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Stat Pack: Rare Win Despite No Philly Flags

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Here is a deeper look at five statistics from the Cowboys’ 27-20 victory over the Eagles:

• 0 – One thing is becoming quite clear on this Cowboys season – the importance of protecting the ball. In their four victories, Dallas has not turned the ball over once, including in this win against Philadelphia. Conversely, the Cowboys have handed over gifts in each of their five losses this year. The team has given the ball away 10 times through nine games. With nine takeaways now after Leighton Vander Esch’s interception, the team is minus-1 in turnover ratio for the season.

• 2 – Ezekiel Elliott scored two touchdowns in the game, one each on the ground and through the air. This marked the ninth multi-touchdown effort of his career, which is tied for 10th in team history and is third in the NFL behind only the Rams’ Todd Gurley (11) and the Cardinals’ David Johnson since Elliott came into the league in 2016. This was just the fourth time that he has scored both a rushing and receiving touchdown in his career with the Cowboys. Not surprisingly, Dallas is now 8-1 when Zeke scores at least twice in a game.

• 13 – Leighton Vander Esch came into this matchup as the fifth-highest rated linebacker (82.1) in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. Since PFF began grading players in 2006, that is the third-highest ranking for a rookie linebacker in their history, behind only San Francisco’s Patrick Willis in 2007 (82.7) and Seattle’s Bobby Wagner in 2012 (82.3). But Vander Esch is likely to move up after his performance against the Eagles, which included a game-high 13 tackles and his first career interception. With four games to his credit with at least 10 tackles and 77 for the season, he’s well on his way to breaking the Cowboys record for most tackles by a rookie. According to Pro Football Reference, linebacker Robert Jones had 108 league credited tackles as a rookie in 1992. Vander Esch is currently on pace for 137 this season.

0 – Remarkably, the Eagles had zero penalties in the game, which is only the sixth time in Cowboys history that their opponent failed to be flagged. Every single one of those six came on the road with three of them now occurring in Philadelphia. Surprisingly, though, this marked the fourth time that Dallas has actually won even though its opponent wasn’t penalized:

Date                     Opponent                 W/L         Score

Oct. 21, 1962       at Pittsburgh            W             42-27

Dec. 5, 1965         at Philadelphia        W             21-19

Dec. 16, 2001      at Seattle                  L               29-3

Dec. 28, 2008      at Philadelphia        L               44-6

Dec. 16, 2012      at Pittsburgh            W             27-24

• 14 – Thanks to 14 points in the fourth quarter against Philadelphia, Dallas is now outscoring its opponents in the final frame, 65-64, for the season. Since Dak Prescott entered the NFL in 2016, the Cowboys have outscored their opponents in the fourth quarter every year: 2016 (102-99) and 2017 (120-109). This also marked the fifth time during Prescott’s reign that the team has posted at least 14 points in the fourth quarter, all of which were victories: Nov. 24, 2016 vs. Washington (31-26); Sept. 25, 2017 at Arizona (28-17); Nov. 30, 2017 vs. Washington (38-14) and Dec. 10, 2017 at the Giants (30-10).

Milestones

Team Notes

• Making their NFL-high 67th appearance on Sunday Night Football, the Cowboys recorded their 34th win on Sunday night, also the most all-time.

• Dallas snapped a four-game road losing streak, earning its first road win of the 2018 season, and the Cowboys second straight win in Philadelphia.

• The Cowboys also snapped a two-game losing streak.

• For the eighth game played out of nine this season, the Cowboys defense did not allow an opposing rusher over 100 yards.

• The Cowboys are 4-1 when holding an opposing team to under 100 yards rushing total.

Cole Beasley

• Cole Beasley’s 37 receiving yards allowed him to become the 19th player in franchise history to reach 3,000 career receiving yards (3,002).

Tyrone Crawford

• Tyrone Crawford had one sack to reach 20.0 for his career. He becomes the 15th player in Cowboys history to reach that milestone since sacks became an official stat in 1982.

Ezekiel Elliott

• Ezekiel Elliott rushed 19 times for 151 yards, the fourth-highest total of his career.

• Elliott had a long rush of 35, which was the longest run Philadelphia’s defense has allowed all season.

• With his one score against the Eagles, Elliott now has 31 total touchdowns (26 rush; 5 receiving), which is tied with Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown for the third most by any NFL player since 2016, behind the Rams’ Todd Gurley (35) and the Chargers’ Melvin Gordon (35).

• It was Elliott’s 16th career 100-yard rushing game in the regular season, which tied Calvin Hill for fourth all-time in team history behind Emmitt Smith (76), Tony Dorsett (43) and DeMarco Murray (19).

• It was the fourth game Elliott has rushed for over 100 yards this season, with the Cowboys going 3-1 in those contests.

• Dallas moved to 13-3 when Elliott tops 100 yards on the ground.

• Elliott rushed for 150 yards for the fifth time in his career, the most in the NFL from 2016-18.

• Elliott’s team-high tying six receptions gave him 35 for the season to top his 2016 total (32) and establish a single-season career high.

• Elliott’s 187 scrimmage yards (151 rush; 36 receiving) were the fifth most of his career and his second highest of the 2018 season:

• Elliott became the sixth Cowboy with at least 175 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns against the Eagles, joining Bob Hayes (1965), Tony Dorsett (1977), Tony Hill (1979), Herschel Walker (1986) and Emmitt Smith (1995).

Jeff Heath

• Jeff Heath recorded a rush for 3 yards and a first down on a fake punt in the second quarter. It was Heath’s second career rush, the other coming against Washington on Jan. 3, 2016.

Dak Prescott

• Dak Prescott’s rushing touchdown was the 15th of his career to tie Don Meredith for the second-most rushing scores by a Cowboys quarterback. Roger Staubach has the most with 20.

• That number is also tied with Carolina’s Cam Newton for the most by a quarterback since Prescott entered the NFL in 2016.

• Prescott posted his seventh career game with at least one passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown to break a tie with Roger Staubach for the most in team history.

• Prescott rushed six times to give him 162 for his career to top Danny White (159) for the fifth-most career rushing attempts by a Dallas quarterback.

Leighton Vander Esch

• Leighton Vander Esch intercepted his first career pass in the first quarter. He is only the third Cowboys rookie linebacker (Dat Nguyen, Sean Lee) since 1999 to have an interception in a game, and the first since Lee recorded his pick at Indianapolis on Dec 5, 2010.

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