used a monster second quarter to power their way to victory, with 20 of their points coming in that period. Philadelphia intercepted Cooper Rush three times on the evening, holding him to 18 of 38 passing for 181 yards and one score in addition to the trio of picks. 

Dallas bullied its way back into the game in the third quarter and early in the fourth behind a strong dose of the run game and play-action passing, but a 13-play, 75-yard Eagles touchdown drive that took 7:37 off the clock ended up pretty much putting things away. If that didn't do it, then Rush's third interception -- which came on the following drive -- certainly did. 

Jalen Hurts didn't all that get much going through the air (15 of 25 for 155 yards), but he did good work neutralizing the pass rush with his legs and the threat of him taking off led to multiple quality runs by the running backs, particularly Miles Sanders. He also found both A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith for touchdowns on well-designed plays from Nick Sirianni. 

Philadelphia maintained sole possession of first place in the NFC East with the victory, while the loss dropped Dallas to 4-2 and into third place, behind the Giants.

Why the Eagles won

They took advantage of an opponent that made several mistakes, and they leaned on play design to win the battle against an aggressive defense. As previously mentioned, Rush was intercepted three times. The Cowboys also turned the ball over on downs in the second quarter. On several occasions, they ran read-option plays or run-pass options designed to take advantage of the Cowboys' aggressive, upfield pass rush and get players like A.J. Brown into the flat for run-after-catch opportunities. 

Why the Cowboys lost

They turned it over, they took too many penalties, they did not have the offensive firepower to keep up with the Eagles, and they could not stop the run or the RPO game on big third downs. Rush, who had not thrown an interception yet this season, was picked off three times. Dallas was penalized 10 times for 72 yards. Rush averaged 4.8 yards per attempt. Philly controlled the ball for 34:30 and converted multiple key third-down opportunities. 

Turning point

We're going with two plays that might have gone under the radar. First, there was the final play of the first quarter. The Eagles and Cowboys were tied 0-0 and, Philly had third-and-12 at the Dallas 18-yard line with 46 seconds remaining in the period. Hurts completed an 8-yard pass to A.J. Brown, then the Eagles hustled to the line and pretended like it was going to run a play on fourth-and-4, even though they did not have to snap the ball before the end of the quarter. Hurts' hard count drew Dante Fowler Jr. offside, bought the Eagles a first down, and led to a Miles Sanders touchdown run on the opening play of the second quarter. 

After Philly took a 14-0 lead in the second quarter, the Cowboys had a chance to cut into the lead. On third-and-9 from their own 26-yard line, Rush completed a pass to CeeDee Lamb over the middle. It at first appeared as though Lamb had gained enough yardage for the first down, but the line judge then changed the spot and marked him short. Rather than take a look at the replay and challenge it (Lamb had clearly gotten the first down), the Cowboys quickly got up to the line and called a bootleg for Rush, who threw into coverage and incomplete. The Eagles then extended their lead to 17-0.

Highlight play

The best-looking individual play of the night might have been this juke from Cowboys tight end Jake Ferguson to get into the end zone. The most well-designed play came from the Eagles, with DeVonta Smith faking a pick route and then stepping up into the end zone, where Jalen Hurts found him for an easy score

But for the highlights, we've got to go with Philly's three picks of Rush. The first two came on forced throws to receivers who were not open, while the third came on a play where Rush was hit as he let go of the ball. 

What's next

The Eagles go into their Week 7 bye as the NFL's lone undefeated team. When they return in Week 8, they'll play host to the Steelers. The Cowboys are 4-2 and head home next week to take on the Detroit Lions, in what could be Dak Prescott's first game back after breaking his thumb back in Week 1.

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The Eagles are on their bye next week. The Cowboys host the Lions, and will maybe get Dak Prescott back for that one.

October 17, 2022, 3:25 AM
@Eagles via Twitter
October 17, 2022, 3:24 AM

No idea what Osa Odighizuwa was trying to accomplish with that pile-driver. Kelce's block may have been a little late but that was ridiculous.

October 17, 2022, 3:23 AM

59-yard field goal is no good, so there will be no onside kick to try to get the miracle comeback. Instead, the Eagles will almost surely move to 6-0.

October 17, 2022, 3:19 AM

Cowboys could make things interesting if they move quickly... assuming Rush doesn't throw yet another pick.

October 17, 2022, 3:17 AM

Cowboys won't be able to go to much play-action on this drive, and that's really been the only way to get the passing game going tonight. Let's see if Rush can make something happen on straight dropbacks.

October 17, 2022, 3:11 AM


Chauncey Gardner-Johnson tonight vs. Cowboys -- 2

Saints entire 2022 season -- 1

October 17, 2022, 3:09 AM

The crowd is chanting Dallas Sucks as loud as they can. Phillies eliminate Braves and Eagles about to remain the only unbeaten team in football. 

Philly is on fire right now. 

October 17, 2022, 3:06 AM

Brandon Graham absolutely drilled Cooper Rush on that throw. Led to the INT. 

CeeDee Lamb was open. 

October 17, 2022, 3:02 AM

Rush had Lamb open down the left sideline, but he was hit as he threw and the throw went right into Gardner-Johnson's arms. Left the throw too far inside.

October 17, 2022, 3:01 AM

Hilarious play from Tyler Smith on that Zeke run, grabbing 21 and pulling him forward through a tackle.

October 17, 2022, 3:00 AM

A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith have made a world of a difference for this Eagles offense this year. 10 catches, 111 yards, 2 TD combined for them tonight. Batman plays the role of Batman.

October 17, 2022, 2:58 AM

This DeVonta Smith TD won't be coming back. Trevon Diggs unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. 

October 17, 2022, 2:54 AM

And then an EASY touchdown to a wide-open DeVonta Smith. Great drive for Philly to answer the Cowboys score.

October 17, 2022, 2:53 AM

Eagles now working with backups at RT and LG, and go to the quick game to AJ Brown on second down. Great run after catch to set up first-and-goal.

October 17, 2022, 2:53 AM

Leighton Vander Esch tried to leap over the offensive line and stop the QB sneak. It didn't come as close to working as it initially seemed, but it looked kind of cool.

October 17, 2022, 2:52 AM

This is starting to look a lot like the drive that led to the Eagles' first touchdown of the game, which sandwich the end of the first and beginning of the second quarter.

October 17, 2022, 2:50 AM

Not sure if that was a designed QB draw but it worked out like one. Micah Parsons came screaming off the edge but the linebackers both dropped out of the blitz so there was plenty of room to scramble up the middle.

October 17, 2022, 2:48 AM

Jalen Hurts anticipated the pressure coming and just took it himself on 3rd down. He's going to need to do more of that.

October 17, 2022, 2:48 AM

Eagles go run heavy on the first couple plays of this drive, trying to re-establish what the offensive line was doing in the first half. Let's see if that can hold up on this upcoming third-and-4. Probably a pass situation.

October 17, 2022, 2:47 AM

Dallas has outgained the Eagles 172 to 6 this half.

The Cowboys have 17 unanswered points. 

October 17, 2022, 2:42 AM

And again, it's all play-action for the Cowboys this half. Lots of bootleg stuff. Working out quite nicely.

October 17, 2022, 2:42 AM

WHAT A MOVE by Jake Ferguson! Gave em the ole okey-doke.

October 17, 2022, 2:41 AM
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