Dallas Cowboys: 2013 Week 7 DAL at PHI Rapid Reaction

Cowboys preview: Make-or-break stretch

August, 27, 2014
Aug 27
2:30
PM ET
The end of the season has not been kind to the Dallas Cowboys in recent years. It's not been just a Jason Garrett problem, but the Cowboys lost three of their last four in 2013, their final two in 2012 and four of their last five in 2011 to finish 8-8 all three years. This year's late-season schedule is difficult -- five of the last seven away from home -- but the pivotal stretch will be early in the year to make sure the end of the year is relevant. Six of the Cowboys' first nine games are at AT&T Stadium, which has not provided the greatest of home-field advantages since opening. The Cowboys have a three-game homestand from Oct. 19-Nov. 2 against three NFC teams that they almost have to sweep to stay in contention in the division or help in the wild-card standings.

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Rapid Reaction: Dallas Cowboys

October, 20, 2013
10/20/13
4:27
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- A few thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys17-3 win against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday:

What it means: With back-to-back wins for the first time this season, the 4-3 Cowboys have taken control of the NFC East. They are 3-0 in the division for the first time since 2007 and just the seventh time in franchise history. They also won on the road for the first time this season after losses to Kansas City and San Diego. After allowing 1,456 yards in their last three games entering Sunday, the Cowboys kept the up-tempo Eagles in check (278 yards) and came up with three fourth-quarter interceptions of Matt Barkley -- by Sean Lee, Barry Church and Brandon Carr. An interception of Nick Foles was negated by a replay review. The third-down defense was particularly strong, holding Philadelphia to just four conversions in 18 tries.

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Who was most impressive in the Cowboys' win?

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Stock watch: Rising -- Monte Kiffin. The defensive coordinator was falling two weeks ago when his defense allowed 51 points to Denver. When he was at USC and faced Chip Kelly's offense at Oregon, Kiffin’s defense allowed 50 points and 601 yards per game. The Eagles had scored 30 or more points in four of their first six games, but managed only a field goal thanks to strong man-to-man coverage from the Dallas cornerbacks.

Tony Romo at 100: The quarterback was starting his 100th regular-season game for the Cowboys and improved to 59-41 as a starter. It wasn’t a vintage Romo performance. He had his first multi-interception game of the season, even if the first pick was on an end-of-half Hail Mary. But when the offense needed him most, Romo came through. On Dallas' fourth-quarter touchdown drive, he completed 7 of 8 passes for 69 yards, capped by the clinching touchdown throw to Terrance Williams.

Big names missing: For the first time in his nine-year career, defensive end DeMarcus Ware missed a game. Ware did not play because of a quadriceps strain and was replaced in the starting lineup by Kyle Wilber. The Cowboys still managed decent pressure on Foles (three sacks). The Cowboys were also without DeMarco Murray (knee). It was the 10th game Murray has missed in three seasons. His replacement, Joseph Randle, ran for 65 yards, and Phillip Tanner added a touchdown run, giving the Cowboys a rushing score in their third straight game.

What’s next: The Cowboys remain on the road with a trip to Ford Field to take on the Detroit Lions next Sunday. While not as important as a division game, it could come into play later in the season in a possible wild-card race. The Cowboys won 28-27 in their last visit to Ford Field on Dec. 9, 2007.

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