ARLINGTON, Texas – We saw over 50 points scored in the game with a flurry of big plays from both sides of the ball.
But all games have those hidden plays that are meaningful in their own way. Here are the five you can't forget about that played a big factor in the outcome.
Gallup's diving third-down catch – Trailing 14-3 and trying to prevent the game getting out of hand, the Cowboys faced third-and-9 from their 38-yard line late in the first quarter. Andy Dalton hit Michal Gallup over the middle for a 14-yard reception that saw the receiver get down to the ground to haul in the pass. Now the Eagles were flagged for a penalty that would've netted a first down anyway, but just moving the sticks there was crucial. The Cowboys capitalized with a Gallup touchdown on that drive, which finished early in the second quarter.
False start leads to Philly punt – At this point early in the second quarter, the Eagles really hadn't been stopped. They were driving into Dallas territory with a 14-10 lead. But on third-and-9 at the Cowboys' 35-yard line, Matt Pryor was flagged for a false start. That not only made it a very tough third0-and-14, but pushed Philadelphia out of field goal range. The Eagles had to punt and it only traveled 17 yards, giving the Cowboys the ball at their 23. Instead of being pinned back, the Cowboys were able to drive for a field goal to cut the lead to 14-13.
Defense lands key third-quarter stop – After the Cowboys took a 27-17 lead, it looked like this could be a shootout early in the third quarter. But on the Eagles' first offensive possession, it was a three-and-out thanks to a big third-down stop. On third-and-3, Hurts was pressured heavily by Jaylon Smith, forcing him to throw it away. That forced the Eagles to play uphill the rest of the game and the Cowboys were able to continue to pad their lead.
Gregory's drive-killing sack – After the Cowboys grabbed a field goal for a 13-point lead, the Eagles came right back with a 43-yard reception by Quez Watkins to the Cowboys' 32. But on the next play, Randy Gregory busted through the line to sack Hurts and force a fumble that was recovered by the Eagles but for a 13-yard loss. Philadelphia never could get back into position for a first down and had to punt, keeping the Cowboys in the lead by 13.
Holding on Eagles' Pryor – At the end of the third quarter, the Eagles had some life after a big interception and return to the Cowboys' 28-yard line. But on second down, an 18-yard run by Miles Sanders was nullified by a holding call on Matt Pryor. That pushed Philly back, and after more penalties, the Eagles had to go for a fourth-and-15 and didn't make it, turning the ball over on downs.