Eagles improve to 6-0, Hurts key in 26-17 win over Cowboys
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Eagles closed out another familiar outcome — their latest victory as they roll unbeaten into an off week — with a recognizable tune: “Dancing On My Own.” Yes, the Eagles borrowed the signature anthem for the Philadelphia Phillies that they’ve blasted in the clubhouse on their way toward a spot in the National League Championship Series.
It’s a great time for Philly sports fans.
Even better for the athletes who only know how to win around here of late.
“We up! Philly’s up right now,” cornerback Darius Slay said. “We’re going up. Up, up, up. We’re going up to that room.”
Maybe the Eagles will find a Lombardi Trophy once they get to Slay’s room.
Jalen Hurts threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns, C.J. Gardner-Johnson had two of Philadelphia’s three interceptions of Cooper Rush, and the Eagles stayed undefeated with a 26-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.
The Eagles held on after their 20-0 lead shrank to 20-17 early in the fourth quarter, improving to 6-0 for the first time since 2004 — when they won their first seven games and went to the Super Bowl.
“We know we’ve got to play a complete game,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said. “What’s exciting about being 6-0 and not having played a complete game is we know it’s coming.”
Philly put the game away with an efficient drive that took up more than half the fourth quarter. The Eagles converted three third downs and Hurts hit DeVonta Smith for a 7-yard touchdown. Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs ripped off his helmet and slammed it in anger after the score, one final blown opportunity to make a stop and wrest the NFC East lead away from the Eagles.
The Eagles failed on the 2-point conversion and led 26-17.
Hurts converted two of the third downs on rushing attempts and Philly needed the clutch runs after the Cowboys (4-2) powered their way back into the game. Ezekiel Elliott scored on a 14-yard run in the third that made it 20-10 and Rush, who mostly struggled, threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jake Ferguson in the fourth for a 20-17 game.
Gardner-Johnson made a diving catch for his second interception to cut off one late drive, and Brett Maher missed a 59-yard field-goal attempt in a last-gasp effort to stay within striking distance.
“Read your keys and go get the ball,” Gardner-Johnson said. “It feels good to come out in into the field like a hawk and go get the ball.”
Rush had led Dallas to four straight victories in place of the injured Dak Prescott but was overmatched under the lights in front of a rowdy crowd — and an Eagles defense that ranks second in the NFL in points off turnovers. Rush threw two interceptions in the first half that led to 10 points for the Eagles and the ineffective QB finished the half with a 1.0 rating.
No wonder the Eagles stand as the NFL’s lone unbeaten team.
Prescott, out since he suffered a broken right thumb in the season-opening loss to Tampa Bay, said his was plan was to play next week.
The Eagles scored 20 points in the second quarter and have now outscored opponents 112-27 in that quarter this season.
The Eagles had converted 8 of 12 fourth-down attempts coming into the game and kept the gambles rolling on their first scoring drive. Hurts connected with A.J. Brown on fourth-and-3 for 11 yards. Then on fourth-and-4 from the 10, the Eagles snared Dallas in a neutral zone infraction for an automatic first down. Miles Sanders scored on a 5-yard TD run and a 7-0 lead.
Rush, solid but hardly lighting up the scoreboard as a starter, had a pass deflected and intercepted by Gardner-Johnson, who flapped his arms after the pick and had Eagles fans going wild. Philly sports fans haven’t had much chance to settle down this fall. The Eagles are perfect, the Phillies are in the NL Championship Series, the Union host a playoff game this week, and the 76ers open the season this week and play the home opener Thursday.
Hurts capitalized off the pick and hit Brown for a 15-yard TD and a 14-0 lead.
Jake Elliott, who missed last week’s game with a bad ankle, added field goals of 51 and 34 yards to make it 20-0. Elliott’s second field goal came after Slay intercepted Rush.
“We took some shots from them,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said.
It’s what the Eagles do. It’s why they’re in first place.
Eagles T Lane Johnson left with a concussion.
FIRST LADY IN THE HOUSE
First lady Jill Biden attended the game as part of cancer awareness night. Biden met with cancer patients, cancer survivors and their families. She also chatted with 76ers center Joel Embiid and was at midfield for the coin toss.
SIX IN THE CITY
The Eagles started 7-0 in 2004 when they finished 13-3 in the regular season before falling in the Super Bowl to the Patriots, and began 6-0 in 1981 but dropped their first playoff game.
Embiid and several other Sixers were at the game. So was New Jersey native, Anaheim Angels slugger and Eagles fan Mike Trout. Slay gave the ball from an interception earlier this season to Sixers star James Harden. After his pick against Rush, Slay gave the ball to rapper Meek Mill. Questlove and Bradley Cooper, wearing an Allen Iverson T-shirt, were also at the game. Gardner-Johnson, who played with a left hand injury, has a tattoo in honor of Meek Mill on his right arm.
The Cowboys return home next Sunday and play Detroit.
The Eagles are off next week and host the Steelers on Oct. 30.
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