Tue, Nov 21, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Eagles crush the Cowboys despite losing their kicker

AP, ARLINGTON, Texas

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, right, catches a pass for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in their NFL game in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday.

Photo: AP

No kicker, no problem for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Carson Wentz on Sunday threw for two touchdowns and three two-point conversions after Philadelphia lost kicker Jake Elliott to a head injury as the Eagles all but wrapped up the National Football Conference East title with a 37-9 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

The Eagles (9-1) outscored the Cowboys 30-0 in the second half while extending their winning streak to eight games, their longest since 2003-2004, and tied with New Orleans for the best run in the NFL.

Philadelphia lead defending division champions the Cowboys (5-5) by four games with six to play after handing Dallas their worst home loss at the eight-year-old AT&T Stadium.

Dallas’ Dak Prescott threw a career-high three interceptions and lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown in his second straight loss without star running back Ezekiel Elliott, serving a six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence.

Jake Elliott’s injury was not a factor for nearly a half because the NFL-leading Eagles could not get in scoring position. They failed to get a first down on five straight first-half drives, starting with one at the Dallas 15 when Elliott missed a 34-yard attempt and soon after left the field.

Trailing 9-7 at halftime, Wentz led the Eagles on scoring drives of 75, 90 and 85 yards, the middle one boosted by Jay Ajayi’s 71-yard run against his hometown team in his second game since getting traded by Miami.

“The biggest thing was sticking with the game plan,” said Wentz, who is up to 25 touchdown passes with just five interceptions. “The big boys up front kind of came out angry. We ran the ball the second half really effectively.”

Ajayi had 91 yards on seven carries and LeGarrette Blount added 57 on 13 carries, including a 30-yarder leading to the last offensive touchdown.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson declared at halftime that he would go for every fourth down and try two-point conversions after every touchdown.

It came into play right away when Corey Clement scored on an 11-yard run to open the second half and ran in a screen pass behind three blockers for the two-pointer.

The first fourth-down try was Wentz’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery for a 29-9 lead. That two-point pass failed.

Torrey Smith had the other touchdown catch, an 11-yarder.

After Derek Barnett hit Prescott’s leg and arm as he was throwing, Nigel Bradham picked up the loose ball and ran it 37 yards for a touchdown. Wentz’s two-point pass to Trey Burton provided the final margin.

“We got some nice two-point conversions,” said Wentz, who was 14 of 27 for 168 yards. “Now we’ve got to go back to the drawing board with our two-point plays.”

The Cowboys appeared to have fixed the problems of missing injured left tackle Tyron Smith and All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee from a week earlier, when they allowed eight sacks of Prescott along with three Atlanta scoring drives following Lee’s injury in a 27-7 loss to the Falcons, but after protecting Prescott fairly well before halftime, Dallas allowed three sacks and 180 of Philadelphia’s season-high 215 yards rushing in the second half.

“We’re not saying injuries or any of that’s bothering us,” Prescott said. “We’re not saying it’s the reason we’re not winning is because of those guys.”

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