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Week 2 Game Recap: Philadelphia Eagles 37, Dallas Cowboys 41

What you need to know

Philadelphia Eagles

QB Donovan McNabb looked very good in this game, he was patient in finding open receivers and making plays when the pass protection broke down. He had no problem moving the ball against the Dallas defense even though none of his starting receivers did play in this game. McNabb only had one passing touchdown but should have had at least two. WR DeSean Jackson dropped the ball on the one yard when he started to celebrate too early on what should have been a sure touchdown. He also came close to having another touchdown to WR Greg Lewis, but Lewis was tackled at the one yard line.

RB Brian Westbrook had an excellent game as he got into the end zone three times for the Eagles. Even though he didn't have his most effective game rushing the ball, he did cash in on two goal line carries from the one yard line by getting in both times and got his other touchdown on six yard pass reception. Westbrook had good yardage in the game as he had 113 total yards, but he really took advantage of his opportunities near the goal line each time by scoring three times.

Rookie WR DeSean Jackson made one of the more memorable boneheaded plays in recent memory when he dropped the ball prematurely before crossing the goal line to celebrate on what would have been a 61 yard touchdown pass from QB Donavan McNabb. Instead it was 60 yard completion, and the Eagles got the ball on the one yard line. Philadelphia scored on the next play with a running play, but Jackson cost himself and McNabb a touchdown with that mistake. Despite that stupid play, he had a very nice game catching six passes for 110 yards.

Dallas Cowboys

QB Tony Romo had a productive game as he threw for 312 yards and had three touchdowns. He got off to quick start with a perfect throw to WR Terrell Owens for a 72 yard touchdown. He did have two huge consecutive turnovers, an interception and fumble, that lead to 14 points for Philadelphia. He bounced back with a touchdown to Owens again in the second quarter and another touchdown to RB Marion Barber in the third quarter. The Cowboys' offensive line gave Romo pretty good protection from the blitz-happy Eagles as he had time drop back and find his receivers, which was key to his success in this game.

RB Marion Barber did not do much in the first half of this game as the Eagles did a good job of holding him to 12 yards on seven carries in the first half. But the second half was a totally different story for Barber who scored two touchdowns and added 102 yards of total offense in that half. Like so often is the case, Barber looked seemed to get stronger and run harder as the game went on and was a big factor in the second half of the game.

WR Terrell Owens had a very big first half and got off to a quick start by getting open deep behind the Philadelphia pass coverage for a 72 yard touchdown. It was his 131st receiving touchdown which put him second all-time, only behind Jerry Rice. He would catch a second touchdown later in the half on a quick slant for four yards. The Eagles did a good job shutting him down in the second half as he did not catch a pass in the second half.

Arkansas rookie Felix Jones showed his phenomenal speed by returning a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter of the game. Jones averaged 41 yards a return on six attempts.


What you ought to know

QB Donovan McNabb, Pass: 25 - 37 - 281 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 20 - 0

McNabb played very well in the game, finding receivers with exceptional accuracy and making good decisions. He also looked much more nimble when the pass rush did get to him, often eluding defenders and buying more time with his feet. But McNabb often had all day to sit in the pocket and throw in the first half, as the Dallas pass rush wasn't very effective early in the game. McNabb got his only touchdown pass when he hit RB Brian Westbrook on short pass out in the flat and he took it in for a six yard touchdown. Later on in the half in what was a bizarre play, he threw a deep pass to rookie WR DeSean Jackson on what appeared to be a 61 yard touchdown pass, but Jackson tossed the ball behind him as he started to celebrate too early on what should have been McNabb's second touchdown pass of the game. He did have a big first half and finished the half with 181 yards and one touchdown. The Dallas defense played a lot better in the second only giving up seven points. McNabb came close to having another passing touchdown to WR Greg Lewis in the second half, but Lewis was tackled on the one yard line.

RB Brian Westbrook, Rush: 18 - 58 - 2, Rec: 6 - 45 - 1 (7 targets)

Westbrook had an excellent game and took advantage of every opportunity near the goal line. RB Tony Hunt almost got a carry from goal line, but a penalty pushed the ball back to the six yard line, which open the door for Westbrook to come back into the game and catch a six yard pass for a touchdown. Westbrook looked terrific in the open field, making defenders miss and gaining extra yards. Unfortunately, he did not have too much rushing room and did most of his damage in the passing game. Westbrook was the benefactor of WR DeSean Jackson's bonehead play after he dropped the ball before crossing the goal line to celebrate a possible touchdown. Westbrook dove into the end zone on the next play of the game for a one yard touchdown and his second score of the game. Westbrook got his third touchdown of the game on another one yard run where his second effort got him the score.

RB Correll Buckhalter, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (3 targets)

Buckhalter had two catches for 15 yards, but did not have a rush in the game.

RB Tony Hunt

Hunt was going to get a goal line carry from the one yard line but one of the offensive linemen jumped early and penalty was called pushing the ball back to the six yard line. He had no carries and catches in the game.

WR DeSean Jackson, Rec: 6 - 110 - 0 (6 targets)

Jackson made one of the more memorable boneheaded plays in recent memory. He caught what appeared to be a beautiful 61 yard touchdown pass from QB Donovan McNabb on a perfectly thrown deep ball, but Jackson appeared to drop the ball before the goal line as he started to celebrate. The play was challenged and it was determined he dropped the ball before crossing the goal line. The ball was given to Philadelphia on the one yard line. Jackson did have an exceptional game as led the team in receiving with six catches and 110 yards receiving.

WR Greg Lewis, Rec: 3 - 36 - 0 (6 targets)

Lewis caught a 17 yard pass across the middle for a first down early in the first quarter for his only catch of the first half. Lewis did have a few scoring opportunities later in the game. He got open deep behind the coverage and may have had a touchdown, but the Cowboys' defender was able to get his fingers on the pass and tip it away. QB Donovan McNabb tried to go back to Lewis again on the next drive on a deep pass into the end zone. Lewis did not catch the ball, but did draw a questionable pass interference penalty. Lewis almost had a touchdown in the fourth quarter when he caught a 13 yard pass and was tackled just before the goal line.

WR Jason Avant, Rec: 2 - 28 - 0 (4 targets)

Avant caught his first pass after a vicious hit from a Cowboys defender but was able to bring the ball down after it was jarred loose for a 12 yard gain and a first down. He had two catches for 28 yards the game.

WR Hank Baskett, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (3 targets)

He had two catches for ten yards in the game.

WR Reggie Brown

Brown was inactive again for this game because of a hamstring injury.

TE L.J. Smith, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (4 targets)

Smith only had one catch for ten yards in the game. He did almost have one very long catch, but the pass was knocked down by the defender.

PK David Akers 3 - 3 FG, 4 - 4 XP, 13 points

Akers made a 34 and 44 yard field goals on first two drives of the game. He would add a 22 yard field goal before the end of the first half.

PHI Rush Defense

LB Chris Gocong recovered a QB Tony Romo fumble in the end zone for a defensive touchdown. Philadelphia did a good job of shutting down RB Marion Barber in the first half holding him to 12 yards. They held the Cowboys running backs to a very respectable 73 yards in the game.

PHI Pass Defense

Asante Samuel intercepted a pass late in the first quarter to give the Eagles excellent field position and set up their first touchdown. Philadelphia struggle to get pressure on the quarterback in the first half, but did a lot more blitzing in the second half. They did not get a sack in the game.


QB Tony Romo, Pass: 21 - 30 - 312 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - -5 - 0

Romo wasted no time going to work by hitting WR Terrell Owens deep down the field on a 72 yard pass. The touchdown throw was a perfect strike over the defense as he hit Owens in full stride. It was longest pass touchdown in Romo's young career. Things went down hill briefly for Romo as he threw an interception on the next possession that set up an Eagles' touchdown. On very next possession, with the Cowboys backed up in their own end zone, he bobbled the ball while trying to hand it the running back and the Eagles eventually recovered the ball for a touchdown. Romo came back and led the team on 54 yard drive and capped it off with a four yard touchdown pass to Owens. He was nine for 13 for 177 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Romo's third touchdown of the game came on nice 17 yard pass to RB Marion Barber in the third quarter. The Philadelphia defense seemed to blitz a lot more in the second half as he seemed to have less time to pass in the second half. Despite the couple of miscues early in the game, Romo played very well, making several big plays in the second half.

RB Marion Barber III, Rush: 18 - 63 - 1, Rec: 4 - 51 - 1 (5 targets)

Barber had very little room to run in the first half against a tough Philadelphia run defense and only gained 12 yards on seven carries. After a quiet first half, Barber had a big second half. Barber had his biggest run of the game on an 18 yard run on the first play of the second half. He then caught a 17 yard touchdown pass later in the third quarter as he showed his versatility as a pass catcher. Barber seemed to wear down the Philadelphia defense somewhat in the second half and he added another touchdown with a one yard run.

RB Felix Jones, Rush: 3 - 10 - 0

Jones made huge play early in the game by returning a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. He only had three carries for ten yards in the game.

WR Terrell Owens, Rec: 3 - 89 - 2 (6 targets)

Owens made a splash early in this game by getting open behind the coverage and QB Tony Romo hit with a perfect deep pass for a 72 yard touchdown pass. The touchdown reception put him only behind Jerry Rice for all-time touchdown receptions with 131. Owens beat S Brian Dawkins on a short slant route for his second touchdown reception of the first half. Owens had a 54 yard reception called back on a holding penalty in the second quarter. He had three catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. The Eagles made a concerted effort to stop in the second half as they doubled him often and had maybe their best cover cornerback, Lito Sheppard, cover him a lot. Owens did get another great scoring opportunity late in the game as he had a ball thrown to him in the end zone, but he was practically tackled before the ball reached him by the defender in what was an obvious pass interference. After a big first half Owens did not have a catch in the second half.

WR Patrick Crayton, Rec: 2 - 23 - 0 (3 targets)

Despite a big day in the passing game, Crayton only caught two passes for 23 yards.

TE Jason Witten, Rec: 7 - 110 - 0 (11 targets)

Witten was pretty quiet most of the first half but caught a big 42 yard pass over the middle of the field toward the end of the first half. He finished the half with three receptions for 59 yards. He was QB Tony Romo's favorite target in the second half. Witten had a big 32 yard catch over the middle late in the game that almost resulted in a touchdown, but he was tackled around the five yard line. Romo seemed to look for Witten more often as the Eagles' defense keyed in WR Terrell Owens. He finished as Dallas' leading receiver with seven catches and 110 yards.

TE Martellus Bennett, Rec: 1 - 20 - 0 (3 targets)

Bennett caught a short pass and took it 20 yards for a first down in the second quarter for his only catch of the game.

PK Nick Folk 2 - 2 FG, 5 - 5 XP, 11 points

Folk made a 54 yard field goal at the end of the first half and added a 47 yard kick in the second half.

DAL Rush Defense

Dallas got their only turnover of the game on fumble recovery by DT Jay Ratliff in the fourth quarter. The rush defense played pretty well, they only gave up 58 yards rushing against RB Brian Westbrook.

DAL Pass Defense

The Dallas secondary played poorly in the first half as they gave up several big plays and the Eagles had no trouble moving the ball. They did not get much of pass rush in the first half, but got a little more pressure in the second half and finished with four sacks.