The Dallas Cowboys kept their playoff hopes alive on Sunday by beating the Philadelphia Eagles 38-23. Back-to-back big returns in the fourth quarter by Dwayne Harris on a punt and Brandon Carr off an interception helped turn a defensive struggle into a shootout win for Dallas.
Philadelphia took a 17-10 lead early in the third quarter, but Dallas scored 21 unanswered points before putting the hammer down during the final minutes. Despite giving the Eagles six first downs on penalties, Dallas found a way to win this ugly game.
Jason Hatcher recovered a fumble in the end zone in the final minute to complete the onslaught for Dallas.
The big story early on was QB Michael Vick leaving the game with a concussion. As reported by Eagles Insider, Vick left the game in the middle of the second quarter and did not return. Nick Foles finished the game for the Eagles.
Michael Vick is out with a concussion. #Eagles—Eagles Insider (@EaglesInsider) November 11, 2012
Eagles fans have been calling for Foles to start for most of the season, and they got their wish—but it wasn't the storybook tale that would save the Eagles' season. It will, however, close the door on this one.
Foles had a touchdown, a fumble and an interception in his debut. Tony Romo tossed two touchdowns and stayed turnover-free for Dallas, a big key for both teams in this one.
Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter helped pick up the slack on defense for the injured Sean Lee, and he was all over the field all afternoon. But the big story was the two touchdowns by Harris and Carr, as noted by ESPN Stats & Info:
Dwayne Harris: 1st Cowboys player with punt return TDvs Eagles since Deion Sanders, 1998—ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 11, 2012
Brandon Carr: 1st Cowboys player with INT return for TD vs Eagles since Roy Williams' game-winner vs them on Monday Night Football, 2005—ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 12, 2012
Philadelphia drops to 3-6 and is now tied with the Washington Redskins for the worst record in the NFC East after a fifth straight loss. Dallas moves to 4-5 and lives to fight another day with a slew of winnable games still on its schedule.
Head coaches Jason Garrett and Andy Reid, who have both been on the hot seat in recent weeks, felt added pressure to win this rivalry game and keep fans happy for another week. Garrett managed to survive, but the call for Reid to get the axe could get louder as the week goes on.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.