Eagles 17, Cowboys 9

Cowboys vs Eagles: Good, bad and ugly

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

After an impressive victory over the Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys came into Sunday ready to claim their division championship over their hated rivals Philadelphia Eagles. Fate would have other plans, as the Cowboys forgot how to play football for the entirety of the game, and let the Eagles take the lead in the NFC East.

The Good

- Kai Forbath looks to have secured his job as the Cowboys' kicker. The journeyman was picked up by the Cowboys last week, and has been nothing short of spectacular. He made all three field goal attempts Sunday bringing his total up to a perfect 6/6 with the Cowboys. A far cry for the wildly inconsistent Brett Maher, Forbath looks to be kicking for the Cowboys long after this season is over.

- In an otherwise putrid offensive game, there was one bright spot, and for once it wasn't Ezekiel Elliott. Instead, it was Michael Gallup. His chemistry with Dak Prescott has grown exponentially since the start of the 2019 season. In only his second year in the league, Gallup has transitioned from a solid wide receiver to a potential number one option. With Amari Cooper's future with the Cowboys in question Gallup would be a great replacement as the Cowboys' new go-to receiver if in fact Cooper leaves via free-agency.

- The final bright spot of the game is that this season is almost over. The 2019 campaign for the Cowboys has been heart-breaking, underwhelming, disappointing, and most of all inconsistent. Luckily, we only have one more game to endure this trauma. Unless of course the Giants win and the Cowboys beat the Redskins, then we have two more games of pain. In the end I really couldn't think of another positive thing to say about Sunday's loss to the Eagles. The Cowboys just fell flat on all aspects of Sunday's game offensively and defensively.

The bad

- Speaking of defense, they could not stop the run to save their lives Sunday night against the Eagles. With a banged up Eagles offense that was without guys like Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery, the Cowboys' defense should have had the upper hand in this matchup. Carson Wentz and running back Miles Sanders had other plans. Sanders seemed to get first downs at a moment's notice and was able to run on the Cowboys defense all day. Wentz converted many key third-down conversions to his back up receivers with ease. One key play in the game was a deep pass to the former University of Houston Quarterback Greg Ward Jr which untimely set up Sanders for his lone score. The Eagles went up 17-6 at this point and any momentum the Cowboys had left vanished.

- I would like to file a missing person report. Ezekiel Elliott did not have a good game, and his numbers show. With only a total of 47 yards on the ground, the Cowboys could not get the run game going with both Elliott and Tony Pollard. Last week both running backs were able to feast on the Rams supposedly superior defense, but Sunday was the exact opposite. Both running backs had the worst game of the 2019 season, and because the Cowboys couldn't get the run game going, the offense stalled. The Cowboys have predicated their game as a run first offense, but if that is not working it seems as though they can't figure things out before it's too late or its garbage time. Whether this is a coaching issue or Dak Prescott's inability to lead an offense without a Pro-Bowl caliber running back remains to be seen, and should be a key question Jerry Jones should answer this offseason.

- If the opponent's defensive game plan is stop the run and force Dak Prescott to beat you, it has worked for multiple teams this season. In what is supposed to be a contract year for the 4th year quarterback, he has been underwhelming to say the least. For a guy looking for a long-term deal and to be made one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the draft, Prescott's case looks worse than other potential avaible quarterbacks such as Cam Newton or Ryan Tannehill. Sure his first three games of the season were specular against the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins, but since then the Cowboys have a losing record. They are 5-8 after Week 3 and have only had one impressive victory over the Rams. I'm not saying Prescott won't be the quarterback next year, but its plain to see he will not be getting his contract extension. If anything, he will be franchised tagged instead.

The Ugly

- The Cowboys have become an enigma. One week they are manhandling the defending NFC champions, and the next week they are unable to score a single touchdown. Their inconsistently has finally caught up to them and it might be too late to overcome. Whether it is Quarterback play or coaching mistakes, the Cowboys seemingly couldn't beat anyone with a decent plan to stop Ezekiel Elliott. With such a talented roster, this team should be contending for the Super Bowl not trying to strive to make the playoffs with an 8-8 record. Changes are defintily coming before next year for the entire coaching staff. Jason Garrett will not, I repeat will not be the head coach for the Cowboys next year nor will most of his staff.

- As previously mentioned, Dak Prescott is a free-agent next season and he probably will not get his big money extension he wants this offseason. I do think he will stay with the Cowboys, albeit on a shorter high-dollar deal. There is one player who could be on his way out though and last night was apparent he wasn't happy. According to multiple reports, Amari Cooper left the game before the final play of regulation in which the Cowboys went for a last ditch effort to win the game. Instead Cooper was watching from the sidelines as the Cowboys failed on offense one last time. Cooper has been an oddity this season. He has been a model of inconsistency parallel to that of the Cowboys 2019 season. Cooper is a free-agent next year and could be a candidate to receive the franchise tag as well. The Cowboys could have a tough decision to make next year by deciding to keep either Prescott or Cooper.

- If it wasn't bad enough the Cowboys got utterly destroyed by the Eagles on Sunday night, they couldn't even leave Philadelphia due to plane issues. According to reports, their plane was deemed "not viable" to fly home to the DFW airport. They were eventually able to find a new plane to fly home on, but this just adds insult to injury to the worst game of the Cowboys' 2019 season.

The Cowboys had plenty of chances and opportunities to win against the Eagles, clinch the division, and rest guys against the Redskins but couldn't. Their only chances at making the playoffs now are if the Giants beat the Eagles and the Cowboys beat the Redskins on Sunday December 29th. At this point would it even be worth it? Would you rather see the Cowboy's season mercifully end, or would making the playoffs to face a NFC powerhouse team like the Seahawks or 49ers be worth it in the end?


A cheat sheet for success

Houston Roughnecks: a game day survival guide

The XFL is back. Photo by Paul Muth

Don't worry guys, I made it.

I'm six days removed from surviving the Houston Roughnecks' inaugural XFL game against the Los Angeles Wildcats. I've had time to process the moment, and I've come to an important conclusion:

The XFL is Muth-Approved.

The pace was better, the scoring was exciting, and the atmosphere in TDECU was absolutely electric. Who knows if it will carry over to this weekend, but one thing that's for sure is that I'll be there to find out. If you're planning on coming out this Sunday, here's a survival guide to help you enjoy week 2.

Parking

Here's a pro-tip: don't. Only park if you plan on tailgating. The METRORail can drop you off right in front of the stadium. The cheat code if you aren't tailgating is to park for free out in East Downtown (or EaDo, for the hipsters) and pregame at any number of the bars located around BBVA Stadium. The METRORail is free on game days, so hop on the purple line heading south and it'll drop you off in front the stadium within 15 minutes.

If you have to park, the cheapest lots are 9B and 9C for $25 and can be found at the corner of Cullen and Wheeler. All of the parking is close to the stadium, but because they only have a few lots open at the moment, congestion is terrible. It took about 30 minutes to get in and 30 more to leave out of 9C last weekend, so plan appropriately. Otherwise, make your family proud and tailgate like a true American.

Tailgating

Now if you plan on using the parking lots as they were intended, here's what you need to know. The tailgating lots are 9B and 9C (again, on the corner of Wheeler and Cullen). You can get there up to four hours before the game, and the same rules for Texans and UH Football games apply. Get there early and find a spot that backs up to Cullen Boulevard and you'll have plenty of grass and trees to set up under.

Inside the stadium

Personally, my cell phone reception was awful, so if you have digital tickets make sure you have them pulled up before you get to the gate. If you're looking to buy any merch, I recommend getting in a line at least 30 minutes prior to kickoff. The lines for everything were pretty awful. I had one buddy tell me it took him the entire first quarter to get a hoodie. If you're looking for beer, your best bet is to bring a bunch of cash and just walk around until you find an aisle vendor. They were so busy last weekend, they didn't have to move.

So to recap:

  • Don't park unless you're tailgating.
  • Tailgate up against Cullen.
  • Bring cash money.

Oh, and be loud. Like, really loud.

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