By David Helman
FOX Sports activities Dallas Cowboys Author
If Cooper Rush has been writing a fairy story this previous month, he ran right into a inexperienced ogre on Sunday evening.
This was the truth many had been afraid of when Rush changed Dak Prescott within the beginning lineup a month in the past. Credit score Dallas’ backup quarterback for steering this crew to four-straight wins, however this 26-17 loss in Philadelphia was a harsh dose of actuality.
“We have to be cleaner,” stated Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy. “We’ve got some younger guys, and we’re nonetheless rising in some areas on offense. We knew that coming in right here.”
Proper from the bounce, the Eagles had been capable of exploit that offensive inexperience in a approach that different groups have not been capable of. All the Cowboys’ first 5 possessions spanned fewer than 20 yards. Two of these resulted in punts, two extra resulted in interceptions.
By the top of an abysmal first half, which noticed Philadelphia go to the locker room up 20-3, Rush’s quarterback ranking of 1.0 was tied for the worst within the NFL over the past seven seasons. It is good timing, then, that the Cowboys’ plan — or Dak Prescott’s, anyway — is for the franchise quarterback to finish his absence subsequent week in opposition to Detroit. Requested about it by reporters after this sport, Prescott stated as a lot. “Yeah, for positive, that is my plan,” he stated about beginning in opposition to the Lions.
None of that is meant to dogpile on Rush, who must be counseled for serving to the Cowboys to a four-game profitable streak after Prescott’s harm within the season opener. He even rebounded within the second half to information the Cowboys on two landing drives, going 8-of-10 for 96 yards and a landing on these two possessions.
What occurred subsequent clearly spelled out the story of this sport, although. The Eagles, having watched their 20-3 lead slip to 20-17 since halftime, took the sphere with 14:32 remaining within the fourth quarter and went to work. Whereas taking nearly eight minutes off the clock, they ran 13 performs — the primary 11 of them runs — and broke the Cowboys’ will.
It wasn’t Jalen Hurts’ most interesting evening as a passer, but it surely did not should be. Hurts picked up two essential first downs along with his ft on the drive, and he capped issues off with a 22-yard catch and run to A.J. Brown, adopted by a brief cross to a wide-open DeVonta Smith ultimately zone.
The Cowboys’ reply was a four-play possession, rudely lower brief when Rush was hit by Brandon Graham on a deep try, making a wobbling underthrow that was picked off by Chauncey Gardner-Johnson — his third choose of the evening and the top of the aggressive portion of the sport.
By the top of the evening, the Eagles had been credited with 12 cross breakups along with the three interceptions. “I have been in lots of nice secondaries. That is one in all them, for positive,” stated Eagles cornerback Darius Slay. “We have guys who actually can get their hand on the soccer. We’ll proceed to maintain attempting to thrive in it, as a result of clearly turnovers had been the distinction immediately.”
It is a distinction from the start of the win streak, when Rush piloted the Cowboys 33 yards to a walk-off subject purpose in opposition to Cincinnati. And it wasn’t even a matter of missing steadiness, as Dallas really rushed for 134 yards behind a workhorse effort from Ezekiel Elliott.
There’s additionally the truth that the Cowboys’ protection, whereas strong, wasn’t fairly the nightmare unit of the previous three weeks. True, they did sack Hurts 4 occasions, and so they solely allowed the Eagles’ spectacular run sport to common 3.5 yards per carry. However they did not handle a takeaway after forcing seven within the final three video games, and Philadelphia all the time managed to have a solution in crunch time, changing 43% of their third downs and extra fourth down.
In the end, it is not sufficient — notably on an evening when the Cowboys had been minus-three in turnover differential, to not point out sloppy with an unpleasant 10 penalties on the evening.
“I do not really feel like we should always cling our heads on a sport like this, figuring out that we performed powerful,” stated DeMarcus Lawrence.
Having totally dissected Rush’s struggles on the evening, it is solely honest to wrap issues up with some apparent reward. The Cowboys have now reached the purpose of the season the place Prescott’s return is nearer to actuality than hypothesis. Even when he would not wind up enjoying in opposition to Detroit, the day is drawing close to.
How many individuals, together with these contained in the group, actually believed this may be the truth Prescott got here again to? A 4-2 document, together with a 2-1 mark inside the NFC East? The quantity cannot be very excessive, and Rush deserves loads of credit score for conserving the season on observe. It is simply that going through one of the full groups within the league has a approach of highlighting your deficiencies — notably at a place as essential as quarterback. Luckily for the Cowboys, they only is likely to be getting theirs again.
David Helman covers the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports activities. He beforehand spent 9 seasons protecting the Cowboys for the crew’s official web site. In 2018, he gained a regional Emmy for his position in producing “Dak Prescott: A Household Reunion” concerning the quarterback’s time at Mississippi State. Comply with him on Twitter @davidhelman_.
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Publish date: 2022-10-17 10:34:09
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