The Dallas Cowboys squandered an opportunity to turn up the heat on the Eagles in the NFC East on Sunday, falling to Philly, 28-23. In only their second head-to-head meeting, many feel like Dak Prescott outplayed Jalen Hurts only to come up short once again when it really matters late in the fourth quarter. Entering Week 9, Dallas sat 1.5 games back of Philly in the division, so this was a must-win regarding the Cowboys potentially winning the division. The Cowboys are now 2.5 games back of the Eagles with nine games left on the schedule. It’s not an impossible task for Prescott and the Cowboys, but they’ll need Philadelphia to collapse down the stretch to win the East this season.
Entering Week 9, Dallas sat 1.5 games back of Philly in the division, so this was a must-win regarding the Cowboys potentially winning the division. Dallas is now 2.5 games back of the Eagles with nine games left. It’s not an impossible task for Prescott and the Cowboys, but they’ll need Philadelphia to collapse down the stretch to win the East this season.
Although Prescott couldn’t finish off the comeback as time ran out in Philly, he played one hell of a game, passing for 374 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. The five sacks on Dak didn’t help, but those can’t entirely be blamed on him. The Eagles came up with big plays when needed, as they’ve done all year.
Dallas fell back into Dak mode, where they abandoned the run and put the game solely on Prescott’s shoulders. He threw the ball 21 more times than Hurts, completing 29 of 44 attempts, and still lost the game. Aside from Prescott’s six carries, the Cowboys ran the ball only 15 times, with Tony Pollard posting 12 carries. He rushed for 51 yards, but head coach Mike McCarthy continued to press the issue, having Dak fling the ball all over the field.
“We know who we are. We needed to make one more play tonight. … I love the way our team plays.” – Mike McCarthy
This was Dallas’ second game against one of the big boys of the NFC, and they came up short. This wasn’t nearly as bad as the blowout loss to San Francisco last month, but a loss is still a loss, no matter the margin. One problem with the Cowboys is they won’t pick an identity and stick to it. One second, they’re focused on being a running team, then they’ll abandon that philosophy and have Dak throwing nearly 50 times. They don’t know who they are, which makes it hard to truly figure out what they do best.
Looking at the schedule, these Cowboys will soon enter the most challenging portion of the season. After games against the Giants, Panthers and Commanders, Dallas gets Seattle, Philly, Buffalo, Miami and Detroit. Then they close out the campaign with one more against Washington. The Cowboys’ last five out of six games are against teams who will likely make the postseason. They’re already 0-2 against teams previously deemed upper echelon.
These last six weeks for the Cowboys look brutal on paper, playing so many potential playoff teams. Even their Week 18 tilt with the Commanders isn’t a given, being a division rivalry. As great as Prescott played Sunday in Philly, he still couldn’t will his team to victory in the closing seconds. On top of that, Dallas is such a different team on the road as opposed to at home, which makes Sunday night’s loss even tougher for Cowboys fans to swallow. This Cowboys squad needs at least one home playoff game in January and, at this point, will need a minor miracle to get that.
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