Dallas Cowboys Game Standouts, Notes, and Observations


In the biggest game of the season, the Dallas Cowboys found a way to conquer the Philadelphia Eagles, mere days after the Eagles embarrassed the Cowboys at home on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys entered the game on the outside looking in and left the game as the division leader with only two games remaining.

The Cowboys are far from a lock to clinch a playoff spot, and will still need to beat both Andrew Luck and the playoff bound Colts, and the Washington Redskins, who have already bested the boys once. Analysis and improvement is required as these Cowboys look to keep the momentum going as they charge closer to the playoffs.

Here are game notes and observations from last night’s enormous win in Philly:

  • As expected, the Eagles played a ton of Single High Safety against the Cowboys. They were clearly intent on shutting down the run and forcing Tony Romo to beat them with his arm. Tony obliged.
  • FB Tyler Clutts had one of his better days in my opinion. This is one of those occasions where I disagree with the fellas over at Pro Football Focus (who gave him a negative grade). I watched his 16 plays over and over again and was generally pleased with what I saw. He was breaking through to the next level and getting his hat on LBs and DBs almost every time. The problem was the O-line wasn’t opening the holes to make Clutts’ blocks very useful. I think Clutts was penalized a little for the O-lines troubles last night. Clutts finally looked like a player worthy of a roster spot. That’s good to see heading into the final weeks of the season.
  • Using RB Lance Dunbar on 2nd and short situations was brilliant. Dunbar is a high risk/high reward runner who will get stuffed on one play and break a long run on another play. If he gets stuffed on 2nd down, the Cowboys can bring in Murray to pick up the tough yards on 3rd. It was a planned move by the Cowboys that could pay off if they continue to do it.
  • Inside blitzing and creative stunting were all working for the Cowboys but they seemed to get a little more conservative defensively as the game progressed. It’s a natural reaction after building a lead, but it almost cost the Cowboys in a big way.

  • DL Fletcher Cox was amazing for the Eagles. He clowned Ronald Leary once again and even had his way with Zack Martin from time to time.
  • Dec 14, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) scores a touchdown and is congratulated by center Travis Frederick (72) during the second half of a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 38-27. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

    C Travis Frederick had his best game of the year. In a generally down year for Frederick, it was good to see him play so well against such great competition. If he can continue his play, this line could be unstoppable.

  • DT Tyrone Crawford and DT Nick Hayden were manhandled most of the night. It didn’t get much better when Melton came in for Crawford either. The only interior lineman to do well was Terrell McClain who had consistent penetration and was rarely sealed. More snaps for McClain!
  • RT Jermey Parnell looked pretty stiff when playing the second half for the injured Doug Free. Parnell was the better pass blocker while Free was the much better run blocker. Parnell has skills and shouldn’t be too much of a fall-off should Doug Free miss time.
  • The O-line missed a lot of back-side blocks, allowing DeMarco Murray to be chased down from behind on multiple occasions. The Cowboys need to be mindfull of a speed blitzer on the backside or Murray may find himself getting hit from behind when his ball security is at its worst.

    Brandon “Mutha Flipping” Carr. He’s just so damn bad I’m sick of wasting time grading his play. He really is one of the worst CBs in the league. No excuses for his play. He’s untalented and makes foolish mistakes. Not much else can be said.

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