The Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles, meanwhile, share top spot in the division with a record and collide in a potentially crucial matchup on Sunday Night Football this week. After winning their first three games, the Cowboys looked on course to become the first team to win back-to-back divisional titles since the Eagles took four in a row between and Over the last three weeks, however, the wheels have fallen off Dallas' bandwagon in spectacular fashion.
But after blowing the doors off their first three opponents, the Cowboys got shut down by the Saints in Week 4, saw their comeback attempt stall against the Packers in Week 5, and couldn't get untracked against the Jets in Week 6.
On Sunday night against the division rival Philadelphia Eagles, in a game where the winner would grab hold of first place in the NFC East, the Cowboys looked like that team from the first three weeks of the season again.
Their biggest playmakers all made big plays. They were shifting and motioning and being creative and making the Eagles look silly. The offensive line gave Dak Prescott plenty of time, and he spent most of the night firing the ball to open receivers.
Ezekiel Elliott made what had been arguably the best run defense in the league in the league look paper-thin. The Cowboys had six drives in the first half, and they turned five of them into points.
The Eagles, meanwhile, turned the ball over on their first two possessions of the game and after scoring a touchdown on their third drive, gained only 21 yards on 12 plays over their final three drives before halftime, falling into a hole. Things did not get much better for Philadelphia after the break.
The Cowboys saw their opening drive of the second half stall out, but after the two teams traded field goals, the Eagles decided they were going to start turning the ball over again.
Three consecutive Eagles possessions ended with them giving the ball to the Cowboys, and that was more than enough to let Dallas ice the game away. In the end, Jerry Jones' boys walked away with a win. Here are a few more things to know about this game.
Why the Cowboys won A very fast start, and a thorough finish.
Despite not receiving the opening kickoff, the Cowboys staked themselves to a lead just over six minutes into the game. They forced fumbles on each of the Eagles' first two possessions of the game, and turned both ensuing drives into touchdowns within eight combined plays.
It helped that they converted each of the two third downs they faced on their first drive, with Dak Prescott gaining eight yards on a QB sneak and then Tavon Austin finding the end zone on an incredibly well-designed option play more on that below.
The Dallas defense kept pressure on Carson Wentz throughout the night, including deep into the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys also got three more turnovers from the Eagles in the second half, with Xavier Woods pocketing an interception, Kerry Hyder recovering a fumble and Sean Lee nearly getting a pick on a fourth-down pass that turned into a turnover on downs.
Why the Eagles lost The aforementioned five turnovers; oh, and their defense is an outright disaster. Dak Prescott got greedy and threw a silly interception on a deep ball to Tavon Austin in double coverage, but outside of that, he got essentially whatever he wanted against Philadelphia's flammable secondary.
Prescott was 21 of 27 for yards and the most wide-open touchdown toss you'll see in your entire life, and he also carried five times for 30 yards and an additional score. The rushing touchdown was the 21st of his career, a Cowboys quarterback record.
He'd previously been tied with the great Roger Staubach, but Prescott now owns the title just 55 games into his career. Amari Cooper roasted each of the Eagles' corners at one point or another, and it seemed like Michael Gallup could have had a monster game if he and Prescott were on the same page.
The Philly defense's saving grace throughout this season had been its ability to stop the run, but Ezekiel Elliott 22 carries, yards, TD ran right through them literally , in some cases , Prescott made several plays with his legs, Tony Pollard turned two surefire multi-yard losses into chunk gains and had a first-down run taken away by penalty, and the Cowboys got Austin into open space for a rushing touchdown as well.
This defense is in a bad way right now. Turning point The game was threatening to become a blowout within mere minutes thanks to two big plays from a Dallas defense that had been struggling to force turnovers for years before Sunday night.
On the Eagles' first drive of the game, Dallas Goedert caught a checkdown pass from Carson Wentz, only to be met ahead of the first-down marker by both Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith, who combined to strip the ball out of his hands.