|Date of game: 12/14/2014
Recap: Philadelphia vs. Dallas
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Dez Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys moved into the driver's seat in the NFC East after knocking off the Philadelphia Eagles 38-27 on Sunday night.
The slugfest had all the elements of a heavyweight bout, with the Cowboys jumping out to a 21-0 lead and the Eagles countering with 24 straight points.
Lincoln Financial Field was quickly quieted, however, as Dallas (10-4) dealt the knockout blow with 17 of the final 20 points to seize control in the two- team race atop the standings.
The outcome was a stark contrast from the Thanksgiving meeting just over two weeks ago -- a lopsided 33-10 Eagles victory that ended with Bryant champing at the bit for the rematch in postgame interviews.
The star receiver delivered on his word, as he caught all three of Tony Romo's touchdown passes and finished with 114 yards on six catches.
DeMarco Murray carried the ball a workmanlike 31 times for 81 yards and two scores, while Romo completed 22-of-31 passes for 265 yards.
"We had to play our best game to come out and beat these guys," Romo said. "I'm proud of the effort and the way the guys played."
The Eagles (9-5) have dropped consecutive games for the first time all season after losing to the Seahawks at home last week. They turned it over four times and only held the ball for 18 minutes.
Mark Sanchez was picked off twice and threw for just 252 yards, while Chris Polk scored on a pair of short touchdown runs in defeat.
Bryant pulled down a pair of 22-yard catches on Dallas' go-ahead drive in the third quarter, including one down to the Philadelphia 2-yard line. Murray barrelled into the end zone on the next play, and Cowboys safety J.J. Wilcox made a juggling interception off a tipped pass on the final play of the frame.
Similar to his second touchdown catch, Bryant sprinted past Bradley Fletcher down the sideline and brought in Romo's 25-yard pass for a 35-24 Cowboys lead with 12:48 remaining.
Josh Huff quickly got the Eagles into Dallas territory with a 44-yard catch, but the drive stalled and Philadelphia settled for a 43-yard Cody Parkey field goal.
A three-and-out gave the hosts the ball back, but Brent Celek lost a fumble at the Philadelphia 34. Celek was originally ruled down by contact, but replay showed Wilcox knocked the ball loose and the Cowboys won the challenge.
Dan Bailey's 49-yard field goal with 4:37 to play made it a two-possession game, and the Dallas defense secured the win.
A pair of sacks on Sanchez forced a punt, and Bruce Carter came away with an interception on Philadelphia's final drive.
"We can't turn the football over and expect to win football games," Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said.
A miscommunication between Huff and the rest of the Eagles' return team led to a turnover seconds into the game. Dallas' short kickoff bounced at the 20-yard line, and no one wearing Eagles green got their hands on it. The Cowboys recovered the loose ball, and five plays later Murray punched it over the goal line from the one.
Philadelphia went three-and-out on its first two possessions and netted zero yards in the opening quarter.
It was a different story on the other sideline, as Dallas embarked on a 16- play, 88-yard march that took up over eight minutes of the first frame. Bryant capped the trek with a 4-yard touchdown catch over Fletcher.
Romo found Bryant again early in the second quarter, only this time Bryant streaked down the right sideline and hauled in a perfectly-thrown 26-yard TD pass.
The 21-0 deficit was gone before 10 minutes were played in the third quarter.
Polk got the Eagles on the board with a 1-yard plunge with 8:32 left in the first half, and Parkey's 47-yard kick cut the deficit to 21-10 going into the break.
Jeremy Maclin's 72-yard catch-and-run set up another Polk 1-yard score midway through the third, and Vinny Curry had a strip-sack of Romo on the next series.
Philadelphia took over at the Dallas 14, and Darren Sproles gave the Eagles a 24-21 lead with a 1-yard run off the right side.Game Notes
The Cowboys are 20-2 when Murray has 20 or more carries ... Dallas improved to
7-0 on the road. Every other NFL team has at least two road losses ... Eagles
running back LeSean McCoy was held to 64 yards on 16 carries ... Maclin led
the Eagles with 98 yards on four catches.