PHILADELPHIA — The Dallas Cowboys traveled into Philadelphia for a mega divisional clash with the Eagles and fell just short of a second half comeback attempt, 28-23.
The Cowboys took a 17-14 lead into the half after a back-and-forth first two quarters, but a Philadelphia flurry in the third quarter opened up a lead for the Eagles that they wouldn't give up. Dallas had an opportunity late to take the lead, but came up just short.
There was a lot to take away from Sunday evening's game. Here are your 5 Takes, presented by Take 5 Oil Change.
- This game will happen three times in 2023.Not often can you take a look at an early November game and get a playoff feel, but that's what was generated in Philadelphia on Sunday evening. Both teams came in with a lot on the line both in the division and in the conference, and both showed a lot of playoff-type fight. Both of these teams continue to be brought up when talking about NFC contenders, and I think it's safe to say that after Dallas hosts Philadelphia in December that the Cowboys will get another chance to come back to Lincoln Financial Field in January.
- Second half adjustments won Philadelphia the game.The first half saw Dallas and Philadelphia go blow-for-blow, but a resounding third quarter that featured two long touchdown drives for Philadelphia and one stalled out Dallas drive allowed for the Eagles to build an 11-point lead that they wouldn't relinquish. The Eagles got more creative in the run game and utilized Devonta Smith more in the second half on their way to building a lead. Whenever Dallas was finally able to stall out the Eagles offense, it was too late.
- Dak Prescott's increased mobility makes a considerable difference in this offense.In the opening weeks of the season, we saw Dak Prescott remain mostly stationary in the pocket in the passing game, but there seemed to be a shift ahead of the bye week during the Chargers game. Since then, Prescott has not only taken designed runs and options himself, but he's used his legs in the pocket to create magic out of pressure in his face and completions downfield. This added element has allowed him to be one of the more efficient passers in all of the NFL facing pressure, and it was no different on Sunday for QB1.
- The penalty plague has to be figured out.The second half started to get out of hand on both sides of the ball when the penalties started to pile up similar to how we've seen throughout the season when Dallas plays undisciplined football. A promising offensive drive was derailed with a Luke Schoonmaker hold before the ensuing defensive drive saw three penalties allow Philadelphia to drive downfield and open a two possession lead. Dallas has seen penalties pile up multiple times this season in critical points, and it cost them a lead in one of their biggest games of the season.
- Jalen Tolbert needs more action.Late in the game, second-year receiver Jalen Tolbert stood tall and showed up offensively to help manufacture a touchdown drive with a big play to get the offense into the red zone and the final scoring play to cut it down to one possession in the game's final seven minutes. After a big drop earlier in the game from Michael Gallup on third down, Tolbert started cutting into Gallup's snaps, and he came up big when called upon. Maybe the offense learned something from that phenomenon.