PHILADELPHIA – The Cowboys have wrapped up the regular season after Sunday's game in Philly, where the mindset was to avoid injury more than win the game.
That being said, the Cowboys should be rather relieved despite the 27-13 loss to the Eagles.
On Friday, the staff writers gave their gut feeling for Sunday's game. Check out the instant reactions from the staff of DallasCowboys.com.
David Helman: I expected this to be ugly, but I wasn't counting on it being that ugly. That's what happens when the starters come out and the youngsters start playing – it looks a bit like a preseason game. After an inspiring possession by Tony Romo, the backups came in. Dallas tallied just 195 yards on the day, and 81 of those came on Romo's lone touchdown drive. Even without a few starters, the defense handled itself well for the most part. Zach Ertz thrived in the first half, but the Eagles were held to just 20 points until a blocked punt set up a seven-yard touchdown at the end of the game. All in all, it was a pretty ugly afternoon. It's hard to feel great about the game that Mark Sanchez played, but it's also hard to care too much – given that the Cowboys exit this game looking healthy and ready for the playoffs. This was a game that raised a lot of big-picture questions, but now is not the time for big-picture answers. The Cowboys can deal with that when this playoff run is over.
Nick Eatman:This game wasn't that great, but that was to be expected, especially here. Had the Cowboys somehow been able to score at the very end, then I could've hit the score right on the nose. But Sanchez leading them down for a touchdown seemed very improbable. I think we saw a major difference between the second and third quarterbacks – not that it was a debate. But as comfortable and smooth as Romo looked, Sanchez looked the opposite. I did have Romo hitting Terrance Williams for a touchdown, but no pick for Brandon Carr. The biggest part of the game was getting through it without major injuries. No, the Cowboys didn't win and that puts them at 3-3 in the NFC East this year. But they'll move on to the NFC Divisional round and should be rather healthy.
Rob Phillips:The Cowboys indeed rested or gave reduced snaps to the majority of their starters Sunday, and they entered the game with seven players, including three starting defensive linemen, already ruled out due to injury. I thought those depth issues would show up over the course of the day, but give the defense credit for holding Philly to a field goal until the final drive of the first half following a second Mark Sanchez interception. Overall, the Cowboys seemed to accomplish their balancing act during the week -- most starters got some work, the reserves pitched in (including Tony Romo with a touchdown pass), and they appeared to keep everyone healthy as they now look toward the playoffs.
Bryan Broaddus: I really was looking forward to seeing Damien Wilson and these young players play. I had a feeling that given the snaps he would be one of the leading tackles in this game which he was. Wilson was all over the place. He had some chances for a couple of extra stops but was just too aggressive on his approach and just over ran them. What I loved about his game was his ability to close - just needs to work on that consistent finish. Wilson has the ability to help this defense in the playoffs whether that's on special teams or as a backup linebacker.
For the initial gut feeling predictions of the staff writers posted on Friday, click here.
View some of our favorite photos from the Cowboys game against the Philadelphia Eagles on January 1, 2017.