Grading the Eagles in Sunday’s 37-17 loss to the Cowboys
Nobody’s making the honor roll after Sunday's 20-point loss to the Cowboys, eliminating the Eagles from playoff contention.
The Eagles jumped out to a 14-3 lead, then than were outscored 34-3 the rest of the way. They gave up 377 passing yards and three touchdowns to Andy Dalton, and committed 12 penalties, including six false starts. Nobody’s making the honor roll. Let’s get to the grades:
The raw numbers — 151 yards on 29 carries — were good. Jalen Hurts rushed for 69 yards. Miles Sanders had 31 yards and a TD on eight carries in the first quarter, then more or less disappeared. He had just 26 yards on seven carries the rest of the game.
Hurts connected with DeSean Jackson on an 81-yard touchdown play on the Eagles’ second possession. Then Jackson disappeared from the offense. He wasn’t targeted again the rest of the game. Hurts threw for 342 yards but missed a lot of throws he needed to make, particularly in the second half. His fourth-quarter red-zone interception was a killer.
The Eagles held the Cowboys to 2.8 yards per carry in the first half. But without Fletcher Cox in the middle, they wore down in the second half. Ezekiel Elliott finished with 105 yards on 19 carries.
The Cowboys exploited the Eagles’ inexperience in the secondary. They attacked rookie cornerback Michael Jacquet right out of the gate. He committed a pair of early penalties and gave up a 21-yard touchdown to Michael Gallup in the second quarter. Later, he gave up a 55-yard catch-and run to Gallup off a screen.Dalton torched them for 377 yards and three touchdowns. Without Cox, the Eagles’ pass rush wasn’t as disruptive as it usually is.
The Eagles’ punt coverage unit did a good job containing CeeDee Lamb, but their return teams once again contributed little once again. Kick returner Boston Scott averaged just 19.3 yards and Greg Ward had three fair catches and no returns. Jake Elliott made his only field-goal attempt, a 38-yarder.
The Eagles scored touchdowns on their first two possessions for the first time since 2017, then couldn’t seem to get out of their own way. Injuries were behind the defense’s problems Sunday, but the offense kept shooting itself in the foot. Six false-start penalties. An inexcusable delay-of-game penalty on fourth-and-3 near midfield. A red-zone interception by Hurts. It’s going to be a busy offseason.