Cowboys vs. Eagles: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Dallas

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 13:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys looks for an open receiver against the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium on October 13, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

In what surprisingly became a defensive struggle, the Dallas Cowboys went into Philadelphia and defeated the Eagles to move to 4-3 and to first place in the NFC East.

Final Score: Dallas 17, Philadelphia 3

Dallas Cowboys Game Grades
Position UnitFirst-Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseB-B+
Run OffenseC+B-
Pass DefenseB+A
Run DefenseAA-
Special TeamsB-B
vs. Eagles Week 7

Game Analysis for the Dallas Cowboys

Pass Offense: After failing to find the end zone for the entire first half, quarterback Tony Romo drove the Cowboys down for a score on the opening possession of the second.

That drive resulted in a touchdown run, and Romo threw a touchdown pass to wideout Terrance Williams later in the half to give Dallas a commanding lead.

Romo finished the game with 217 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions, though the first came on a meaningless end-of-half toss-up.

Run Offense: With starter DeMarco Murray out with a knee injury, the Cowboys turned to rookie Joseph Randle on the ground.

Randle finished the game with 65 yards on 19 carries, giving the Cowboys some offensive balance and helping to close things out in the second half.

Pass Defense: Eagles quarterback Nick Foles had a masterful performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6, but looked below average against the Cowboys defense.

Foles was 11-of-29 for 80 yards before being knocked out of the game with an apparent head injury. Rookie Matt Barkley took over and went just 11-of-20 for 129 yards with three interceptions.

Run Defense: Dallas did a remarkable job of containing the league’s top-rated rushing attack.

Entering the game, the Eagles had averaged 178.5 yards per game on the ground. However, Philadelphia finished with just 84 yards on the ground.

LeSean McCoy was held mostly in check, gaining just 55 yards on 18 carries.

Special Teams: It was a solid, if unspectacular, afternoon for the Dallas special teams unit.

Kicker Dan Bailey made his only field-goal attempt and hit both extra points. Meanwhile, Chris Jones averaged a respectable 38 yards per punt on his nine attempts.

Dallas would have liked to have gotten more production out of punt returner Dwayne Harris (4 yards per return average), but overall it was a respectable performance.

Coaching: Head coach Jason Garrett deserves credit for making some sound halftime adjustments.

After mustering a mere three points in the first half, the Cowboys rebounded with a 14-point second half by attacking weaknesses in Philadelphia’s secondary.

Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin also deserves credit for finding a way to slow one of the league’s top offenses (27.7 points per game).

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 20:   LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles is tackled by Sean Lee #50 and Nick Hayden #96 of the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter on October 20, 2013 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania.  (Photo by
Elsa/Getty Images

First-Half Analysis for the Dallas Cowboys

Pass Offense: Quarterback Tony Romo had some success against the Eagles secondary and was able to produce yards in chunks.

While Romo completed less than 50 percent of his passes in the first half (11-of-23), he was able to pick up 160 yards through the air. Unfortunately, he was unable to get the Cowboys across the goal line.

Romo did have an interception, but it came on a half-ending throw to the end zone.

Run Offense: The Cowboys were certainly not dominant on the ground in the first half. However, the team was able to at least produce some semblance of a running game, even with starter DeMarco Murray sidelined with yet another injury.

Rookie Joseph Randle led the team with 34 yards on 10 carries.

Pass Defense: Dallas did an excellent job of preventing second-year quarterback Nick Foles from striking deep in the first half.

Foles completed just 11 of 23 pass attempts (47.8 percent) for 80 yards in the first half, with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Run Defense: Dallas has done an admirable job against Philadelphia’s first-ranked rushing attack thus far.

Coming into the game, the Eagles had averaged 178.5 yards per game on the ground. In the first half of this game, however, the Eagles have just 41 yards rushing.

Special Teams: The Dallas special teams unit did not make any big plays in the first half, but it did not make any major mistakes, either.

Kicker Dan Bailey provided the only points of the first half on a 38-yard field goal, while punter Chris Jones averaged 38 yards per punt on six attempts.

Coaching: Head coach Jason Garrett has put together a successful game plan so far. However, the fact that the Cowboys are only leading by three while keeping the Eagles off the scoreboard is cause for concern.

The offense has found a way to pick up yards through the air, but the team has failed to produce on third downs or find the end zone. Something will have to change in the second half as the three-point lead is unlikely to hold.


    Ranking the Top 50 Players for 2018

    NFL logo

    Ranking the Top 50 Players for 2018

    Look Who Got a 99 Madden Rating ⬇️

    Dallas Cowboys logo
    Dallas Cowboys

    Look Who Got a 99 Madden Rating ⬇️

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Cowboys' Offseason Stock Report 📈📉

    Dallas Cowboys logo
    Dallas Cowboys

    Cowboys' Offseason Stock Report 📈📉

    Corey Douglass
    via Dallas Sports Fanatic

    The Best Player at Every Position in the NFL

    Dallas Cowboys logo
    Dallas Cowboys

    The Best Player at Every Position in the NFL

    Gary Davenport
    via Bleacher Report