Philadelphia Eagles News

DBs Have Ups And Downs Vs. Dallas

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ARLINGTON, TEXAS -– Pick your poison. The Eagles' defense knew that Dallas, despite an offensive malaise with quarterback Tony Romo sidelined since the Week 2 win at Lincoln Financial Field, had some weapons on offense with tight end Jason Witten, a healthier Dez Bryant at wide receiver and slot pain-in-the-butt receiver Cole Beasley.

How do you cover all three players in the passing game?

In the 33-27 win over Dallas on Sunday night, the Eagles did a nice job against Witten, who caught six passes for only 43 yards. Bryant had five receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown, including a 51-yard catch and run on the Cowboys' first possession and a leaping catch in the back of the end zone on a pass thrown up for grabs by quarterback Matt Cassel.

Beasley was the real challenge on this night, however. He caught nine passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns and was targeted 12 times. The Eagles had to adjust their coverage late in the game to try to slow him down.

Safety Malcolm Jenkins had his hands full with Beasley so much that the Eagles switched to cornerback E.J. Biggers against Beasley in the fourth quarter. Biggers came up with a huge breakup of a Cassel pass on a third-and-6 throw to force the Cowboys into a field goal attempt that tied the game at 24-24.

"You just try to get as close to him as possible," Biggers said. "He's really one of the best in the league. It isn't easy. Stay close to him and then when the ball comes your way, try to make a play on him. He's going to make his plays. He's that good."

The Eagles and Cowboys met for the second time this season in Dallas during Week 9. View the full gallery here...

The secondary allowed 299 yards and three passing touchdowns from Cassel, who had by far his most effective game for the Cowboys since they acquired him in a trade from Buffalo. It wasn't a shutdown effort by any means.

But the Eagles did just enough, including a Jordan Hicks interception and return for 67 yards and a touchdown, to win on the road, reach 4-4 for the season, and drop Dallas to 2-6 on the season.

"I think I did OK. I could have done better and I know it could always be better," Biggers said. "But we got out of here with a win. I just did what the team wanted me to do and I'm all about the team. It was a great overall victory."

The secondary also overcame some penalties late in the game. Dallas drove 54 yards on nine plays in 1:44 to tie the game on Dan Bailey's 44-yard field goal to send the game into overtime, and on the drive the Cowboys converted a fourth down and gained first downs on three penalties on the secondary -- two pass-interference calls against cornerback Byron Maxwell and a holding call against Jenkins.

"I didn't focus on the calls. You just have to let them go. They were called. You have to move on to the next play and that's what I did," Maxwell said. "All I know is that we win this game and it's a division win. We're 4-4 and that's all that matters. We want to keep moving and keep growing.

"Hopefully we use this game and get rolling. We have to keep working how we did this week in practice and keep getting better. We gave up some plays tonight. We want to cut them down next week."

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