|by Ryan Messick
The Eagles had a productive day, grabbing a 30-27 win over the Cowboys and benefitting from losses by the Bears and Packers. Philadelphia stands alone atop the NFC East at 9-4, pending the outcome between the 8-4 Giants and the Vikings tomorrow night.
Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy ran for a career high 149 yards while DeSean Jackson racked up a personal best 210 yards through the air.
The Eagles dialed up a similar play to open tonight’s game against the Cowboys to the one they used in Washington, D.C. a few weeks ago. Michael Vick rolled out of the pocket to his left, had plenty of time to step into a bomb to DeSean Jackson and connected for 60 yards on the first play of the game, moving the ball into the Dallas red zone.
LeSean McCoy then converted a key fourth-and-one play before Michael Vick punched it in from one yard out on a quarterback draw, putting the Eagles on top 7-0.
The Cowboys came right back though, putting together a more methodical drive, going 77 yards on 10 plays before Jon Kitna found Jason Witten for a 1-yard touchdown with Ernie Sims trailing in coverage. Dallas ran seven times on the drive for 54 yards, an average of 7.7 per carry.
Both teams were forced to punt on their following drives, though, leaving the score at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter. Things stayed quiet for part of the second quarter before the Eagles came to life again.
Once again it was Vick to Jackson for the biggest play of the drive, a 37-yard hookup that moved the Ball from the Dallas 39-yardline all the way down to the two. A few plays later, Vick rolled out and found left guard turned tackle eligible Todd Herremans for a two-yard strike, putting Philadelphia on top 14-7.
After a Quintin Mikell interception on a tipped pass got the Eagles the ball, Vick threw an interception to Gerald Sensabaugh on a bad overthrow for Brent Celek over the middle, giving the Cowboys the ball at their own 32-yardline late in the half. They drove into field goal range, setting up a 50-yard field goal attempt by David Buehler. Andy Reid took a timeout to freeze the kicker, but Buehler still drilled it with :08 remaining. The Eagles took a knee on the final play of the half.
In the third quarter, the Cowboys got points on their first possession thanks to a 43-yard field goal by Buehler. The three points capped a 10-play, 42-yard drive and cut the Eagles lead to 14-13.
On the next drive, Michael Vick was intercepted by Bradie James on a tipped pass over the middle. James returned it to the Eagles’ 38-yardline. On the next play, Felix Jones took a screen 36 yards down to the Eagles’ two, setting himself up for a 3-yard touchdown run, putting Dallas on top 20-14.
Philadelphia responded to the challenge, as LeSean McCoy burst through a big hole for a 56-yard run down to the Cowboys’ 21-yardline. Philadelphia couldn’t capitalize though, as Vick was sacked on third-and-four by Orlando Scandrick, forcing Philadelphia to settle for a 39-yard field goal by David Akers, leaving the Cowboys on top 20-17.