Four Downs: A Physical Philly Defense Stops the Dallas Streak

The Dallas Cowboys dropped their first game since week one of this season to their hated division rivals, the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. Even with three interceptions tonight, Cooper Rush has honestly been a perfect filler for the injured Dak Prescott during his recovery. The Dallas Defense has been a league-best, and all signs pointed to this streak continuing.

The Eagles had other plans, but that’s okay. There’s still plenty of season to stamp a place atop the NFC. Here are four key takeaways from this loss.

Cooper Rush never looked shaken up…until tonight

Until this game, the fifth-year quarterback out of Central Michigan never looked rattled, and he NEVER looked like he lacked confidence in himself or his teammates. Part of that could be credited to mentorship from the injured Dak Prescott, and part of it could be that he’s just built for the bright lights. Outside of the interceptions, he has been nearly flawless in the last several weeks. But the Eagles defense did something that Dallas didn’t seem to get used to. 

Big hits and bigger plays

I think the physicality that the Eagles played with not only matched but at times, surpassed the physicality that Dallas plays with. The first half showed a Cowboys team that looked absolutely lost at times, even with the near comeback drives after halftime. I really think that Philly’s physically and even somewhat mentally tough play, led by defensive back Darius “Big Play” Slay, came as a shock for America’s Team, but it was definitely in the game plan for Philly. 

The Cowboys are STILL in the best position for their success:

Dak Prescott should be back in action next week, and at this point, they’re sitting at 4-2 with the franchise QB coming back. I’m still taking a rested Dak at 70-80% over a lot of NFL quarterbacks at 100%. The offense looks good and should further gel better with Prescott back. Not only that, but I would look for the defense to find its opportunity even more in the next couple of weeks. 

4-2 is right where Dallas should want to be:

With the way the Eagles are playing, I doubt if anyone knocks them too far off course, unless there is something awful that happens. So that means the second seed in the NFC is still very much up for grabs. Dallas is a few situational happenings from completely locking that up. So, Cowboys fans, embrace that fourth slot in the NFC. The playoffs are very much in the grasp of your team. 

With two straight prime opportunities against struggling NFC North teams, the Detroit Lions (1-4) and Chicago Bears (2-5), the streak can be revived before a week 9 bye. QB1 Dak Prescott should be active, and both of the upcoming teams struggle against the run, so Zeke and Pollard should have big games, and the defense will be hungry to make up for this week’s letdown. 

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