Monday, December 13, 2010

Eagles vs. Cowboys: DeSean Jackson Electrifies Philly Offense in Road Rally

Watch out, Deion Sanders. There's a new "Prime Time" in the NFL.

Four weeks after opening "Monday Night Football" in Washington with an 88-yard touchdown pass from Michael Vick, Philadelphia star receiver DeSean Jackson opened "Sunday Night Football" in Dallas with a 60-yard bomb from Vick and then put the Eagles ahead to stay with a 91-yard catch and run on a screen pass.

Despite an ailing left ankle, Jackson's explosiveness pushed the Eagles ahead in the fourth quarter of a 30-27 conquest of the upstart Cowboys.

The Eagles improved to 9-4 and moved into sole possession of the NFC East lead in front of the New York Giants, who meet the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. Philadelphia and New York (8-4) play next Sunday at the New Meadowlands.

The Cowboys, who are having their first losing season since 2004 after winning two of the past three NFC East titles, slipped to 4-9 overall and 3-2 under interim coach Jason Garrett.

Some thoughts on the game:

• Philadelphia safety Quentin  MIkell made a diving grab of Jon Kitna's pass off the hands of Dallas receiver Miles Austin late in the second quarter -- the Eagles came in leading the NFL with a plus-15 turnover ratio. However, three plays later, Cowboys safety Gerald Sensabaugh repaid the favor, intercepting Vick's overthrown pass for tight end Brent Celek.

• Seven plays later, David Buehler  knocked through a 50-yard field goal. Buehler then finished off a  10-play drive with a 43-yarder to start the second half, cutting Phialdelphia's lead to 14-13 and giving the Cowboys two scores in five minutes without  the Eagles touching the ball.

• Dallas running back Felix Jones took a screen 35 yards on the first play after Bradie James'  second career interception in the third quarter, then scored on a  2-yard run two plays later as the Cowboys went ahead 20-14. However, LeSean McCoy's 56-yard scamper set up a 39-yard field goal by David Akers, who soon followed with the game-tying 50-yarder with 13:57 remaining.

• On Dallas' first play after Jackson -- who amassed 210 yards  receiving on just four catches on the night -- scored the NFL's  season-long touchdown, Philadelphia cornerback Dimitri Patterson  picked off Kitna's sideline pass for Roy Williams. Five plays later,  Akers' 28-yarder upped the margin to 30-20 with 8:17 to play. Kitna  refused to quit, running for 10 yards on fourth-and-7 and then hitting  tight end Jason Witten  for a 21-yard touchdown. But McCoy ripped off 50 yards on the next four  plays, giving him 153 yards from scrimmage, 138 after halftime.

• Five plays after Jackson whipped Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman  for the 60-yard catch, Vick took it across the goal line from the  Dallas 1-yard line. The bomb was Philadelphia's third opening play of at  least 30 yards in its last six games. The touchdown was the Eagles'  seventh on its opening drive in its 13 games this year.

• The  Cowboys answered back with a 10-play, 77-yard touchdown march of their  own. Witten caught the 1-yard scoring toss from Kitna, but the big plays  were a face-masking call against Patterson on Dallas receiver Kevin Ogletree (replacing injured Dallas rookie standout Dez Bryant) and a 26-yard reverse by Austin.

• The Eagles went three-and-out on their next three possessions, thanks  in part to the officials not calling what seemed to be a late hit on  Vick by Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer,  who shoved the QB at the sideline into the Philadelphia bench -- causing  Eagles coach Andy Reid to let the zebras have it, to no avail. But when  they got the ball back, Vick found Jackson for a 37-yard catch-and-run  to the Dallas 2. Guard Todd Herremans,  who was eligible on third-and-goal, caught his second career touchdown  pass to put Philadelphia on top 14-7 with 5:49 left in the first half.

• Philadelphia lost middle linebacker Stewart Bradley to a dislocated elbow in the second quarter. Rookie Jamar Chaney, a seventh-round pick, replaced him.

• Dallas rookie Bryan McCann,  whose touchdowns of 101 and 97 yards helped beat the New York Giants in  Week 10 and Detroit in Week 11, muffed a punt return in the second  quarter when he was popped by Philadelphia's Eldra Buckley. Fortunately for the Cowboys, the ball went out of bounds before the Eagles could recover it.

• Vick wasn't sacked during the first 36 minutes, but then he went down on consecutive snaps courtesy of a blindside blitz by cornerback Orlando Scandrick and a take-down by nose tackle Jay Ratliff.

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