Banged-up Eagles fall short against the Cowboys on Christmas eve

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ARLINGTON, TX – DECEMBER 24: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) looks downfield for an open receiver during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 24, 2022 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire)

The hopes of a Philadelphia Eagles sweep against the Cowboys have been put on hold for one more year at least.

Gardner Minshew threw for over 300 yards but the Eagles turned the ball over four times en route to Dallas winning on Christmas eve 40-34.

The absence of MVP candidate Jalen Hurts was too much to overcome for Nick Sirianni’s group which fell to 13-2 on the season and will have an opportunity to clinch both the NFC East and the #1 seed next week.

Eagles vs Cowboys recap

In a matchup pitting two of the top-scoring offenses and lockdown defenses in the game against each other, the first half was full of fireworks. Philadelphia jumped out to an early 10-0 lead thanks to an opening drive field goal and a pick-six from Josh Sweat. The Eagles would give up two 10-point leads though.

After his early miscue that resulted in a pick-six from Josh Sweat, Dak Prescott would catch fire completing 11 straight passes (14/15) and leading two scoring drives for a 14-10 edge. A slew of second-quarter field goals would give the Eagles a 20-17 lead at the half without many key players.

The Eagles would jump out to a 27-17 second-half lead thanks to a touchdown from DeVonta Smith who surpassed the 1,000-yard mark on the season for the first time in his career. Smith would later score a second touchdown to give Philadelphia a 34-27 lead, but the defense gave up a 3rd and 30 ultimately leading to a second touchdown from CeeDee Lamb and a tie at 34.

A Minshew interception and a Miles Sanders fumble in the final five minutes would lead to the loss, and ultimately ignore what was an impressive showing from the Eagles backup quarterback, as Dallas would get two field goals to pull away from the win.

Gardner Minshew went 24-40 passing for 355 yards and two scores. His last drive got as far to the Dallas 20 before the Eagles turned the ball over on downs with three straight incomplete passes.

Philadelphia is back in action next Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans won Saturday as well which keeps them alive for the NFC South race.

Game Notes

  • Jalen Hurts missed Week 16’s contest with a sprained shoulder. Jay Glazer and Adam Schefter both reported before the game that Hurts may not be 100% for Week 17, but the Eagles’ franchise quarterback will be pushing to play.
  • Hurts was not the only injured starter for the Eagles on Saturday. Slot corner Avonte Maddox suffered a toe injury after sacking Prescott on the third drive of the game, and Jordan Davis suffered a head injury late in the second quarter. Both players did not return to the game. Lane Johnson would later leave the game with an injury of his own as well and did not return.
  • With Avonte Maddox out, Dak Prescott torched the Eagles zone defense. Prescott went 19-19 passing against the zone for over 200 yards and two scores heading into the final quarter alone. Jonathan Gannon struggled as a hole to guard Prescott who threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns.

Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire