Time management issues, critical coaching gaffes and a lack of short-yardage success cost the Eagles Sunday night.
The Eagles failed to convert on three runs under a yard in the fourth quarter and the Cowboys responded with the go-ahead score as Dallas beat Philly 20-16
The win gave the 6-2 Boys sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
Dallas QB Tony Romo went off for 307 yards on 21-for-34 passing and a score. His biggest play came when he hit Miles Austin for a 49-yard TD after the Boys defense stuffed the Birds three-straight times on short-yardage runs early in the fourth quarter.
Eagles QB Donovan McNabb appeared to pick up the first down on fourth and inches but was ruled short even after review despite appearing to pick up the needed distance.
The ineptitude of the offense to gain a yard on the ground brought back bad memories of last season when such situations were the Eagles' Achilles heel.
Time (out) management was also a major issue. Head Coach Andy Reid blew two Eagles timeouts on lost challenges in the second half and wasted the other timeout that the Eagles were left with no timeouts already at the 10:49 mark of the fourth quarter. Clock and timeout management issues were nothing new for Reid.
Reid could also come under fire for opting for a 52-yard David Akers' field goal late in the game to cut the lead to four rather than going for it on fourth and 11 from the Boys' 34-yard line.
"I thought we could get the ball back and score to win the game," said Reid.
Akers made the kick but with no timeouts left the Eagles defense allowed two Dallas first downs and the Birds offense would never see the field again.
The Eagles took a 13-10 lead early in the second half on a TD pass from McNabb to tight end Brent Celek. Overall McNabb threw for 227 yards on 16-for-30 passing and that Celek TD but he also threw two costly interceptions that were turned into 10 points by Romo's Boys
D-Mac was also dropped four times by the Boys and the Birds committed eight penalties for 82 costly yards.
Some Eagles however did put up nice numbers Sunday including LeSean McCoy who had 115 yards on 18 touches while filling in for Brian Westbrook, Akers with three long kicks and Will Witherspoon who recorded six tackles.
Things won't get an easier for the Eagles as they take their 5-3 record on the road next week against the Chargers in San Diego.