Although the Philadelphia Eagles dropped a huge chance to take over first place in the NFC East on Sunday, they gained something that may be of greater value heading into the remainder of the season. The opportunity to overtake first place will come again if they play well enough. However, Philadelphia gained some much needed confidence on defense, holding the Dallas Cowboys offense to just 17 points on the day, well below their 30-point season average heading into the weekend.
The Philadelphia secondary, which was a major area of concern entering the season, had one of its best showings, giving up only one passing touchdown to one of the more potent aerial attacks in the league. They gave up yardage, but were able to keep Dez Bryant in check without a score, as well as Jason Witten, making a statement that they’re improving. In addition, they generated two turnovers, both interceptions, but neither of which were converted by the offense for scores.
The run defense continued to look good, holding Dallas under 75 yards on the day. Although it was against lesser backs, with Demarco Murray sitting the contest out, they were able to keep them under wraps and concentrate on the pass game for most of the day. Continuing to build on the positives, like stopping the run, will help improve the confidence of young players, making them more able as the year progresses.
If the Eagles can find consistency again on offense, and pair a viable defense to go along with it, they would be a definite possibility to cause some trouble in the division and contend for a playoff spot before year’s end. Getting stops and building on successes will be important over the next few weeks before they reach the home stretch and games that will really determine their worth.