The Philadelphia Eagles bested the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, 24-22. With the win, the Eagles wrapped up the NFL regular season and locked up the NFC East. That means they'll enter the playoffs as a No. 3 seed, and will host the New Orleans Saints next week.
It was a hard-fought game, though Philadelphia led the entire game after a field goal got the scoring started in the first quarter. The Cowboys fought a close one, getting within one point in the third quarter, at 17-16. But the Eagles managed a touchdown late in the fourth to take the eight-point lead. Dallas fought back, though, and managed a deep touchdown to Dez Bryant, but the Cowboys were unsuccessful converting for two points.
Philadelphia took back over, but only drained the clock to the two-minute warning. The Cowboys regained possession and started to drive ... but Kyle Orton was picked off by cornerback Brandon Boykin, sealing the game for the Eagles.
Tony Romo was placed on injured reserve with a back injury prior to Sunday's game, so Orton took over as the starter. He had a decent game, completing 30 of his 46 passes for 358 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions . Nick Foles continued his solid play for the Eagles, putting up 263 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Philadelphia jumped to an early 10-point lead in the first half, off an Alex Henery 47-yard field goal and a three-yard touchdown pass to running back LeSean McCoy. Dallas responded with a touchdown of its own, as a 39-yard pass to rookie receiver Terrance Williams set them up in Eagles territory. Orton managed to find tight end Gavin Escobar for a 17-yard touchdown to bring the game within three points.
Unfortunately for Dallas, after forcing a Philadelphia punt, Orton was intercepted near mid-field when throwing to Jason Witten. That set the Eagles up in Dallas territory, and Foles found Brent Celek on back-to-back plays, one for 35 yards and one for a 14-yard touchdown to put the Eagles up, 17-7.
The Cowboys slowly fought their way back, though. Dallas kicked a field goal at the end the second quarter, and Dan Bailey sunk his second of the day, from 43 yards out, near the beginning of the third to make it 17-13. The Dallas defense once again made a stop, this time forcing a fumble on Foles with an 11-yard sack. Bailey sunk a 36-yard field goal to bring Dallas within one point.
Late in the third quarter, the Eagles got started on a long drive that took them all the way to the goal line. The drive started near mid-field, and three first downs later, the Eagles were at the six-yard line. DeSean Jackson was held out of the end zone on a third-down pass, but he took it to the one-yard line. After a Dallas timeout negated what might have been a Philadelphia touchdown, the Eagles called a draw on fourth down, but Foles was stopped for no gain.
The Cowboys were unable to capitalize, and Philadelphia found itself in Dallas territory again on its its next possession. And this time, the Eagles scored, converting a 3rd and 1 at the Dallas 10 on a McCoy run, and running it in from six yards out with Bryce Brown to go up 24-16.
Dallas fought back, and after a technical error with the game clock, seemed to be out of it before the aforementioned deep pass to Bryant that went for a 32-yard touchdown. The Cowboys couldn't convert for two points, though. After stopping Philadelphia on the following drive, Orton's interception sealed it, as the Eagles were able to kill the clock on the second attempt.
Fantasy studs and duds
If you stretched your fantasy season to its limit, there were definitely some performances worth noting in this one. Eagles running back LeSean McCoy had 27 carries for 131 yards and one receiving touchdown. Dallas tight end Jason Witten had 12 receptions for 135 yards, while Eagles tight end Brent Celek managed three receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Tight end Jason Witten was banged up a little bit late in the game, but there were otherwise no significant injuries in this game.
Did they cover?
The Eagles opened as narrow 2-point favorites for the game, but the line widened to a 7.5-point margin on some books, according to OddsShark. Whether or not they covered depends on when you managed to get in, but they did not manage the wider of the two.
The playoffs! Philadelphia made it in, and as the No. 3 seed, will play host to the New Orleans Saints in the Wildcard Round. Dallas will go home.