PHILADELPHIA — Entering the battle with the Dallas Cowboys, Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles were offensively thrashing opposing defenses on roughly a weekly basis, but the latter's win over the former was much closer than many believed it might have been.
In all, the Cowboys outperformed the Eagles in several (most) major categories but it developed into a game of inches — one Philadelphia won with breaks that went their way on most occasions; and untimely penalties late in the game by Dallas helped seal their 28-23 fate.
"When you play really good teams, the margin of penalties and errors is so slim," said Micah Parsons. "[Luke Schoonmaker's] knee hits before the goal line, crucial penalties on drives when we should've gotten off the field. It's a hard league to win in. You beat yourselves in certain things and then other factors don't help. It was a chance we could've won, either way you look at it, it was a 50/50 toss-up.
"In the end, we didn't, and now we've gotta get back to the drawing board and get ready for next week."
It was the second major test for the Cowboys, and though they didn't flunk it — as they did in Week 5 against the San Francisco 49ers — they also didn't ace the midterm exam, despite having more than one opportunity to do so.
Parsons and the Cowboys' defense found their groove over the remainder of the second half, however, holding A.J. Brown to 66 yards receiving, and Smith to just 51 yards total (inclusive of the 29-yard catch).
"I think you'd chock that up to a very good day when we hold that Eagles' [high]-powered offense that's been averaging 300 [yards] and you hold Jalen Hurts to 180 yards, less than 300 total yards," said Parsons. "You can say whatever but I feel like we did a great job, but there were times in the game when it didn't turn our way."
The stage is now set for a rematch in Week 14, when the Eagles visit AT&T Stadium, and Parsons is licking his chops at a chance to get some payback.
"When you have a clash like that, Eagles and Cowboys, there's nothing like it," he said. "We'll learn where we messed up and where we beat ourselves. We're gonna see them again. That's the joyful part. Unlike the 49ers [in the regular season], we're gonna see them again.
"We get our redemption in our home, where we've been pretty dominant, and that's gonna be exciting."
And while Parsons hates losing, he readily admits that without the avoidable mistakes made at Lincoln Financial Field, he believes the Cowboys could've walked away with a 6-2 record and share of the NFC East lead.
"I feel like we have more confidence now," said the First-Team All-Pro. "I feel like everybody had us out, praising this Eagles team, and we gave those guys fits. I'm not even gonna put fuel on the fire. We'll see them again in [five] weeks."