PHILADELPHIA - The Cowboys, already without Dez Bryant, lost Tony Romo in the middle of this game and still found a way to win over the Eagles, 20-10.
On Saturday, the staff writers gave their gut feeling for Sunday's game. Check out the instant reactions from the staff of DallasCowboys.com.
David Helman: There's no way that game fell in line with what anyone was predicting – whatsoever. I thought it'd be an offensive shootout, and it turned into a defensive masterpiece. With this game being nationally televised, Sean Lee showed the entire league why his presence in this scheme was billed as such an important return. Obviously, the loss of Tony Romo puts a damper on everything, and the offensive line and run game were uncharacteristically sloppy. There will be time to sort out the effects of Romo's injury on the season – that'll start as soon as the team is back in Dallas. I will say, though, that as troubling as the injury is, it has to be encouraging to see the defense and special teams put this game on their backs and carry it through. The same can be said for Brandon Weeden and Terrance Williams, who stepped up to put it away. It's hard to feel great until we have a diagnosis on Romo. But if you have to lose your quarterback in the second week of the season, it's at least better to do it with a win that pushes you to 2-0 – and leading the division.
Bryan Broaddus: I had a feeling in this game that the Eagles would try and put Malcolm Jenkins on either Cole Beasley or Jason Witten to take that threat away. Beasley drew Jenkins and I knew that would be a problem for Beasley do to Jenkins size off the line. Jenkins was tight to Beasley the majority of the game and did not allow him any room to operate. Beasley did his best to fight back with a couple of quick option routes for first downs. Scott Linehan also tried to get him the ball in the red zone on the screen but the execution of the play was not clean. I will say by Beasley working against Jenkins - that allowed Witten to have the day he did.
Nick Eatman: In a game like this, it's unlikely that anyone could've predicted these scenarios. When your franchise quarterback goes out, all bets are off. I was way wrong about the Eagles starting fast and grabbing an early lead. The Cowboys just shut the door on that all day long. Something made me think a guy like Lucky Whitehead would score. Hmm, Kyle Wilber instead. But I did predict an 11-point win (31-20) because I will never pick a Sam Bradford-led team win over a Romo-led team. Bradford was awful and the Cowboys were a big reason for that. It was a costly win but the Cowboys are 2-0 simply because they were much better.
Rob Phillips: Well, at least the four of us correctly picked the winner. What a strange game, from Tony Romo's injury to DeMarco Murray's two rushing yards on 13 carries to the penalties (26 combined, including a team-record 18 by the Cowboys) which in a way threw the Eagles off their up-tempo pace. My gut was clearly wrong about the running game for both teams -- neither offense got much going on the ground, though I thought Joseph Randle fought for some tough yards in his team-high 18 carries. The defense refused to let Murray beat them. Overall, the Cowboys did have two more turnovers but finished with a plus-turnover margin that helped them win comfortably. They didn't need another last-second touchdown drive from Romo this week, but they now face a tough stretch ahead without him and Dez Bryant (foot). The defense will have to deliver more outstanding performances.
For the initial gut feeling predictions of the staff writers posted on Saturday, click Here