Eagles-Cowboys: Roob's 10 Observations



ARLINGTON, Texas -- So this is what 9-1 looks like. Not a bad view of the rest of the NFL up here.

The Eagles won their eighth straight game Sunday night, bouncing back from a 9-7 halftime deficit to clobber the Cowboys, 37-9 (see breakdown).

That was a serious whooping the Eagles put on the Cowboys in front of their home crowd. Let's break it down with our 10 Observations.

1. When people were panicking at halftime, I tweeted this out: "Nobody is going to blow out every team they play. Even the best teams face adversity, find themselves in tough spots. Let's see how the Eagles respond. They've been pretty good at it so far this year." And, man, I love the way the Eagles responded Sunday night. As bad as they looked on offense for most of the first half, they regrouped at halftime and came out and opened the second half by reeling off TD drives of 75, 90 and 85 yards. They outscored the Cowboys, 30-0, in the second half, outgained them, 268-99. This team knows how to finish people off. And they know how to handle a little adversity. Something special going on here.

2. Specifically, Carson Wentz really did a tremendous job gathering himself at halftime after finishing the first half 3 for 14. Wentz did not look right much in the first half and it was fair to wonder if that blow he took to the head in the first quarter was affecting him. But he came out in the third quarter sharp, confident and effective and although his final numbers weren't anything special, he did throw two more TDs and no interceptions. He now has 25 touchdowns and five INTs this year. What a season the kid is having.

3. Really a tremendous effort by the defense against a pretty formidable offense. They kept the Eagles in the game in the first half when the offense was struggling, then blanked the Cowboys in the second half. Three INTs against a guy who had never thrown three in his career. Four sacks. No TDs. This was a huge performance by the D just when the Eagles needed it the most.

4. Have to give Kamu Grugier-Hill a ton of credit for handling kickoffs so ably after Jake Elliott left the game with a concussion. Grugier-Hill, a terrific special teamer and backup linebacker, hit his first kickoff to the 1-yard line and his second was a touchback. Losing a kicker early in a game can be a huge blow, but you can't ask for anything more than what they got out of Grugier-Hill. And looking longer term, Caleb Sturgis — a pretty good kicker in his own right — is eligible to come off injured reserve if the Eagles need him.

5. Remarkable to see Ronald Darby come back after not playing since opening day and just pick up right where he left off. Darby, Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson were all very good Sunday night, especially on Dez Bryant. I've been doing this a looooong time and I can safely say the Eagles have never had four cornerbacks as good as Mills, Robinson, Darby and Rasul Douglas, with Sidney Jones waiting in the wings. And all but Robinson are 23 or under. Scary.

6. I wasn't sure how the Eagles were going to involve four running backs in a game plan, but they're pulling it off. Kenjon Barner had a career-long 22-yard catch and TD run on the Eagles' first drive, Corey Clement gained 33 yards on five carries and scored his sixth red-zone TD of the season, Jay Ajayi had 87 yards, including a 71-yard run that really got the Eagles rolling, and LeGarrette Blount added 57 yards on 10 carries, including a big 30-yarder on the fourth-quarter TD drive. In all, the four running backs netted 202 rushing yards and a couple catches for 32 more yards. Incredible job by Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas for rebuilding the running back position and for Doug Pederson and Frank Reich for figuring out how to take advantage of the skill sets of each guy. And just think — when training camp began, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and Donnel Pumphrey were all expected to have major roles. With none of them in uniform Sunday night, the running attack looks stronger than ever.

7. We don't talk about the Eagles' offensive line enough, but my goodness, they were monstrous in the second half (see report card). The Eagles, so ineffective early, just kept pounding and pounding and pounding and eventually, the Cowboys just fell apart. The Eagles gained 268 of their 383 total yards in the second half and 180 of their 210 rushing yards after halftime. They lost a Hall of Famer and are still playing out of their minds. Incredible.

8. This may be my favorite stat of all-time: Since 2000, the Cowboys have lost 22 games by 23 or more points. Eleven of them — half of them — have been to the Eagles.

8A. And favorite stat No. 2: Last time the Cowboys allowed 30 or more points in a second half while failing to score in that second half was against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in 1962. They were outscored, 38-0, and lost, 52-20.

9. Clement's knack inside the red zone continues to defy belief. He had three touches on the Eagles' opening drive of the second half — an eight-yard run down to the 11, an 11-yard touchdown and a successful two-point conversion. Clement now has 11 red-zone touches this year and six red-zone touchdowns and a two-point conversion, which is really kind of hard to believe. I think before too long Ajayi and Clement are going to be the Eagles' top two running backs.

10. Dak Prescott had three interceptions Sunday night. Wentz had three interceptions in his last eight games. I don't care how young they are or how much football they have left or what players they have around him. Wentz > Dak. Period.

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