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Cowboys-Eagles Game Review

November 13, 2012

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When the Cowboys needed a 51 yarder to win against the Ravens the football gods laughed and sent it wide left. When the Cowboys needed a miracle catch from Dez Bryant the football gods made his pinky finger stray just a bit too far from his hand and he fell out of bounds. When the Cowboys needed to make a tackle on a key third down play the football gods made sure Orlando Scandrick wiffed and the game ending drive continued. It seemed like all year long the Cowboys haven’t just lost but have lost in strange and unique ways so it was fitting that lady lucky finally sided with Dallas this season. Let’s not call this a dominant win or a win where “all three phases” impacted the game, let’s just admit that Sunday’s win was very very lucky. Dwayne Harris just happened to get the first punt return for a touchdown of his 2 year career on the same day that Brandon Carr got the first defensive touchdown of his 5 year career on the same day that the Cowboys were able to face a quarterback playing in his first career regular season game at quarterback. That is quite a few firsts that had to all line up for the Cowboys just so they could beat a team that was on a 4 game losing streak and appeared to be done for the season. The Eagles knew this was their last chance to save their season and they gave it a good effort but the problems they had couldn’t be fixed with just effort. The Cowboys should have known this as they have the exact same problems. Both teams have offensive lines that are playing atrociously, both teams have high profile wide receivers who aren’t getting the job done either because of injury (Jeremy Maclin-Miles Austin) or inconsistency (DeSean Jackson-Dez Bryant), both teams have head coaches who look to be in over their head, and both teams have talented quarterbacks who can’t seem to avoid the turnovers. The Cowboys faced their spitting image yesterday and it showed as the two teams were tied after 1 quarter, the Cowboys had a small 3 point lead after 2 quarters, and they were again tied after 3 quarters. The Cowboys looked to be the more talented team but once again struggled to gain any separation from their opponent due to penalties on both sides of the ball. I can’t remember a team committing more offsides on defense than in this game as Morris Claiborne (how does a cornerback get called for offsides!) and Jason Hatcher were called twice while Josh Brent and Anthony Spencer were called once. The offense couldn’t let the defense have all the fun though as Doug Free had a false start, John Phillips had two false starts, Romo threw for fewer total yards than Nick Foles (who didn’t even start and was playing in his first pro game!), and the Cowboys offensive line was manhandled so badly that the stats of 3 sacks and 5 hits on Romo seem to hardly do it justice. The Cowboys were lucky to get out of Philadelphia with a win but they did and it’s a season saving one in my opinion as they are now only 2 games behind the Giants in the division and 2 1/2 games behind the Vikings and the Seahawks for the wildcard. None of those three teams are playing incredible football at this point in the season and therefore are imminently catchable with 7 games remaining in the season yet I have little faith in this team right now and a lucky win against a struggling team didn’t change my perspective. On a positive note is the fact that the Cowboys only have one winning team (Pittsburgh) remaining on their schedule in the final 7 games and the Cowboys are 3-0 this season against teams below .500. On a negative note is that the Cowboys have an offensive line that continues to struggle week in and week out, the defense has had numerous lapses in concentration recently that worries me, and Morris Claiborne hasn’t just hit the rookie wall but has run head on into it going 90 miles an hour. Yes the Redskins are 3-6 and the Saints are 4-5 but the thought of RGIII and Drew Brees picking on Claiborne, or Charlie Peprah trying to cover Jimmy Graham makes me think the Cowboys shouldn’t necessarily consider themselves the favorite in any of these remaining contests. For now though Dallas fans can all smile and shake their heads as another Cowboys game had wild and strange plays in the 4th quarter and for once this season the good guys came out on top. 

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