There probably weren't too many people who thought the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles would be a defensive battle before the Cowboys pulled off a 17-3 win over the Eagles on Sunday. The two teams averaged a combined 58.2 points and allowed a combined 55.2 points, yet after one half it was only 3-0.
Even with the Cowboys' defensive unit nursing quite a few injuries, Dallas harried and hassled Eagles quarterback Nick Foles until he was knocked out with a head injury. Matt Barkley made his NFL debut one to forget, coming in to throw for 129 yards and three interceptions. It was the ninth straight home loss for the Eagles.
Dawn Macelli with Blogging the Boys points out the rest of the NFL could be in trouble if the Cowboys figure out how to put it all together at the same time.
Imagine a team that can run or pass with something approaching equal efficiency, while at the same time having a defense that shut down its opponents either both pressure and coverage while also limiting the run. Throw in some quality performances out the special teams, and you have a team that can go toe to toe with anyone in the game right now. At this point, that still is wishful thinking, but there is little doubt that the coaches will continue to work at pulling it all together.
Perhaps soon we will see signs of the Cowboys doing just that, but for now they are still like going to a potluck dinner. We are going to get a little bit of everything; sometimes it will be good, sometimes bad, but most likely we will experience a little bit of both each time the Cowboys take the field.
Things get a bit tough for the Eagles in Week 8 because of the injury to Foles. Foles ended up concussed after Week 7, and Mike Kaye with Bleeding Green Nation was more than happy to lay the blame of the loss at the entire offense's feet.
Nick Foles: The second-year passer went 11-of-29 for 80 yard and zero scores. Those are Andrew Walters/Ryan Lindley numbers. It was a tough game for Foles, who Troy Aikman noted several times, that he seemed uncomfortable during the game after taking several hits. The hits frankly don't matter, as that is life in the NFL. He failed to throw with accuracy or consistency. While he was able to run the ball to some success, his day as a passer was horrific. He may not have turned the ball over, but he did allow for plenty of possessions to end without a score.
Matt Barkley: The rookie moved the ball okay, but his interceptions were awful. Barkley made several rookie throws and he just did not look like a professional out there. The most frightening thing with Vick out with an injury, is that Barkley is always one play away.
Chip Kelly: He did a poor job of play-calling when he went for a 60-yard field goal on 4th-and-1 with a timeout remaining. That was a clear lack of confidence in his offense, when he could have run a sneak with a 6-foot-6 quarterback and spiked the ball. He had an awkward half with his personnel and balance on offense. I understand the running game was bad, but he failed to stick with it when the passing game did not work.
The Eagles have a prime rebound game (and potential to finally win a game at home) against the New York Giants in Week 8. The Cowboys have another game on the road against the Detroit Lions in Week 8.