Each week, we'll take a look at how the Eagles' division rivals fared the previous weekend (SPOILER ALERT: the Eagles are the best) and what they have upcoming. In Week One of the NFL season, Washington's offense was powered by a couple of 2012 Pro Bowlers, Dak Prescott looked like the same guy we knew (and loved) in 2017, and the Giants have a talented running back for the first time since Tiki Barber retired...which still wasn't enough to keep Eli from throwing the game away.
Here's what happened, and what's happening, this week in the NFC East:
Dallas Cowboys (0-1)
ICYMI: Despite an awful redzone turnover by the Panthers early on, the Cowboys offense was never able to get going and Jason Garrett's squad rolled over and died in Carolina, dropping the opener 16-8 (yawn). Cam Newton did Cam Newton things, rushing for a touchdown and 58 yards overall, and the Cowboys didn't get onto the board till halfway through the 4th quarter. Newton is awesome, as is the Carolina defense, but ‘dem Boys really weren't very inspiring throughout, no matter what Jerry Jones tries to sell you.
Also, shout-out to Super Bowl 52 Champion Torrey Smith, who had one catch for 15 yards on two targets. Torrey, thank you for your service. At this point, you remain better than Mike Wallace (and every single Cowboys wide receiver, for the record).
The Cowboys actually had a chance to send this one into overtime, with the ball and under two-minutes to play. But then Dak Prescott, the quarterback who is NOT Carson Wentz (or Nick Foles, for that matter) was sacked and fumbled, putting this one on ice. You know who they probably could have used? DEZ BRYANT OR JASON WITTEN. Or, y'kno, a slightly more competent quarterback.
Positive Spin: Hmmm… well the defense held Cam and Co. to 16 points. By the Jim Johnson rule, that's typically enough to get the win. Also, it was a road game, so the built-in excuses are there if you look for them.
Negative Spin: For a deep-dive into why and how the Cowboys are a bunch of clowns, check out Kulp's piece from earlier this week. In short, this franchise is run about as well as Papa John's PR department.
The legendary Dallas O-line, which has seemingly lost more original members than The Aquabats, allowed Prescott to be sacked a half-dozen times (something Dak won't have to contend with a year from now when he's a back-up on the Titans). Prescott himself went 19-of-29 for 170 yards, which is not the sort of numbers that will get you a contract extension. All in all, it was more-of-the-same from the man who took a big step back in 2017.
And for those of us who put "Trolling Cowboys Fans" down as our favorite pastime, let me ask you this: at 23 years old, has Ezekiel Elliott already peaked!? Sure looks like it. Check the numbers. Somewhere DeMarco Murray is sitting on a pile of money, smirking. Unless that involves effort, then he's probably just sliding short of the sticks.
What's Next: It still feels odd the Cowboys/Giants game wasn't our Sunday Night Special for Opening Weekend, but hey, maybe that's what happens when (s/o to David Akers) you haven't won a championship since before your draft picks were born.
More fun this week in the NFC East: