Instant analysis: Eagles win primetime slop fest against Cowboys

NFL: DEC 22 Cowboys at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 22: Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Guard Matt Pryor (69) heads to the locker room during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagle on December 22, 2019, at Lincoln Financial Filed in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

I have no idea what I just watched, but I know I never want to watch it again. Somehow, the Philadelphia Eagles were able to get past the shorthanded Dallas Cowboys. They didn’t make it easy for themselves…in fact, they made it as difficult as possible. However, for now, they remain the Kings of the NFC East Castle (shack). Here’s everything you need to know.

Carson Wentz wobbled

After looking relatively strong for the last few weeks, old habits resurfaced. Carson Wentz turned the ball over 3 times against a secondary that had a single interception all season long. Not only that, but he also fumbled brutally on one occasion, and again on a second that had other factors.

Wentz did rebound to throw an absolutely gorgeous touchdown to Travis Fulgham and a similarly luxurious pass on the 2-pt conversion that followed, but completing 15/27 passes for 123 yards really isn’t a great look at all.

Wentz simply had to be better against a defense that has been atrocious all season long and he will need to improve after the bye if the Eagles are to have any real shot at a postseason run.

Brandon Graham destined for Pro Bowl honors?

On the plus side, Brandon Graham’s tendency to make a ground-shaking and game-changing play remained. The 32-year old had a huge sack and forced fumble on Ben DiNucci early on to turn the tide of the game.

He now has 7 sacks on the season and is well on course to break double digits for the first time in his career. Will this also be the first year he earns a long-overdue pro bowl nod?

Eagles Linebackers did well

It’s amazing what happens when Nate Gerry isn’t on the field. Although not by choice and more of an unfortunate coincidence, Schwartz was forced to rely on the returning T.J Edwards in place of his beloved linebacker, and the results were incredible.

Neither Edwards, Riley, or Singleton were perfect, but each had great moments. T.J Edwards forced a late fumble and led the team in tackles, while Alex Singleton rallied to 8 and picked up a QB hit.

The Eagles might not be inundated with linebacker depth, but there is some clear developmental diamonds in the rough if they dig a little deeper.

Eagles Defense was…okay?

It has to be said, while they were aggravating at times, the defense played extremely well. Were they helped by woeful QB play by the Cowboys? Yes. Does that negate the work they did to nullify the terrible QB play on their own team that often left Dallas with a short field? Not at all.

Fletcher Cox had the kind of game fans have been begging to see all season long, becoming an absolute menace in the backfield once more.

There is hope for this defense…kind of.

Minor quibble

We can’t ignore the fact that Darius Slay got injured and so did his undrafted rookie replacement. This left the Eagles with 2 healthy cornerbacks on the field. The point of the matter is that cluster injuries have hit the secondary again and the Eagles released two promising young corners in Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas, who have both kicked on and found greener grass.

If the Eagles are without Slay and 5’9 Avonte Maddox has to play CB1 with Nickell Robey-Coleman on the other side…I am not ready for the bloodbath.

But seriously…what?

The Cowboys yeeted a ball into their own endzone at one point, conceding a safety in an attempt to kick an onside kick which predictably failed.

The Eagles’ play-calling was absolutely shambolic. Boston Scott had 45 yards on his opening 3 carries. The Eagles then followed a pretty predictable pattern of plays and decided to try and implement Corey Clement into the game. That was a bag of mixed success.

Overall, the game was just an absolute trainwreck from start to finish. It felt like a preseason game. But to top it off, on a fumble that should’ve been declared dead when Vinny Curry held it, Rodney McLeod took it to the house for a touchdown. Absolute chaos. For a team often plagued by bad ref calls, it’s refreshing to see one go the other way.

Jalen Reagor looked surprisingly comfortable considering how long he’d missed. Upon his return to the offense, Reagor recorded his first ever NFL touchdown. Doing so against your team’s biggest rival is always a big vibe.

The Eagles have won two consecutive games, even if those games were primetime catastrophes. They lead the race for the NFC East…whatever that means…and this absolute train-wreck burns on. We cannot and will not stop watching so long as it does.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire