Fans who were calling for Cooper Rush as a replacement have hopefully seen the light. In the past he done enough to win while the defense did the majority of heaving lifting. Sunday night his efforts were simply not enough. One of the worst first halves I’ve seen from a Dallas Cowboys quarterback in a long time.
A stagnant 1st half was too much to overcome as the Dallas Cowboys lose 26-17.
3 of 9 passing, 16 yards, 2 interceptions, 2.8 passer rating. That was Cooper Rush’s first half numbers. It is typically impossible for a team to overcome such a performance. Such was the case last night. Rush finished the game with a touchdown pass, three interceptions and 37.8 passer rating.
The Dallas Cowboys still managed to win the second half, limiting the Eagles to only six points. The run game really showed out, especially Ezekiel Elliott. This is the best he has looked since 2019. He’s getting that extra yard constantly.
Before the game today Elliott was 13th in Yards After Contact (212) according to PFF. This is ahead of players like Leonard Fournette or Austin Ekeler. Kellen Moore is balancing the run and pass game perfectly, and even when the Cowboys were down 20, Moore wasn’t putting too much pressure on Rush to try and lead a comeback.
Miles Sanders and Co. had success on the ground as have other RB groups and that is the one piece the defense will need to continue to refine. The Dallas Cowboys came in as the 25th graded rush defense according to PFF (54.3), and did not do much change that narrative.
There weren’t any rushes for greater than 13 yards but the Eagles continued to chip away with rushes of 3-4 yards. The defense would bend and bend and eventually break. Constantly on the field the defense was under duress all game long and an effective ground game is an indicator of a tired defense.
Despite the loss, there is a lot to be happy about. Missing Dak Prescott, Dalton Schultz and Tyron Smith the Cowboys hang on to the heir apparent and lose by nine. Despite throwing three ugly interceptions, the Cowboys only lose by nine. Not to mention, the Cowboys still own the third best record in the NFC despite losing the franchise in week one.
The NFC feels wide open in my eyes. Tampa, Green Bay, and Los Angeles all look beatable and we’ve already shown we can defeat the Giants on their turf. The loss tonight hurt but look what we have to look forward to…
That’s worth being excited for. Prescott is coming off a season where he set the Cowboys single-season touchdown record. He gets to start fresh against a team that allows 7.7 yards per pass attempt to opponents and 261 passing yards per game both 28th and 27th in the NFL. This is lined up to be a solid “get right” game for Prescott.
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While the result of the game was not perfect, there are a lot of positives to take away from this game. The NFC still feels open and the Cowboys have the ability to take it.