Five lessons from the Cowboys’ Sunday Night Football victory against the Eagles, 33-13

The Dallas Cowboys did not appear very thrilled as they departed the field following their 33-13 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles. They entered their locker room largely silent, not much different from how they had behaved after they had just lost to the Eagles by a tight margin a few weeks prior. Five days after having surgery for severe appendicitis, Mike McCarthy directed an almost unstoppable offensive; they didn’t even do anything extra to acknowledge it.

However, Jerry Jones, the team’s owner, enjoys drama, big moments, and wins that solidify a team’s status as a contender. This was one of those occasions when Jones, never one to back down from a dramatic moment, dug into his knowledge of medieval Spanish history to pull up the tale of El Cid, the national hero who, according to legend, was able to lead his troops against Valencia’s besiegers after receiving his armor and strapping it to his horse after suffering a fatal wound.

Regarding his coach, Jones said that “Mike was fastened on a horse galloping down that beach.”

You may pardon Jones’s giddiness for claiming that the McCarthy era’s greatest important win had just occurred. This was the win that gave Dallas’ season legitimacy. The Cowboys had not defeated a club that presently has a winning record or even one of the NFL’s best teams until Sunday night. They were destroyed by the 49ers in Oct and narrowly defeated by the Eagles in November. And so, going into December, the Cowboys were still plagued by the age-old issue of whether they could win the biggest games.

The most important question in Dallas remains unanswered: Will the Cowboys perform at this level throughout the postseason? However, we do know that their defense can stop one of the best scoring offenses in the league to just two field goals and force three turnovers; their offense can only be stopped by its own errors (a Dak Prescott strip-sack that Jalen Carter returned for a touchdown early in the third quarter threatened to swing the momentum); and their rookie kicker, Brandon Aubrey, can rescue them from at least 60 yards even if a drive stalls. Despite having a harder schedule in the last month than the Eagles, this victory moved the Cowboys to the top of the NFC East, at least for the time being.

Jones has never shied away from declaring that his teams are capable of winning Super Bowls, and following their victory over the Washington Commanders in overtime on Thanksgiving, he had already hinted that this one may take home the championship. However, the Commanders were that. And in order for the Cowboys to win the NFC East, they will need to replace this squad.

He said, “This game is additive.” “Given the opponent’s character, there’s no doubt that everyone feels more confident about their ability to succeed than we did three hours ago. I observed a lot of work. This club is aware of its ability to compete, but we will have to prove it in Buffalo. They are powerful. That will have to happen in Miami. In the Washington area.”

The Eagles defense appeared fatigued after a demanding schedule for the second week in a row as the Cowboys swiftly took control of the game with an aggressive game plan. The Cowboys went 6 of 8 on third down and scored on all four of their first-half possessions. This season, the Eagles have been forced to play from behind, so they were forced to do so once again. However, for the second week in a row, they faced a team that was strong enough to stop a comeback.

According to Jones, he expressed his want for the teams to meet again—that is, to face each other in the playoffs—to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie before to the game. Naturally, Jones would want the game to be played in Dallas as it would indicate that team had won the NFC East. However, Jones is also certain that the Cowboys are capable of winning away from home, despite their superiority at home. They haven’t lost since a close loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia. The Cowboys’ next few weeks, which include back-to-back road games in Buffalo and Miami, will be crucial in mitigating any doubts that may still exist until another trophy is raised.

“I have a lot of questions,” Jones said. “I believed we could win the games. When we walked out there, I believed we could defeat the 49ers. We didn’t. Nevertheless, I have no grudges toward any NFL franchise.”

A couple of Jones’s few regrets as an owner relate to his Cowboys squad from 2007, when Tony Romo looked to have them all set for a Super Bowl victory. Romo never won one, and they didn’t either. Jones was really proud of that squad, but he feels bad for Romo since he hasn’t won a Super Bowl. Now that Prescott has exited the field to cries of “M-V-P,” Jones stated on Sunday that he believes Prescott is “qualified in every way to have a Super Bowl in his career.” He praised Prescott for accepting the offensive modifications that have been necessary this season and for persevering through the early hiccups during camp.

Although he acknowledged that he felt quite good following the Cowboys’ crushing of the Giants in the season opener, Jones said he feels just as good about this club as he has felt all season. “Sugarplum visions,” he remarked. That collapsed against the 49ers a few weeks later.

However, this year could be different from 2007. The Divisional Round matchup for that team was at home. And they lost to the New York Giants, the wild card, who went on to win the Super Bowl, which Jones was certain his team would win. As a wild card, this year’s squad may need to follow the Giants’ route. Yet, Jones believes the Cowboys can advance with a victory like theirs on Sunday—especially against such a prestigious foe and under such peculiar circumstances. With four games remaining, the Cowboys have finally made their move. And they stated it rather plainly.


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