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

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 AJ 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 AJ 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 AJ 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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