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Game Recap: Cowboys Win OT Thriller, 29-23


It was an old-fashioned, slug-it-out, NFC East heavyweight showdown. And while it wasn't always pretty, it was undoubtedly a thriller.

Even better, it was the Dallas Cowboys who came out on top in this back-and-forth affair, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles, 29-23, in overtime. A game that featured only a combined 15 points through the first three quarters turned into a seesaw scoring-fest in the last frame with the Cowboys eventually coming out on top to give themselves a two-game lead in the division with an 8-5 record.

It certainly didn't come easy. The Cowboys' season-long red-zone woes continued as the team was unable to find the end zone early on despite largely moving the ball with ease in the first half against the Eagles defense. Then costly turnovers in the second half nearly proved to be Dallas' downfall.

Dak Prescott threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball once as well with two of those giveaways leading directly to nine points. Still, he finished the day by completing 77.8 percent of his passes for 455 yards, three touchdowns and a 104.9 passer rating.

Nine different players recorded catches for Dallas, but it was Amari Cooper who led the way. The wideout hauled in 10 passes for 217 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He was joined in the offensive onslaught by Ezekiel Elliott, who rushed for 114 yards on 28 carries while adding another 79 receiving yards on 12 grabs.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, the Cowboys defense limited Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz to 228 yards passing and the Eagles as a whole to only 34 yards rushing. In total, Dallas outgained the visitors, 576 yards to 256 while completely owning the time of possession, 45:33 to 22:32.

Clearly, the Cowboys dominated the first half, but that was only on the stat sheet as the score remained a disappointing 6-0 after 30 minutes of play. Dallas strung together drives of 13 plays for 80 yards, 10 for 69 and 10 for 52, and twice marched inside the Philadelphia 20-yard line. But through all that, they only managed a 28-yard field goal by Brett Maher.

That came on the Cowboys' second possession of the game. On their third try, Prescott had Amari Cooper streaking into the end zone, but underthrew his pass, which led to an interception. That was then followed by penalties stalling out another Dallas threat with Maher missing an attempt from 45 yards.

Despite not reaching the end zone, though, the team got a jolt right before the break. Tyrone Crawford got things started by sacking Wentz and forcing a fumble that Maliek Collins recovered at the Dallas 38-yard line with 58 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

Prescott then marched the offense to the Eagles 34-yard line, but a holding call appeared to have pushed the team out of field goal range. With one second left, head coach Jason Garrett then sent Maher out for a 62-yard field goal attempt. Why not? And sure enough, the kicker split the uprights for the longest field goal in team history and tied for the seventh longest in NFL record books.

And the trend continued as the third quarter got underway, as again the Cowboys offense racked up yards but not points. On the team's first series, the unit bullied its way to the Philadelphia 3-yard line, but was unable to cross the goal line so out came Maher for a 21-yard field goal, the Cowboys at least owning a two-possession advantage now, 9-0.

That advantage was short-lived, however, as Dallas turned the ball over on each of its next two series, with both of those turnovers leading to Eagles points.

On the second play of the Cowboy's next try, Prescott's pass to an open Michael Gallup sailed over the receiver's head and into the arms of safety Corey Graham, who returned the interception down to the Dallas 2-yard line. That led to a quick pass to Alshon Jeffery for the six points, although kicker Jake Elliott missed the extra point, the score narrowed to 9-6, as the clocked ticked over into the fourth quarter.

Bur from that point on, it was an offensive explosion.

The score was soon tied when Prescott fumbled the ball at the Philadelphia 44-yard line, the prize recovered by the Eagles' Brandon Graham. Ten plays and 47 yards later, Elliott came out for a 26-yard field goal, his attempt good to tie the game, 9-9, with 12:11 remaining.

And then for all of Prescott's troubles in the second half, the quarterback threw a honey of a pass to finally get Dallas in the end zone. Starting at his own 25-yard line, he completed all five of his attempts for a combined 74 yards, the last of which was a perfectly placed 28-yard throw to Cooper streaking into the end zone to give the Cowboys the lead once again, 16-9.

But back the Eagles came, tying the score with just over three minutes left in the game. Given a shorter field to work with at the Dallas 47-yard line after the Cowboys offense went three-and-out, Philadelphia found the end zone in only four plays. Tight end Dallas Goedert did the damage, catching a 26-yard pass during the drive and then the final 3-yard touchdown throw.

Fortunately, the game swung back into the home team's favor, and it did so with a lightning strike. On the Cowboys' very first play of their next possession, Prescott connected with Cooper down the right sideline, the receiver hauling it in and then racing back across the center of the field untouched for the 75-yard touchdown.

Now with a 23-16 lead, the Cowboys then caught a break when Goedert appeared to have his own 75-yard touchdown reception. But the tight end was called for offensive pass interference, negating the play. That relief didn't last long, as the Eagles marched right down the field, reaching pay dirt in six plays, the drive helped by a pair of Dallas penalties. Sproles earned the actual touchdown taking a short pass from Wentz and darting into the end zone for the 6-yard score to tie the game, 23-23, with only 1:35 left.

The Cowboys would reach the Philadelphia 41-yard line with 21 seconds remaining and had a timeout, but a bad snap and then a sack pushed the team out of field goal range, so off to overtime they went.

Dallas won the toss and took possession at its own 25-yard line, and quickly marched down to the Eagles' 19-yard line. That's where they then faced a fourth-and-1, and perhaps uncharacteristically, decided to go for it. With Elliott getting the handoff, the star running back got the needed yard to keep the drive alive.

Three plays later, the game was over. Prescott threw a pass to Cooper that saw Eagles' cornerback Rasul Douglas tip the ball. But it deflected up and into the waiting arms of Cooper, who then strolled into the end zone for the winning score.

With the victory, Dallas took control of the NFC East and now head to Indianapolis to take on the Colts next Sunday at noon.