The Dallas Cowboys have the pole position in the NFC East.
Dallas defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 41-21 in Monday's rivalry showdown at AT&T Stadium and improved to 2-1 on the season. Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Dalton Schultz led the way for the victors, who have won two games in a row and sit atop the division.
The Eagles struggled on both sides of the ball throughout the game and dropped to 1-2 with their second straight loss.
Notable Player Stats
- Dak Prescott, QB, DAL: 21-of-26 passing for 238 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs
- Ezekiel Elliott, RB, DAL: 17 carries for 95 yards, 2 TDs; 3 catches for 21 yards
- Dalton Schultz, TE, DAL: 6 catches for 80 yards, 2 TDs
- Jalen Hurts, QB, PHI: 25-of-39 passing for 326 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTS; 9 carries for 35 yards
- Zach Ertz, TE, PHI: 4 catches for 53 yards, 1 TD
Dak, Zeke Spearhead Dominant Showing for Cowboys
The Cowboys are loaded with offensive playmakers, but there were at least some question marks coming into this contest.
Michael Gallup was sidelined, Amari Cooper played through a cracked rib and Tony Pollard looked more explosive than Elliott during the last win over the Los Angeles Chargers. A first half that included a Philadelphia defensive touchdown when Fletcher Cox recovered a fumble in the end zone figured to bring more questions, but that was anything but the case.
Dallas had no trouble marching down the field, as both Pollard and Elliott ran hard between the tackles with burst and tight end Schultz made up for any concerns about wide receiver depth with a touchdown catch.
Elliott also scored twice in the first half, and the officials may have robbed the home team of more points when they questionably called Prescott short on a fourth-down quarterback sneak at the goal line.
It looked as if the offense could have used those points when it stalled on multiple possessions in the second half, but Prescott worked his magic again when the game was somewhat on the line in the fourth quarter and finished a 12-play drive by rolling out on fourth down and finding Cedrick Wilson in the end zone to all but ice the win.
The offense wasn't done, as Prescott found Schultz for another touchdown in the fourth quarter after the game was already out of reach.
There may have been some questions coming into Monday's showdown, but the Cowboys had all the answers in a blowout win.
Jalen Hurts Struggles as Eagles Offense Sputters
Part of the evaluation process for any Eagles quarterback is how they perform against the archrival Cowboys, so Jalen Hurts was firmly under the spotlight.
After all, he was picked off twice in a 20-point loss in his one start against Dallas during his rookie season, and things didn't look much better when he threw an interception and went three-and-out from the shadow of his own end zone on his opening two possessions in Monday's contest.
As it turns out, four straight punts in the first half was something of a high point for the Eagles offense because they at least didn't give up any points.
That changed on the first possession after intermission when Trevon Diggs broke the game wide open with a pick-six on another ill-advised throw from Hurts. It didn't help the quarterback that Miles Sanders seemingly wasn't involved in the game plan at all, and the Diggs touchdown helped extend the lead to 20 points and further nullified the rushing attack.
Philadelphia finally found success when it utilized some no-huddle after falling behind by so much, and Hurts capped off the drive with a touchdown pass to Zach Ertz. It was too late to realistically threaten the Cowboys with a comeback, but it at least gave the visitors some momentum after a dreadful start.
They didn't build on it, though, as penalties, no running game and pressure from the Dallas defensive front overwhelmed the Eagles until they racked up yards in garbage time. It wasn't a formula for success against any team, let alone an offense tasked with keeping up with Prescott and Co. on the other side.
Hurts is just 23 years old and will have plenty of chances against the Cowboys in the future, but he isn't off to an ideal start in the rivalry.
Both teams are home in Week 4 when the Eagles face the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cowboys host the Carolina Panthers.