PHILADELPHIA – The Cowboys came up short in what Mike McCarthy called "a game of inches." Here are some plays that might not be remembered, but were significant in the final score.
Third-down spot leads to a push – On the Eagles' first drive of the game, it appeared the Cowboys might have made the stop needed to get off the field on a Jalen Hurts third-down scramble. But although his knee hit down at the 28-yard line, the officials spotted the ball at the 30, forcing a fourth-and-inches. Of course, the Eagles ran Hurts on the quarterback sneak-push for a first down. From there, they marched, which included another fourth-down conversion to Dallas Goedert, and scored a touchdown for the early lead.
Aubrey kick out of bounds – After the Cowboys took a 14-7 lead in the second quarter, seizing plenty of momentum in the process, Brandon Aubrey kicked off out of bounds, giving the ball to the Eagles at the 40-yard line. Philadelphia was able to be aggressive with the play-calling and scored a game-tying touchdown right away. The Eagles don't need a lot of help to move the ball, but putting them at the 40 was too easy.
Gallup dropped pass leads to field goal – The Cowboys were tied 14-14 late in the first half but were moving the ball for a potential touchdown. On third-and-3 at the Eagles' 34-yard line, Dak Prescott found Michael Gallup open over the middle for a would-be first down, but Gallup dropped the ball, forcing the Cowboys to kick a field goal. While Aubrey drilled the 51-yard kick to set an NFL record for consecutive makes to begin a career, the missed chance for a touchdown was costly, especially when trying to keep pace with the high-powered Eagles.
Face mask on a touchback – For the second time, the Eagles got a 15-yard penalty on the Cowboys' kickoff and took the field position and scored a touchdown. This time, Rashad Evans had a face mask penalty on a kickoff that was a touchback. The Eagles started the third quarter at the 40-yard line and marched for a score, ending the drive with a DaVonta Smith touchdown catch to grab a 21-17 lead.
Decision not to take the points – Trailing 28-17 early in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys had a fourth-and-goal at the 2-yard line, but opted to go for the touchdown instead of a field goal to make it an eight-point game. Prescott's pass was caught by Luke Schoonmaker, but the touchdown called on the field was changed by replay officials, who had his knee down at the 1-yard line.
Prescott steps out on two-point play – For a second, it looked as if the Cowboys were cutting the lead to three points, but replay officials showed Prescott had stepped out of bounds before finding the end zone on a two-point conversion. That proved significant considering the Cowboys were down by five and twice got the ball into field goal range, but had to score touchdowns.
False start on the final drive – While the Cowboys were throwing into the end zone on the final play, they had first-and-goal at the 6-yard line before a false start penalty pushed them back to the 11. Without that penalty, the Cowboys could've even run the ball with the right look or at least made a few more quick throws to the end zone. Instead, the Cowboys took a big sack and Prescott was throwing from his 27-yard line in the final seconds.