It may be a new year, but the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry is as heated as ever. Following 60 minutes of play at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday afternoon, Philadelphia came out on top, downing Dallas by a final score of 27-13.
After a defensive stop to begin the New Year's Day game, the Eagles' offense opened with a drive full of records to take an early 3-0 lead. Quarterback Carson Wentz set a new NFL rookie record for most completions with his 355th completed pass, breaking Sam Bradford's previous mark. Philadelphia was forced to settle for a field goal after moving 79 yards on the possession, which in turn allowed Caleb Sturgis to break another record. With a successful 22-yard kick, Sturgis officially connected for the 34th time this season to claim the Eagles' single-season record for field goals. It was previously held by David Akers.
But that lead didn't last long as the Cowboys marched 44 yards in nine plays to set up a 49-yard Dan Bailey field goal. That possession would mark quarterback Dak Prescott's last of the game as Tony Romo entered with 13:00 remaining in the second quarter. The Cowboys rested a number of key players including running back Ezekiel Elliott and linebacker Sean Lee. Prescott finished the afternoon 4-of-8 for 37 yards. Romo immediately got to work, leading the Cowboys on an 81-yard scoring drive – 29 yards of which were gained off a pass interference penalty on Nolan Carroll. The veteran signal-caller connected with Terrance Williams on a 3-yard touchdown following the penalty to put Dallas up 10-3 with 10:11 left in the first half. That would be Romo's only action of the afternoon. He finished 3-of-4 for 29 yards and a touchdown.
A second quarterback change for Dallas took place with just over eight minutes left in the second quarter. Mark Sanchez, who spent the previous two seasons with the Eagles, checked into the game for Dallas. Shortly thereafter, head coach Doug Pederson challenged a 17-yard Brice Butler catch along the sideline and the call was overturned. That in turn set up a Jordan Hicks interception on the following play. Hicks tipped a Sanchez pass with 6:45 on the clock and then caught the ball for his fourth interception on the season. With possession at the Dallas 35, the Eagles were unable to convert the turnover into points.
However, it would be déjà vu as Hicks would pick off Sanchez again less than five minutes later at the Cowboys' 49 and the team would be sure to make it count. Wentz connected with Zach Ertz on a 6-yard touchdown pass to tie the game with seven seconds left in the half.
Wentz and Ertz continued to be on the same page throughout the remainder of the matchup as well. The tight end scored a second touchdown, a 20-yarder, in the third quarter. The score gave the Eagles a 17-13 lead since Dallas had tacked on a field goal prior with 9:18 left in the quarter.
As a whole, Ertz put up stellar stats in the team's season finale. He picked up 139 yards on 13 catches and two touchdowns, marking the second time in his career he had a multi-touchdown game. It was also his third-career game with at least 13 receptions. Wentz also had a successful day, finishing 27-of-43 for 245 yards, two touchdowns and a 93.7 passer rating.
The Eagles would add another field goal en route to their second consecutive NFC East victory and later block a punt with 1:39 left in the game. That special teams play would turn into a Terrell Watson 1-yard touchdown run, the first of his NFL career. The running back had just been added to the team's active roster on Friday afternoon.
With the 27-13 victory, the Eagles ended the season on a high note and started 2017 on the right foot.
Nelson Agholor left the game during the first quarter with an ankle injury. He went in for X-rays, and was later downgraded to out.
The Eagles hosted the Cowboys for the final contest of the season and came away with the 27-13 victory heading into the offseason.