You've got to go with the curve here, too. The running game looked good when Felix Jones was in the game. He had four carries for 24 yards, but the Cowboys wisely let him rest his tight hamstring once it became official that the NFC East title wouldn't be decided until next week. Sammy Morris looked like a 12-year veteran who is less than two weeks removed from the NFL unemployment line, gaining only 29 yards on 13 carries. Chauncey Washington, who is fresh off the practice squad, lost a yard on his lone carry.
You've got to grade on a curve here, considering that Stephen McGee doesn't get any practice reps with the starters. He dinked and dunked his way to 182 yards on 24-of-38 passing, including a garbage-time touchdown to Miles Austin, and did not commit any turnovers. McGee wasn't able to take advantage of some attractive matchups against a depleted Eagles secondary. The pass protection left a lot to be desired. McGee played because Tony Romo bruised his hand when he was hit on his second pass attempt. The Cowboys allowed three sacks.
The Cowboys' primary defensive goal was to contain LeSean McCoy, who rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles' Oct. 30 win. They accomplished that goal, holding the NFC's rushing leader to 35 yards on 13 carries. But the Eagles still rushed for 105 yards on 26 carries. Backup running back Ronnie Brown had 33 yards on eight carries, and the Eagles were effective on a couple of wide receiver sweeps with DeSean Jackson, gaining 27 yards. OLB Anthony Spencer was especially active with two tackles for losses.
Michael Vick finished with 293 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-32 passing, and the Dallas defense's performance was worse than those numbers indicate. Vick threw for 221 yards and the two scores in the first half, which the Eagles capped by marching 87 yards on six plays for a touchdown in the final minute. If the game was competitive, Vick could have produced much bigger stats. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's scheme produced plenty of pressure, but DeMarcus Ware (two sacks) was the only one who actually got Vick down.
This wasn't Mat McBriar's best performance (33.7 net average), but he still pinned the Eagles inside the 20 on five of six punts. Dwayne Harris' 51-yard kickoff return was one of the highlights of the game for the Cowboys. Harris wasn't a factor as a punt returner, gaining only 3 yards on three attempts after replacing Dez Bryant in that role. Kicker Dan Bailey didn't get a chance to attempt a field goal.
Should we give Jerry Jones an assist in this category? With the owner's unsolicited help, Jason Garrett made the common-sense calls not to expose Tony Romo (bruised hand) or Felix Jones (tight hamstring) to further injury after the Giants beat the Jets, guaranteeing that the NFC East title would be decided in the Meadowlands on New Year's Day. Having said that, it's fair to wonder why DeMarcus Ware (stinger), Jay Ratliff (rib muscle strain) and Mike Jenkins (shoulder) played the whole game. Rob Ryan's game plan wasn't the defense's problem.