Grayson’s Grades: Eagles vs. Cowboys
PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Eagles struggled at times, but eventually put the Dallas Cowboys away and won 23-9. Rodney McLeod's fumble recovery for a touchdown in the fourth quarter appeared to seal the deal.
It was another poor performance for Carson Wentz who turned it over four times. The Eagles also struggled on fourth down conversions.
With the win, the Eagles improve to 3-4-1 and have a one and a half game lead over Washington for first in the division. They are also heading into a bye and hope to be a lot healthier on the other side of that.
It was an ugly win, but ugly wins beat pretty losses. However, ugly wins also equal messy report cards. With that in mind, here is the latest edition of Grayson's Grades:
Travis Fulgham - Fulgham continues to establish himself as a major player on this offense. He caught yet another touchdown pass from Wentz in this game. Fulgham also won numerous battles with very well run pass routes giving Wentz a window to throw the ball through. Fulgham caught six passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. He needs to continue to be a featured part of this passing attack.
Brandon Graham - Graham made sure he introduced himself to Ben Dinucci early in this game and was able to force a turnover. He sacked Dinucci and stripped it out while recovering it all by himself. Graham finished with four tackles, one sack, one quarterback hit and one fumble recovery.
T.J. Edwards - Edwards had a solid game. He did a good job of being around the ball a lot, especially as the Cowboys attempted to run the ball more in the second half. Edwards forced the fumble when Rodney McLeod recovered it and returned it for a touchdown. Edwards was the clear leading tackler on the team with 13 tackles. He added a sack, a tackle for a loss, a quarterback hit and a forced fumble.
Fletcher Cox - Cox had some tough battles on the line throughout the game. He fought through that to help make some plays. At times, he was the one chasing Ben Dinucci out of the pocket and to the sideline before throwing it away. Cox also managed to hit the Quarterback. In the end, he tallied three tackles, one sack, two tackles for a loss and two quarterback hits.
Jalen Reagor - This was Reagor's first game back after a thumb injury. The Eagles enjoyed having him back and Reagor made his presence felt. He did a great job of catching a pass near the goal line and making sure the ball crossed the plane for a touchdown. He had some other opportunities to bring it in but missed on timing with Wentz. I expect that will get better as Reagor becomes a more regular participant at practice. Reagor caught three passes for 16 yards and a touchdown.
Boston Scott - Scott did a good job of getting into space and racking up some nice yardage on the ground. He started off with a 20 yard run and seemed to take advantage of most of his opportunities after that. He had 63 yards on nine carries at halftime. Scott did not get many touches in the second half and finished with 15 carries for 70 yards. He added two receptions for nine yards.
Jim Schwartz - Schwartz did a good job of getting his defense into the backfield. They limited the amount of big plays allowed and kept the Cowboys out of the endzone the entire game. Schwartz saw his defense force a pair of turnovers including a defensive score by Rodney McLeod. The big key was keeping Dallas from scoring touchdowns and needs to do more of limiting those against future opponents.
Offensive Line - The offensive line had a mixed outing. There were times they got beat and gave up pressure on Wentz. There were also times they did some nice things, especially in run blocking. The running game was working due to some large holes opened up by this line. Jason Peters returned and made some decent blocks. Jordan Mailata whiffed on some blocks while filling in for Lane Johnson at right tackle. Jason Kelce was solid as usual.
Carson Wentz - Wentz once again held the ball trying to make plays and once again took unnecessary hits and sacks. This was another game with multiple turnovers by Wentz and all of that helped to keep points off the board for the Eagles while allowing the Cowboys to have opportunities to move the ball. I feel like a broken record, but Wentz looks more comfortable when he moves out of the pocket and uses his legs. He did give his receivers chances to make plays downfield, but some of his throws were just ugly. When Wentz does appear to be throwing it away, he still tries to fit it into a tight window on the sideline and even those come close to being intercepted. Evidently, he can beat the Cowboys despite turning it over four times. However, Wentz will not be able to beat many of the other teams on the Eagles schedule turning it over at that kind of frequency.
Doug Pederson - I disagreed with the choice to go for it on fourth down in the second quarter. I get that the Cowboys defense is not very good, but their offense is not that good either. Wouldn't it be better to pin them deep and let your defense go to work on Ben Dinucci? I also disagree with the third and fourth down play calls on that series. It makes me wonder if Pederson is thinking ahead to going for it on fourth down, because if he was, why not try running it on third down? Pederson again chose to go for it on fourth down and again failed to convert. It ultimately led to a Cowboys Field Goal and a 9-7 Dallas lead at the half. Pederson's play-calling once again lacked rhythm and when his offense could have strung together some first downs and put the game away late, they failed to move the chains and kept giving the ball back to the Cowboys.