Cowboys beat playoff-bound Eagles 6-0

Leave a comment

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Healthy? Yes. Sharp? Not quite.

The Philadelphia Eagles are heading into the playoffs with no further injuries after playing it safe in a 6-0 loss to Dallas on Sunday.

Dak Prescott tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brice Butler early in the fourth quarter and the Cowboys denied the Eagles a franchise-record 14th win.

Road to Super Bowl LII: Stream, start time, highlights and more

The Eagles (13-3) rested several starters on a frigid day and played others briefly after securing the NFC’s No. 1 seed last week. They’ll have two weeks to work on a slumping offense before hosting a playoff game on Jan. 13 or 14.

“I’m not concerned,” coach Doug Pederson said. “I have confidence in our guys.”

Nick Foles struggled in one quarter, going 4 of 11 for 39 yards with one interception. Foles was excellent in his first start after Carson Wentz went down for the season, tossing four TD passes in a 34-29 win at the Giants on Dec. 17. But he has followed up with two poor performances.

“I feel great and I know what I can do,” Foles said. “I know the guys are confident in me. We expect to execute better. This wasn’t acceptable. We know how talented we can be. We can do special stuff.”

Second-year pro Nate Sudfeld replaced Foles and was 19 of 23 for 134 yards in his first career game. He was tackled inside the 5 after catching a lateral on a desperation play to end the game.

“Pretty solid for the most part in terms of efficiency and everything,” Sudfeld said. “But I felt there were some plays that we weren’t able to finish.”

The Cowboys (9-7) earned their second straight winning season for the first time since five in a row from 2005-09. That’s little consolation for Dallas, which was eliminated from playoff contention in Week 16.

“I’m sad the season is over,” Ezekiel Elliott said. “I wish we were playing in the playoffs. I’m going to use that as fuel for next year.”

The Cowboys drove 99 yards for the first score. A holding penalty on Rasul Douglas on an incomplete pass on third down extended the drive and Prescott connected with Butler on a slant on third-and-7. Dan Bailey hooked the extra point wide left, only his second career miss in 278 tries.

Bailey also missed a 23-yard field goal wide left with 13 seconds remaining.

Elliott ran for 103 yards, falling 17 short of 1,000 in only 10 games. He was the first player to reach 100 against the Eagles since Washington’s Matt Jones ran for 135 yards in Week 6 last year.

The teams were 0 for 12 on third and fourth down before the Cowboys converted on third down late in the second quarter. The Eagles got their first third-down conversion midway through the third quarter. Sudfeld then ran 22 yards on another third down and the crowd roared.

Philadelphia’s best drive with Foles was the game opener. The Eagles drove to the Cowboys 39 before Torrey Smith dropped a pass on third-and-7. Foles was hurried and threw an incomplete pass on fourth down.

Foles underthrew Alshon Jeffery and was picked by Chidobe Awuzie at the Cowboys 48 on Philadelphia’s third possession. It was Awuzie’s first career interception. The offense went three-and-out on the first unit’s fourth and final series.

DEZ SAYS

“Wherever they want me to be,” Dez Bryant said when asked about his expected role for next year. “I just want to win. That’s all I care about.”

SCORELESS HALF

This was the first NFL game to be 0-0 at halftime since the Bears-Broncos in Week 14 of 2011. It was the first time in a Cowboys-Eagles game since the series began in 1960.

LAYERING UP

Eagles P Donnie Jones ran onto the field for a punt with his warmup pants still on and had to rip them off before the snap. He pinned the Cowboys inside the 5 with his punt and later placed one at the 1.

SID’S DEBUT

Eagles rookie CB Sidney Jones, a second-round pick, played his first game. Jones ruptured his Achilles tendon before the draft.

RESTING UP

Five of Philadelphia’s defensive starters – LB Nigel Bradham, DE Brandon Graham, DT Tim Jernigan, S Rodney McLeod, CB Jalen Mills – and one regular – DE Derek Barnett – were inactive. DT Fletcher Cox and S Malcolm Jenkins played one series. RB Jay Ajayi also was inactive.

INJURIES

Cowboys: Awuzie left the game with a shoulder injury.

Eagles: Graham (ankle) and Mills would’ve played if the game mattered.

UP NEXT

Eagles: A first-round bye followed by a home playoff game on Jan. 13 or 14.

Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP-RobMaaddi

For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Eagles lose Wentz to injury, beat Rams 43-35 to win NFC East

Leave a comment

LOS ANGELES — Carson Wentz threw for 291 yards and four touchdowns before leaving with a knee injury and Jake Elliott kicked the go-ahead 33-yard field goal with 3:45 left for the Philadelphia Eagles, who beat the Los Angeles Rams 43-35 in a thriller Sunday to clinch the NFC East title.

Two sources familiar with the injury tell The Associated Press that doctors believe Wentz has torn his left anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season and playoffs.

Wentz needs an MRI to confirm the severity of the injury. Both people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the information.

Wentz was hit hard as he dived into the end zone on a play that was called back because of holding. He stayed in the game and threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery four plays later to give the Eagles a 31-28 lead.

Nick Foles replaced Wentz on the next drive for Philadelphia (11-2).

Road to Super Bowl LII: Stream, start time, highlights and more

The NFC West-leading Rams (9-4) then went up 35-31 on Todd Gurley‘s second short TD run.

Elliott kicked a 41-yard field goal to pull the Eagles to 35-34. His go-ahead field goal was set up when Chris Long, a second-round draft pick of the then-St. Louis Rams in 2008, had a strip-sack of Jared Goff, with Rodney McLeod recovering.

Elliott kicked a 54-yarder, but the Eagles got an automatic first down on a personal foul on Aaron Donald. Elliott kicked the winner four plays later.

The game ended on a crazy play, when Philadelphia’s Brandon Graham grabbed a lateral by Tavon Austin out of the air on the game’s last play and scored what was ruled a 16-yard fumble return.

The Eagles clinched their first division title since 2013.

WENTZ AND GOFF

This was the eighth time in the Super Bowl era that quarterbacks taken No. 1 and No. 2 overall in the same draft squared off. Goff was the first pick overall in 2016, followed by Wentz.

Goff threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns.

Wentz bounced back from throwing an interception on the game’s third play to throw touchdown passes on the Eagles’ next three possessions for a 21-7 lead. He threw a 5-yarder to tight end Brent Celek and a beautifully threaded 20-yarder to Trey Burton in the first quarter, and then another nicely thrown scoring pass to Burton in the second quarter, this one for 11 yards.

HISTORY

This game marked just the eighth time in the Super Bowl era that quarterbacks taken No. 1 and No. 2 overall in the same draft squared off. Goff was the first pick overall in 2016, followed by Wentz. The No. 1 pick is now 5-3 in such matchups.

MOMENTUM SWING

The Rams scored twice in a span of less than two minutes early in the third quarter to take a 28-24 lead. The big momentum swing came when Blake Countess returned a blocked punt 16 yards for a touchdown. The punt was blocked by Michael Thomas, and the ball bounced right to Countess in stride.

Earlier, Goff capped the opening drive of the second half with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins.

INJURIES

Eagles: Aside from Wentz, starting tight end Zach Ertz missed the game with a concussion.

Rams: CB Kayvon Webster, who intercepted Wentz on the game’s third play, was taken off the field on a cart with an ankle injury late in the first quarter and didn’t return. Tackle Andrew Whitworth also suffered an ankle injury.

UP NEXT

Eagles: At New York Giants on Sunday.

Rams: At Seattle on Sunday.

For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL