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Instant Review: Staff Gives Early Analysis Following 38-33 Win
The Cowboys once again fell behind in the first half but found a way to rally back for the win. The DallasCowboys.com staff of Bryan Broaddus, Rowan Kavner and Nick Eatman give their initial thoughts on the win.
Rowan: If there was a chance for the Cowboys to run away with a game, it was this week against a Philadelphia team without its top three offensive threats. But anyone watching this team should know nothing comes easy. Once again, the Cowboys started slowly and had to play catch up. This time they did enough to pull out the victory with clutch second half performances from Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, but the late starts are bound to be too great to overcome if they continue down the stretch against quality teams.
Bryan: The Cowboys were able to rush the ball for 123 yards and despite it was only for 3.7 yards per carry, it gave them the opportunity to stay ahead of the chains which allowed Garrett to be a little bit more aggressive with his playing calling. It also helped that Romo was in total control of the game and was able to get his teammates in and out of some plays to take advantage of being ahead of the chains. Tonight we saw what a difference DeMarco Murray can make when he is lining up in this backfield. There were times where Murray didn’t hit the hole with the normal zip that we had seen in the past and I thought this was more about being in game shape than being injured. I feel going forward, you will see a better Murray running the ball but more importantly you will see a more balanced offense which will help Romo continued to have night like he did this evening.
Nick: There might have been some ugly moments, but in no way would I call this an ugly win. For this month of the year, the Cowboys can’t worry about how they win games in December. It was obvious DeMarco Murray’s presence was felt in a major way, especially in the passing game. The middle of the field was wide open and Tony Romo exploited it all day. This was probably Romo’s best game of the season and it came at a critical moment in the season. Sure this defense had its issues, but it was like a preseason game out there with both sides filling the game with backups. The Eagles did a nice job moving the ball early, but the Cowboys made yet another big play on defense. One thing I’ve learned about the NFC East, is that you can never complain how you win a division game. They’re always tough no matter the records or circumstances heading in.
Gut Feelings, posted Saturday, Dec. 1:
Rowan: Looking at the rest of the schedule, this is the only game the Cowboys can look at and say they really should be able to win with confidence. Dallas has yet to finish a game dominating a team from start to finish. They should be able to do that against a three-win Eagles team that got rid of its top veteran pass rusher and will be without its starting quarterback, running back and deep threat. If they can’t, the Cowboys will be no different than the Eagles, playing more for pride than a legitimate shot at the playoffs.
Bryan: When the Cowboys faced the Eagles a few short weeks ago, I thought that Jason Garrett had his best game as a play caller. I am sure that others would have said the first Giants game or the matchup against the Ravens but for the mix that he was able to use both run and pass, I was impressed. My gut feeling this week tells me that Garrett will once again be able to dial up the necessary plays to keep the Eagles off balance. I fully expect to Garrett to attack this front with a combination of Murray, Jones and Dunbar which will allow him to get to some shots down the field. This wide “9” front that the Eagles play if blocked correctly can create some space in the running game. Garrett will be mindful of Murray and how many touches he gets in this game but it will be his freshness and ability that will be able to attack this Eagles defense the way Garrett wants to.
Nick: This one is rather tricky because you often wonder how grown men respond to changes within a football team. While the Eagles didn’t fire their head coach, the decision to cut Jason Babin suggests the front office is already looking ahead. I’ve seen teams completely tank it after that, or rally around each other and surprise everyone. If Philly didn’t have so many injuries to key spots, I’d think the Eagles had a better shot of winning this one. I do think the Cowboys will be more talented on this night and they’ll take advantage of the Eagles’ inexperience. I do see it being somewhat close in the third quarter but the Cowboys finding a way to win, but not impressively enough to silence their own critics. This one has “ugly win” written all over to me. At this point, in this month, you’ll take it.