They were unstoppable on offense. They were ferocious on defense. They scored in the red zone, they pressured the quarterback, they protected the football. For the first time in a long time, the Eagles dominated.
The Eagles, likely facing a lost season with a loss, ran the ball down the Cowboys throats and handed their hated NFC East rivals a nationally televised 34-7 annihilation Sunday night at the Linc.
Sitting here, after we played a game like this, its like, How in the world, did we lose those games in the beginning of the year? defensive tackle Trevor Laws said. It makes no sense to me.
LeSean McCoy ran for a career-high 185 yards and joined Hall of Famers Jim Brown, John Riggins and Walter Payton as one of only four players in history with two career 140-yard rushing performances against the Cowboys.
The Cowboys scored their only touchdown in the fourth quarter, after the Eagles had jumped out to a 34-0 lead.
Its been a long time since the Eagles played like this. Its been a long time since they crushed somebody. Its been a long time since theyve looked like an elite team.
Sunday night, finally, they did.
We hit on all cylinders and I think we showed everybody that were still a good team, McCoy said. Dont let the record fool anybody. I felt like we found that It factor. We finally got it.
Since 2000, the Cowboys have lost 11 games by 27 or more points. Six of those losses -- more than half -- have come at the hands of Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles.
On the same night that the Eagles added Jim Johnson and Eric Allen into their Honor Roll (see blog post), the Eagles played a game both would have been proud of.
We know how good we are, and its about time we started executing, playing a full game, guard Evan Mathis said. Were 3-4, and thats not great. We still have a long way ahead of us.
The Eagles, who had lost five straight home games, scored touchdowns on their first three drives and got points on their first five drives against the Cowboys No. 7-ranked defense. They led 14-0 after the first quarter, 24-0 at halftime and 27-0 late in the third quarter on the way to their first home win since December of last year.
The win was the Eagles second in a row after a 1-4 start and gave them their first two-game winning streak since Week 14 and 15 last year. The Cowboys fell to 3-4 and have lost three of their last four.
The Eagles remained perfect at 13-0 under Reid in their first game after their bye week.
I cant sit here and tell you that a week off doesnt make you feel a little bit better and recharge the battery, Reid said.
This was the first game ever for the Eagles projected offensive line, with Jason Peters, Mathis, Jason Kelce, Danny Watkins and Todd Herremans, and the it was tremendous against the Cowboys vaunted defensive line.
The Eagles moved the ball at will, like they have all year. But this time, they didnt turn it over.
Thanks to a dominating performance by the reconstructed offensive line, the Eagles moved the ball at will both through the air and on the ground against the Cowboys.
But this time -- for the first time in 15 games -- they didnt commit a turnover.
We didnt turn the ball over, we punched the ball in when we were in the red zone -- we stopped doing all the things that were screwing us up, Kelce said. This isnt surprising to us and it shouldnt be surprising to anybody whos been watching us, because weve been able to move the ball all year long, but the turnovers and not converting in short yardage have been killing us, and I think we corrected a lot of those things tonight.
Their 495 yards is the most the Eagles have ever gained against Dallas. The Eagles 239 rushing yards is the second most the Cowboys have allowed in the last 10 years.
We played fast, aggressive, and if you take care of the ball youre in pretty good shape, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. When you hang onto the ball, you win ball games.
The Eagles had more yards before halftime (324) than the Cowboys give up per game (301). Before the Cowboys scored their only touchdown on a 70-yard Tony Romo to Laurent Robinson pass early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles had a 465-120 yardage edge.
They finished with a 495-256 yardage advantage. The 495 yards are the most the Eagles have ever netted against the Cowboys and the 15th-most the Cowboys have allowed in franchise history.
The Eagles just took it to us tonight, Cowboys linebacker Keith Brooking said. I think sometimes in this game, things will snow ball and that happened to us tonight.
The Eagles 239-yard margin is their second-biggest ever against Dallas. They outgained Dallas by 258 yards in the 2000 opener at Texas Stadium.
The Eagles recorded 31 first downs -- fourth-most in team history -- and allowed just 12.
Michael Vick enjoyed his first truly brilliant performance of the year, completing 21 of 28 passes for 279 yards and touchdown passes to Brent Celek and Jeremy Maclin to go with 50 rushing yards. In the face of Dallass constant blitzing, Vick used the middle of the field, didnt complete a pass longer than 24 yards, and played mistake free. His 75 percent completion percentage was second best of his career, his best in nine years.
Mike played the quarterback position extremely well tonight, Mornhinweg said. He was really good against the blitz tonight. He did just a magnificent job tonight with that. He has come a long way playing that quarterback position at a high level.
McCoy, continuing to assert himself as the best tailback in football, battered the Cowboys top-ranked rush defense for 185 yards on 30 carries.
McCoys 185 yards are second most by an Eagle in the last 30 years, behind only Duce Staleys 201 at Dallas on opening day in 2000. Staley is now one of McCoys coaches. Its also the most rushing yards against the Cowboys since Tampas Warrick Dunn had 210 in 2000.
Celek enjoyed his best receiving game of the year, with seven catches for 94 yards and a touchdown. Jason Avant (5 for 74) and Jeremy Maclin (3 for 54, TD) were Vicks other primary targets.
As long as we keep the ball, its going to be hard to beat us, Peters said. When we give the ball away, its a different story.
Defensively, the Eagles kept Romo off balance most of the night, pressuring him consistently without blitzing. Jason Babin had two more sacks -- No. 8 and 9 this year -- and Trent Cole and Trevor Laws each had a sack.
The defense never let Romo get comfortable. He didnt complete a pass to either Miles Austin or Dez Bryant until the Eagles led by 24 points early in the third quarter. The secondary also excelled with outstanding coverage and tackling on the Cowboys numerous weapons.
The Eagles have allowed just 20 points in their last two games. Last time they won consecutive games and gave up a combined 20 or fewer points was in 2004, with a 28-6 win over the Redskins and a 27-6 over the Giants.
It felt like we played better, said Nnamdi Asomugha, who picked up his second interception (see story) and helped limit Jason Witten to four catches for 28 yards. The fact that were further into it now and are more comfortable with the defense, were able to show what we can do.
E-mail Reuben Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org