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Jackson’s big plays lift Eagles over Cowboys, 30-27
Question of the Day
With that one play, the Philadelphia Eagles sent the Dallas Cowboys a strong message — we’re coming after you.
Philadelphia kept coming, mostly with big plays. Jackson turned just four catches into 210 yards and LeSean McCoy ran for a career-high 149, lifting the Eagles to a 30-27 victory over the Cowboys on Sunday night and strengthening their grip on first place in the NFC East.
“We put the pedal to the metal,” said Philadelphia coach Andy Reid, who also had to be savoring his first win at Cowboys Stadium after a pair of painful defeats here last season.
Reid would love to be back here for the Super Bowl in February. He might have the team to do it, too, as the Eagles (9-4) won for the fifth time in six games. They are a half-game ahead of the New York Giants in the division, and go to New York for a showdown with the Giants on Sunday.
They’ll have to hope Jackson gets over a sprained ankle by then.
The speedy wideout was injured on the longest play of his career, and the second-longest ever against Dallas — a 91-yard catch and run early in the fourth quarter that put Philadelphia ahead for good.
Dallas (4-9) kept the game close throughout and even led 20-14. But Philadelphia was just too strong, dropping the Cowboys to 3-2 under interim coach Jason Garrett. They are officially eliminated from the playoffs and guaranteed their first losing season since 2004.
“It doesn’t feel good,” team owner Jerry Jones said. “They made a couple of big plays that we weren’t able to make, but I liked the way we got after Vick, I really did. I like the way that we responded when we got down each time, a whole bunch of good things.”
The game was tied at 20 when the Eagles were forced to start at their 9-yard line following a penalty on a punt return. Jackson already had blistered the Cowboys for 119 yards on three catches, so they were well aware of the need to contain him.
Yet on first down, Michael Jenkins dove and missed trying to break up a pass to Jackson on the left sideline. He sped past one safety, made another safety fall and outran a cornerback diving at his ankles around the 10. He stopped just shy of the goal line, turned to face the defense and tipped over backward into the end zone. The showboating move drew a penalty, then he went to the bench for oxygen and treatment on his ankle.
“I put the ball in a perfect spot, but I didn’t know he was going to go 91 yards,” Vick said. “He’s a very dynamic player.”
Days after moving into the lead in Pro Bowl voting, Vick threw two interceptions, matching his season total, and struggled to keep alive drives that didn’t have a big play. Dallas sacked him twice and nailed him with hard hits all night, including one that drew a penalty for a helmet-to-helmet hit.
His final numbers were 16 of 26 for 270 yards. Take out Jackson’s stats and his other 12 completions produced 60 yards. He also ran for a touchdown.
By David Keene
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