With just more than three minutes left in the fourth quarter of the Eagles' 29-23 overtime loss to the Cowboys on Sunday, quarterback Carson Wentz found Darren Sproles, who tied the game with a 6-yard touchdown.
After a possibly back-breaking, quick-strike touchdown by Dallas and a controversial penalty calling back a would-be-tying score, Wentz found a way to lead the offense down for the touchdown that was needed. It was the second game-tying drive in the last six minutes of the fourth quarter.
He then had to sit on the sideline as the game went into overtime and the Cowboys pulled off a drive of more than eight minutes to end the game with a touchdown. All Wentz could do was watch.
“It’s a helpless feeling,” said Wentz after the heartbreaking loss. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in the defense, they were making plays today. It’s a helpless feeling not going back out on that field, but we just didn’t do enough early offensively and that cost us.”
He was right. The Eagles’ offense came alive in the second half with near-miraculous drives to tie the game twice and give the team a chance to win it. He finished 22-of-32 passing for 228 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. He had a 120.3 passer rating, his second best of the season.
But in the first half, Wentz and the offense were not nearly as efficient. Wentz was 6-of-8 for 48 yards with a fumble lost and a passer rating of 89.6. He was sacked twice, and the Eagles picked up just 70 yards on 17 plays and trailed at halftime 6-0. Another slow start doomed them long term.
“It’s frustrating. It’s absolutely frustrating,” Wentz said. “With the talent that we feel we have on the offensive side of the ball and just couldn’t execute, couldn’t sustain drives, and came up short here and there, without a doubt that’s frustrating.”
The slow start could have been avoided if not for a questionable review on what appeared to be a Cowboys fumble forced on the opening kickoff. It was ruled after replay that the fumble was not clearly recovered by the Eagles. That call, paired with a 75-yard touchdown by Dallas Goedert called back in the fourth quarter, were plays that frustrated the Eagles.
But Wentz didn’t cast blame away from himself or the offense after the loss.
“I never want to sit and question the refs,” Wentz said. “They have a hard job to do. So, I’m not going to stand up here and question how they did or what they did at all.”
In the end, the offense just didn’t do enough. The second half started with two drives totaling a combined eight plays and 20 yards. Two defensive turnovers set up the Eagles' first nine points of the night and the Eagles never led, playing catch-up for the entire second half.
In a game that was massive for the NFC East standings, the Eagles couldn't get it done and now trail the Cowboys by two with three to play.
“It was a tough loss. It’s a tough loss," Wentz said. "We knew the stakes of this game and we were able to stay in it. We were struggling there for a while and then we fought back, we were extremely resilient, and we just came up short.
“And then to lose on that play, the way it happened, where Rasul (Douglas) made a great play and it just bounced their way, it was kind of, you could say (we were) stunned a little bit but just frustrating for sure.”
Take a look at the best photos from the Eagles' game against the Dallas Cowboys.