Philadelphia Eagles (6-0) — Dallas Cowboys (4-2): 26-17
For more than a half, this NFC East clash felt like a display, with the Eagles taking a lead as much as 20 points with a minute remaining in the locker room. But Dallas pulled off a memorable second half, pushing the Eagles to their limits. It is ultimately the two quarterbacks who decide the fate of this match.
Back to the wall, with only 3 points ahead, Jalen Hurts (15/25, 155 yards, 2 TD, 29 yards on the ground) will find the resources to score the victory touchdown for Devonta Smith (44 yards, 2 TD ). Cooper Rush (18/38, 181 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT) punctuated a difficult night with a third interception (including two for CJ Gardner Johnson), sealing the fate of his team. Three lost balls against zero for Philadelphia, the key to the match.
CJ Gardner-Johnson snags his SECOND INT of the night! @CGJXXIII
📺: #DALvsPHI on NBC
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/exBLpcJhjS pic.twitter.com/LvG35ksjwS
— NFL (@NFL) October 17, 2022
With this victory the Eagles are more than ever leaders in the NFC, while the Cowboys will be eagerly awaiting the return of Dak Prescott. Both teams can dream of playoffs in a weak conference.
Cooper Rush’s Nightmare
After three first punts to start the game, Philadelphia strikes first. In a long drive of 15 actions and 80 yards, which alternates passes and races, it is Miles Sanders (72 yards, 1 TD) who unlocks the counter with a touchdown on the ground (7-0).
Dallas fails to respond, and even offers the Eagles the opportunity to take off after an interception from CJ Gardner Johnson. Philly takes advantage of this by pounding on the ground before Jalen Hurts finds AJ Brown (67 yards, 1 TD) for the touchdown (14-0). In five minutes, Philadelphia takes an option in this game.
The nightmare continues for the Cowboys. After another unsuccessful drive, Dallas tries the 4th attempt on its own 34, but Cooper Rush continues to make bad choices and misses this attempt. Mike McCarthy continues to deprive himself of the running game, which has the effect of making the attack predictable. Philadelphia capitalizes on mistakes to accumulate points with a field goal (17-0).
When there are no more… there are still some. On the next drive, Tony Pollard (52 yards) advances his team before Cooper Rush launches a new interception, on Darius Slay this time. Once again the Dallas defense limits the damage, keeping the Texan team in the game by conceding only one field goal (20-0). Leighton Vander Esch is the Eagles’ best player on the field, but he’s on his own.
In the last two minutes of the match, Dallas will find life thanks to the special teams, KaVontae Turpin managing a return from 62 yards. Michael Gallup (18 yards), Ceedee Lamb (68 yards) and Ezekiel Elliott (86 yards, 1 TD) lead the revolt, and allow Dallas to unlock the score before halftime. It’s “only a field goal, but it’s a first step (20-3).
Dallas in revenge mode
Upon returning from the locker room, Dallas is transfigured. The attack advances, Jake Ferguson (40 yards, 1 TD) stands out and Ezekiel Elliott finishes the groundwork for the touchdown (20-10). Dallas is back in the game, almost a miracle for the Jerry Jones franchise.
Defensively Dallas is also better, the exit of Lane Johnson (concussion) hurts Philly because Micah Parsons no longer has anyone to stop him. Dallas is freed, and the attack unfolds. Taking advantage of the errors and fouls of the Philadelphia defense, Cooper Rush finds Jake Ferguson for a touchdown (20-17). Brain dead before halftime, the Cowboys dominate the game head and shoulders and are close to a historic comeback.
To recover, Philadelphia starts the drive again, resting on the running game. Jalen Hurts and Kenny Gainwell (25 yards) succeed in valuable third attempts, before opening with the passing game. 13 plays, 75 yards and two assists to finish with A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith for a touchdown (26-17). At the best time, Philadelphia gives itself some air.
It was then that Cooper Rush found his demons of the first act, with a pass intercepted by the inevitable CJ Gardner Johnson. In his defense, he is hampered by Brandon Graham on the throw. Dallas will have one last chance, but the field goal is missed. Checkmate.