There was enough drama in the Eagles’ 17-9 win over the Cowboys on Sunday that the players and coaches didn’t need the referees or fans to get in the way.
But that’s exactly what happened. More than once, in fact. On and off the field.
Here’s a look at the Eagles-Cowboys highlights and lowlights on social media — and let’s start at the end, because that was the craziest part.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson had a surprise encounter in his postgame news conference: an intoxicated fan, with a beer in his hand, crashed the proceedings and asked Pederson a question about Eli Manning.
Don’t do that, people. It’s stupid and you probably won’t get home afterward.
Pederson handled it with grace and humor, though, to his credit. He figured out something was wrong, called “timeout” — a full timeout, he joked, after being asked by a reporter — and the fan was quickly removed from the room.
“Holy cow,” Pederson concluded. “This will be on SportsCenter.”
Now back to our original programming.
The fun started during the Cowboys’ first drive of the game, when the Cowboys punted and there were offsetting penalties on the play. At first, referee Tony Corrente announced that the Eagles would decline an illegal formation penalty against Dallas and enforce a Cowboys holding penalty after the kick. But a moment later, Corrente came back to tell the world that “Philadelphia has changed their mind" and enforce the first penalty.
Fox rules analyst Mike Pereira replied sarcastically, “I quit."
There was no confusion when Carson Wentz threw a strike of a touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert on the ensuing drive:
Amazingly, the referees did an even more stupid thing a few minutes later. As Eagles punter Cameron Johnston was getting ready to kick the ball, one of the officials blew his whistle to stop play. Corrente announced that the referees were not "ready to officiate.”
Eagles fans booed, and Joe Buck didn’t blame them.
The Eagles’ offense stalled for a while after that. There were two punts, and a turnover on downs forced when Doug Pederson called back-to-back pass plays needing just 1 yard at the Cowboys’ 33.
In the last minute of the first half, Jake Elliott put a 53-yard field goal attempt wide right.
Even worse, Kai Forbath kicked a 32-yard field goal to end the half. After that, Fox’s broadcast showed a graphic detailing how there hasn’t been a repeat winner of the NFC East since the Eagles won four straight from 2001-04.
With just under five minutes to go in the third quarter, the Eagles’ defense made a big stop.
Then the Birds put together a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to increase their lead to 17-6, capped off by a Miles Sanders run into the end zone.
With 4:44 to go in the game, the Eagles punted. Dallas took the ball at its own 12 with all three timesouts remaining. Dak Prescott threw deep incomplete a few times for some reason — well, okay, that reason was probably that the Eagles’ secondary isn’t great, but still. Eventually, Cooper completed a few passes over the middle, and the Cowboys were on the move.
(You barely need to speak Portuguese to figure out what that says: Thank God Dak Prescott is horrible.)
The Eagles sacked Prescott, and soon forced the Cowboys into a 4th and 8 with Amari Cooper surprisingly on the sideline. Prescott went for the end zone, and Sidney Jones broke up the pass in front of Michael Gallup.
With 53 seconds to go, Sanders broke free for a 38-yard run that sealed the win. Carson Wentz took a knee, fans could finally exhale, and the Eagles were one win away from winning the NFC East.