Cowboys beat playoff-bound Eagles 6-0
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.
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.
”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.”
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.
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.
Eagles rookie CB Sidney Jones, a second-round pick, played his first game. Jones ruptured his Achilles tendon before the draft.
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.
Cowboys: Awuzie left the game with a shoulder injury.
Eagles: Graham (ankle) and Mills would’ve played if the game mattered.
Eagles: A first-round bye followed by a home playoff game on Jan. 13 or 14.
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