Make it five straight wins for the Dallas Cowboys after their 29-23 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. This contest had all sorts of divisional implications on the line. There was more than just bragging rights involved. Bad blood and playoff chances made this game a pivotal one. It did not disappoint.
Despite two interceptions, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott exploded for 455 passing yards (career high) and three touchdowns, which all came in the fourth quarter and overtime. In the first half, Prescott was more conservative, throwing for 150 yards at the end of the first half on 20 completions. Believe it or not, the score was 6-0 in favor of the Cowboys. The fourth quarter alone had 31 points scored between the two teams. And in that fourth quarter and overtime, Prescott threw for 243 yards and three touchdowns, completing 17 of 20 passes with a 156.9 passer rating (which is near perfect) as well as not throwing an interception. He clearly saved his best for last.
The one takeaway that was eye-popping was that in the second half, there were deep passes from Prescott that were being thrown more and more. Prescott is not known for throwing downfield which is why opposing defenses will crowd the line of scrimmage and that allowed him to throw more and more passes downfield. These were some of the few playcalls that made Dak seem like he can extend the field. Yes, he does need to work on the deep ball but if he does not throw deep passes in games, then it is harder for him to know how much touch goes on a throw or how much to lead a receiver.
Furthermore, wide receiver Amari Cooper further displayed that he is completely worth that first-round draft pick Dallas gave up for him before the trade deadline. Cooper recorded 10 receptions for 217 receiving yards with three touchdown catches, including the game-winning reception in overtime. He took over the contest in the second half as he was burning the Philadelphia secondary constantly. One of his touchdowns involved a 75-yard touchdown catch on the first play from scrimmage to immediately answer the Eagles’ touchdown just minutes earlier. The former Alabama standout receiver made it look easy to score three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and overtime. Cooper has simply transcended this Dallas offense to another level which is much more than any draft pick you might have.
With this win, Dallas is now 8-5 as they travel to face the Indianapolis Colts next week. They have currently have a 99 percent chance at winning NFC East so it appears that the Super Bowl hangover will not allow Philadelphia to contend for a division title so it will be another year that there will not be a repeat NFC East division winner.