This afternoon the Eagles capped off their 2016-2017 season with a 27-13 home victory over division-rival Dallas. Realistically, today Dallas had nothing to play for. They already had not only clinched the NFC East division title but the number-one seed in the conference (13-3). Had they won today they would’ve set a team record for single-season wins.
Dallas Pro-Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott, who has a 23-4 touchdown-interception ratio this season, played just 11 snaps and only the first quarter. On the day, Prescott went 4/8, averaged 4.6 yards-per-attempt and neither threw a touchdown pass or an interception.
He was replaced by former All-Pro Tony Romo, who hadn’t played since November of 2015 vs. Carolina. Today he went 3/4, including a 15-yard strike to Terrance Williams, who scored his fourth touchdown of the season.
Despite their playoff hopes being crushed a few-weeks ago, the Eagles came out to at least give the home crowd a good game and a respectable performance.
Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz played solid, throwing two touchdown passes to zero interceptions. With his zero interceptions in 43 pass attempts, he didn’t get picked off for the first time in the previous seven games.
Despite the win and the protection of the ball, Wentz — as a huge tendency of his this season — made more than a few erratic throws, not planting his feet and throwing the ball high over wide-open receivers. A strong example of that was an overthrown ball while on Dallas’ three-yard line to tight end Zach Ertz, which would’ve culminated in a touchdown catch.
Speaking of Ertz, he had one of the best performances for an Eagles’ tight end in recent memory. He caught 13 passes, gained 109 receiving yards and caught two touchdown passes. Ironically Ertz holds the Eagles’ single-game record for receptions, with 15 catches at Washington in 2014. With his 13 receptions today, in 61 career games, Ertz had his second career multi-touchdown game.
During the game, Wentz went on to set the NFL rookie completions record (379). Former Eagle and current Minnesota Viking Sam Bradford set the record in 2010 with St. Louis (370). This season, up until today’s game, since Wentz and the Eagles’ hot start (3-0), they went just 3-9.
On the left side Wentz was solid, completing 61 percent (8/13) of his passes and not turning it over. Despite his erratic throws on the day and his failure to thread the needle to wide-open receivers, it was a solid season finale for him. He has a lot to work to do and film to analyze within the off-season, including overthrown pass attempts and accuracy, but his future is certainly promising.
With right tackle Lane Johnson back, perhaps Wentz will have even more space and opportunities to maneuver around the field.
Player of The Game
Eagles’ defensive end Brandon Graham arguably should’ve made the NFC Pro Bowl this season, but regardless of that he played solid this game and season. During the game he was all over the field, continuously pressuring backup Mark Sanchez.
Graham pressured Dallas quarterbacks on five occasions, four of which were pressures. This season Graham had five or more pressures in a game on nine occasions.
News and Notes
-Eagles’ season-ticket holder and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim MVP Mike Trout, who grew up 45 minutes from Philadelphia, was seen in the first row behind the end-zone.
-The last five seasons the Eagles are 4-6 against Dallas, including only 1-4 at home. The last time the Eagles have swept the Cowboys in a season occurred in 2011. The last time that they’ve swept Dallas in a winning season was 2006.
During that 2006 season Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett was the Dolphins’ quarterbacks’ coach under Nick Saban. Meanwhile, Doug Pederson was a Louisiana high-school head coach.
-Pederson is 6-4 in successful challenges this season. Jason Garrett is a career 18-13 in the same scenario.
|Passing 1st downs||9||14|
|Rushing 1st downs||4||8|
|1st downs from penalties||2||2|
|3rd down efficiency||5-12||6-14|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||0-1|
|Yards per Play||3.7||4.6|
|Yards per pass||3.9||5.2|
|Yards per rush||3.3||3.8|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-2||2-4|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|