If the Cowboys still have hopes of winning the NFC East, they will clearly have some work to do.
In a game that featured the division's top two teams, Dallas was simply no match for the Eagles, falling 33-10 in front of a Thanksgiving crowd of 91,379 and a national television audience.
The visitors from Philly executed their wide-open, fast-paced offense to perfection, the Dallas defense unable to keep up, with poor tackling and confusion in coverage only hurting its cause. And it wasn't much different on the other side of the ball, as the Cowboys offense struggled and seemingly only got worse as the game went along.
Winning the time of possession was deemed key for the Cowboys – ground and pound, grind out the clock while keeping the Eagles offense off the field. But while they were somewhat close in that regard, the time split almost evenly in Philly's favor 30:25 to 29:35, it was of little use as the Eagles countered with 75 plays run to just 58 by Dallas.
Philadelphia finished with 464 yards of total offense as beleaguered Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez looked like a Pro Bowler in dismantling the Dallas defense. He completed 20-of-29 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown, but kept the Cowboys on their heels by also rushing seven times for 28 yards and a score as well.
Of course, Sanchez got plenty of help as running back LeSean McCoy sliced and diced the Cowboys for 159 yards rushing on 25 carries with a touchdown of his own.
Defensively, the Eagles came into this game ranked 30th in the NFL against the pass, but behind a strong rush that dominated the line of scrimmage, Philadelphia shut down Tony Romo and his aerial attack. The quarterback threw for just 199 yards on 18-of-29 passing, but tossed two interceptions with no touchdowns.
In all, Dallas managed only 267 yards of total offense, as DeMarco Murray was held to under 100 yards rushing for just the second time this season, finishing with 73 yards on 20 carries. In what seemed a limited role, Dez Bryant was the team's leading receiver, hauling in four catches for 74 yards.
Living up to their reputation, the Eagles came out of the gate fast, reaching the end zone on their only two possessions of the first quarter and needing just 16 plays and 5:06 of clock to do it. Philadelphia's opening series was an 80-yard march that saw McCoy go around right end for 36 yards early in the drive before Sanchez capped things off on a quarterback keeper from 2 yards out to put his team up 7-0.
That was soon followed by an even longer 88-yard effort by the Eagles, although in just seven plays this time, where Sanchez connected on passes of 19, 15 and 13 yards before hitting wideout Jordan Matthews for a 27-yard connection that brought about another score, Philadelphia cruising, 14-0.
The Cowboys had a small respite from the onslaught when they produced a seven-play, 67-yard drive that resulted with a Murray touchdown run from 1-yard out just as the clock ticked over to the second quarter, narrowing the score to 14-7.
But that would be as close as the Cowboys would get, as the defense took some solace in limiting the Eagles to three field goals over the remainder of the second quarter, the last two coming with less than two minutes remaining in the half. A 22-yard field goal from Philly kicker Cody Parker at the 1:39 mark was soon followed by a Cole Beasley fumble that resulted in Philadelphia taking possession at the Cowboys' 11-yard line with 1:19 left. With their backs against the wall, the Dallas defense managed to at least keep Philadelphia out of the end zone, the score 23-7 at the break after Parkey split the uprights again.
Early in the third quarter, however, the Eagles defense took some solace of its own, as a McCoy fumble gave Dallas the ball at the visitor's 13-yard line. But the Cowboys were unable to punch it in, a 5-yard sack of Tony Romo on third down bringing out Dan Bailey for a 28-yard field goal, the score now 23-10.
Eighty yards and less than two minutes later, though, the goose was cooked, McCoy bolting off right guard and then cutting back to the middle for a 38-yard touchdown run, the Eagles in control 30-10.
After that, it was more or less just running out the clock without allowing further damage. The Eagles did manage to pick off a pair of Romo passes, the first of which led to a 25-yard field goal, but thankfully, that was it, Philadelphia taking home an impressive 33-10 victory.[embeddedad0]
With the loss, the Cowboys are now 8-4 on the season, dropping into second place in the NFC East behind the 9-3 Eagles. Dallas will now play consecutive games on the road, visiting Chicago next Thursday night before traveling to Philadelphia to face these same Eagles on Dec. 14.