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Third Quarter Review: Eagles lead, 17-16

Posted Dec 29, 2013

With a 17-10 lead, the Eagles received the second-half kickoff and went to work following a touchback. Nick Foles tried to throw a screen, but the Cowboys sniffed it out. Instead, linebacker DeVonte Holloman came in free off the edge and sacked Foles for a nine-yard loss. On second-and-19, Foles handed off to LeSean McCoy, who accelerated up the middle for 16 yards. On third-and-3, however, the Eagles called a pass play, but Foles couldn’t find anybody and threw an incompletion into the turf while in the grasp of a defensive lineman. The Eagles were forced to punt, and Donnie Jones boomed the kick 50 yards. Dwayne Harris returned it 11 yards to the Cowboys’ 34-yard line.

On the Cowboys’ first drive of the second half, the offense moved down the field with a mixture of passes and runs. Kyle Orton found Jason Witten for a 19-yard gain on second-and-4 to get the ball to the Eagles’ 27-yard line. A completion to Dez Bryant for six yards and then a run by DeMarco Murray for a loss of four yards brought up third-and-8 for the Cowboys. On an all-out blitz that had Trent Cole coming free off the edge, Orton got the ball off right before getting hit and lofted a pass towards Bryant in the end zone. Brandon Boykin jumped with Bryant and got his hand on the ball to knock it away to bring up fourth down. In came kicker Dan Bailey, who converted a 43-yard fight goal to make the score 17-13.

The Eagles got the ball at their 20-yard line after a touchback on the kickoff. Foles immediately rolled out and hit Zach Ertz for 14 yards and a first down. McCoy got stuffed for a one-yard loss, which was by an incomplete pass to Celek. On third-and-11, Jason Hatcher beat his block and sacked Foles, forcing a fumble in the process. DeMarcus Ware recovered it at the 20-yard line and the Cowboys offense was in business with a chance to take the lead.

The Cowboys failed to score a touchdown, gaining just two yards on three plays and had to settle for another Dan Bailey field goal to make the score 17-16.

The Eagles and Cowboys then traded three-and-outs on their next possessions. When the Cowboys punted the ball back to the Eagles, DeSean Jackson returned the punt 23 yards to the Eagles’ 48-yard line. The offense finally got rolling, ripping off some long runs and a big passing play to move the ball down to the Cowboys’ 6-yard line. On first down, Foles handed off the ball to Brad Smith who rolled right looking to pass but missed Zach Ertz in the end zone. The second-down pass fell incomplete, then Jackson caught a pass but was stopped at the 1-yard line. The Eagles went for it on fourth down, but Foles was stopped short on the quarterback sneak as the third quarter ended.

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