ARLINGTON, TX --An early takeaway aided the Eagles in the first quarter of Sunday night's NFC East title game against the Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles won the toss and deferred possession of the football, so Dallas took the opening kickoff and moved steadily down the field into Philadelphia territory.
From the 28-yard line, the defense made its first big play. On a run to the right side, DeMarco Murray had the ball popped loose from his right arm by linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who made a perfect play directly on the ball. The ball flew into the air, caught by cornerback Bradley Fletcher for the takeaway.
The Eagles had the ball at their 23-yard line, ending the early Dallas threat.
The Eagles turned it into an Alex Henery field goal attempt and he nailed it from 47 yards out to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead. a 7-play, 48-yard drive was aided by a couple of big plays -- a 34-yard pass to Chris Polk on third and 3 and a 16-yard pass to Riley Cooper -- to give Henery his chance.
Dallas gained two first downs on its second offensive possession -- quarterback Kyle Orton threw the ball short to Murray -- who had 5 rushes for 22 yards and 3 receptions for 38 yards -- on the Cowboys' first two times with the football.
Philadelphia had the football for the second time on its 12-yard line. Quarterback Nick Foles went right to work, completing a 17-yard pass to Zach Ertz to the 29-yard line. A completion to Ertz for 12 yards on third and 7 moved the football to the 44-yard line.
LeSean McCoy then burst through a huge hole up the gut for a 20-yayrd gain to the Dallas 36-yard line. Foles, though, was penalized for intentional grounding, backing the Eagles up 10 yards. On second and 20 from the 46-yard line, Foles rolled left, though, and found DeSean Jackson for 20 yards on the sideline for a first down at the Dallas 26-yard line.