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Gamebreakers: Cowboys who tried to save the day


(Editor's note: The content provided is based on opinions and/or perspective of the editorial staff and not the Cowboys football staff or organization.)

PHILADELPHIA — Whenever the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles square off, you can expect fireworks to ensue. The first matchup between the two did not disappoint in that regard, and it hints at the race for this division going down to the wire.

Ultimately, it was not to be for Dallas, despite a valiant effort that fell just short, and they move to 5-3 on the season heading into a looming rematch with the New York Giants in Week 9.

These 10 Cowboys did all they could, however, to try and save the day in Philly.

Brandon Aubrey, K: You might as well start referring to Aubrey as "Kerrygold", because he's not just butter, he's the top of the line butter that is smoother than all the rest. Needing only one more successful field goal attempt to make it 19 straight to start his NFL career, he landed it on a 51-yard boot against the Eagles, breaking the all-time league record for most made to begin a career. Aubrey has now effectively gone from being a camp tryout to a record-setting right foot that also has a ton of dynamite in it for distance. Simply put, he's a weapon, the likes of which Dallas hasn't seen since Dan Bailey.

Dak Prescott, QB: It's no secret Prescott plays well against the Eagles, owning a record of 8-3 against the franchise, and he continued that lethality on Sunday. After a quick three-and-out on the first offensive possession of the game, Prescott caught fire and had his way with the Eagles secondary over the remainder of the first half — delivering 153 passing yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He, again, also used his legs to extend plays and drives, and the Cowboys were made all the better for it.

Jake Ferguson, TE: Need a catch? Look for No. 87 and throw him the ball. Ferguson and Prescott have established a chemistry that conjures memories of when Tony Romo and Jason Witten were one of the more prolific tandems in the NFL. In the first half alone, Prescott found Ferguson on four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown, stretching their connection to 19 consecutive catches (19 targets) before finally logging an incomplete due to a pass break up. The second-year tight end has ascended to the role of TE1, and there is no debate.

Dorance Armstong, DE: Time and again, it was Armstrong living in the personal space of Jalen Hurts. It began with chasing Hurts laterally on one play and landing a tandem sack with Micah Parsons on another, and he never relented as the game went on. He was a handful for the Eagles offensive line, and again showed why he's an organizational favorite, because while you might not hear his name called weekly, he's an impact player in every game … in some way, shape or form.

CeeDee Lamb, WR: It didn't start off promising for Lamb, with an early drop that could've been an explosive play, but he shook that off like it was a song on a Taylor Swift album. The All-Pro receiver took the challenge of facing a team that boasts the talent of A.J. Brown seriously, hot off of two scorching performances in his own right, Lamb recovered from the aforementioned drop and helped Prescott and the offense find its rhythm in the passing attack. He had 78 yards on four catches before halftime, as an example, and more than 420 yards in his last three outings.

KaVontae Turpin, WR: You call him KaVontae Turpin, but I might call him Willis Reed from now on. Turpin exploded forward for yet another huge return for the Cowboys but, on his second attempt, he went to the sidelines with an apparent rib injury. Only one play after his injury was announced in the press box, listing him as questionable to return, he re-entered the contest and scored his second career touchdown after Prescott found him on third-and-goal to take a 14-7 game. Turpin has found his footing in the offense this season, and you love to see it.

Sam Williams, DE: One week ago, Williams blocked a punt that turned into a safety for the Cowboys. On Sunday, against the Eagles, he was named special teams captain for that effort; but it wasn't special teams that made Philadelphia notice him. It was the fact he sacked and forced a fumble against Jalen Hurts on the opening Eagles' drive. Although Hurts recovered the fumble, the message was sent early on that Williams can bring the heat on the defensive side of the ball as well.

Malik Hooker, S: Speaking of forced fumbles, Hooker got in on that party as well. The veteran safety joined Williams in forcing a fumble against the Eagles and, like Williams, the ball didn't bounce his or the Cowboys' way as DeAndre Swift fell onto the ball to end the play (fumble recovery by Dallas overturned upon review). Hooker went on to be one of the leading tacklers in Philadelphia, playing physical football all afternoon in a hard-fought battle.

Damone Clark, LB: Clark continues to jump out at you when watching him play. In the third game wherein the Cowboys were without their leader at linebacker, Leighton Vander Esch, Clark was the usual missile — playing sideline-to-sideline and helping to fill interior gaps in run defense; and the latter helped the Cowboys mostly keep DeAndre Swift from tearing off runs through the interior. Clark is the real deal in the heart of Dallas' defense, and he's only going to get better as the games roll along.

Michael Gallup, WR: Not unlike Lamb, Gallup had a critical drop in the game that would've helped extend a drive for the Cowboys, but on third-and-3 in the back end of the first half that led to Brandon Aubrey setting an NFL record. Gallup would make up for it in the second half, with two critical catches on a drive that saw the Cowboys' offense try to shrink a 28-17 lead atop the fourth quarter. Both of his catches on that drive were a result of violent hands to bring in the ball, but especially the second, when he grabbed it over a draped James Bradberry for an eight-yard reception to convert on third-and-1; and Dallas went on to make it a 28-24 contest.

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