ARLINGTON, Texas – So close.
The Eagles almost left AT&T Stadium in first place in the NFC East, but faltered late in a 29-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in overtime.
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With the loss, the Eagles (4-3) failed to rip first place away from the Cowboys (6-1), who haven’t lost since their opener against the Giants.
In overtime, the Cowboys won the coin flip and promptly drove 75 yards on 12 plays to win the game. The touchdown came on a 5-yard pass from Dak Prescott, who found time, to a wide-open Jason Witten. Witten had been quiet for much of the evening before that.
At one point, the Eagles had a 10-point lead in the third quarter, but allowed the Cowboys to come back and tie it with just over three minutes left in regulation.
With a tied game late in the fourth quarter, the Eagles had the ball twice and twice couldn’t move the ball down the field to score.
The Eagles had a chance to perhaps seal the game late in the fourth quarter when Malcolm Jenkins applied pressure and forced a bad Prescott throw. But Leodis McKelvin couldn’t pick it off. On the next play, Prescott hit Dez Bryant for a 22-yard touchdown to tie the game at 23-23.
The Eagles were able to overcome a somewhat scary first quarter and settled in to actually take a first-half lead. In the second half, they had a 12-play, 69-yard drive that took 4:10 and ended in a huge touchdown pass from Carson Wentz to Jordan Matthews. On that drive, they went no huddle, and it seemed to throw the Cowboys off.
On the ensuing drive, the Cowboys pulled a beautiful 30-yard fake punt run, but had to settle for a field goal. The Eagles responded with a big Josh Huff kick return and a field goal of their own.
Wendell Smallwood had a costly fumble on his first carry of the game, but the Eagles’ defense held the Cowboys to a field goal.
Caleb Sturgis made all three of his field goal attempts (30, 55, 34) and has now made his last 17.
The final drive in overtime.
The Cowboys went 75 yards on 12 plays to punch in the touchdown that won the game.
The Eagles took a 13-10 lead into the locker room after Sturgis drilled a 55-yard field goal, the third-longest in team history. The big play that led to the field goal drive was Jordan Hicks’ interception in the end zone.
The Cowboys were driving when Hicks intercepted a Prescott pass in the end zone for a touchback. The Eagles then went 43 yards in eight plays to get into Sturgis’ field-goal range.
Sturgis started the scoring on Sunday night, too. After a defensive stop, the Eagles got the ball at their 38-yard line and drove into field for a 30-yarder.
On the ensuing drive, the Cowboys answered quickly. Prescott hit Bryant for a big 53-yard pass and the Cowboys scored their touchdown on a 7-yard run. The Cowboys went up 10-3 with a 38-yard field goal a little later.
The Eagles then got the ball on the Dallas 45-yard line and took nine plays and over five minutes (to give their defense a break) before punching in a short touchdown.
The Cowboys out-gained the Eagles 212-158 in the first half. Both teams had 11 first downs in the first.
Darren Sproles continues to defy age. He was the Eagles’ most productive back on Sunday and he didn’t fumble. He also moved into eighth place in all-time all-purpose yards in NFL history.
Nelson Agholor just doesn’t give the Eagles much. Never has. Maybe he never will.
Hicks saved points with a huge interception toward the end of the first half. In his short career, he’s been a Cowboys killer.
The Eagles’ run defense allowed Elliott to run over them during parts of Sunday night’s game.
Bennie Logan (groin) and reserve linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill (hamstring) were both inactive on Sunday night after being ruled out on Friday. Taylor Hart (ankle) was also inactive; he was questionable entering the weekend.
Left guard Allen Barbre (hamstring) left the game early and Stefen Wisniewski filled in for the remainder.
The Eagles are on the road again next week, but will need just a bus trip to head north to face the Giants in North Jersey. After that, they’ll return home for a game against the Falcons before a cross-country trip to Seattle.