ARLINGTON, Tx. –The Eagles continued their domination on Thanksgiving Day with a big second quarter to lead 23-7 after two periods.
After a Cody Parkey field goal gave the Eagles a 20-7 lead, cornerback Brandon Boykin stripped Dallas wide receiver Cole Beasley of the football on a first-down catch and safety Nate Allen recovered the football on the sideline at the Dallas 33-yard line and returned it to the 11-yard line with just over a minute to play in the half.
Two plays gained 3 yards and the Eagles called timeout. With 33 seconds remaining quarterback Mark Sanchez threw incomplete intended for Riley Cooper and Parkey kicked a 26-yard field goal, his third of the half to give the Eagles a 23-3 lead.
The Eagles ended the first half at AT&T Stadium with a lead that could have been much more had three red-zone opportunities been converted into touchdowns.
Still, it was 23-7 at the half as the Eagles offense racked up 292 total net yards in the first half.
Dallas opened the second quarter with a second-and-goal play from the 1-yard line and the Eagles jumped offsides, moving the football half the distance closer to the end zone. From inside the 1-yard line, running back DeMarco Murray carried over left guard and went into the end zone standing up. Dan Bailey's PAT made the score Eagles 14, Cowboys 7.
The Eagles came right back, however. They overcame a second-and-20 situation after Sanchez had the football knocked from his hands and it was recovered by right tackle Lane Johnson for a 10-yard loss, but on the very next snap Sanchez found wide receiver Jeremy Maclin all alone on the right sideline – the Cowboys bit when Darren Sproles went in motion to that side and ran a pass route to the right flat – and Maclin gained 59 yards to move the ball from the Philadelphia 21-yard line to the Dallas 20-yard line.
A play later, Sanchez missed a wide-open Brad Smith on a similar look on what would have been a touchdown, and after LeSean McCoy gained 7 yards on second down, Sanchez had a throw into the end zone for tight end Zach Ertz knocked away, and Parkey capped the 8-play, 67-yard drive with a 31-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 17-7 lead with 12 minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
After an exchange of possessions, the Cowboys started on their own 2-yard line midway through the quarter and called on Murray, who moved the ball to the 20-yard line on three carries. Two plays later, Vinny Curry came from the backside and sacked Romo and Dallas punted. Darren Sproles returned the kick 12 yards to the Philadelphia 39-yard line with 5:31 to go in the quarter.
A completion to Sproles picked up 6 yards on third and 5, moving the ball into Dallas territory. A throw right to Maclin gained 11 yards to the 38. Sanchez to Jordan Matthews picked up 4 yards. A defensive hands to the face penalty on a screen pass to Matthews moved the ball to the Dallas 24-yard line.
On first down from there, McCoy tried the right side and gained 1 yard. Sanchez overthrew Brent Celek down the seam on second down, and on third and 9 safety J.J. Wilcox couldn't cover tight end Zach Ertz without holding him, and the penalty gave the Eagles a first down at the 18-yard line.
McCoy ran left for 9 yards to reach the 2-minute warning. On second and 1 from the 9, McCoy gained 4 yards and a first down up the middle to the 5-yard line as Dallas called timeout. A McCoy carry up the middle gained a yard to the 4-yard line. On second down and goal, Sanchez lined up under center and McCoy ran left for 1 yard and Dallas called its final timeout.
On third and goal, Sanchez threw a jump ball left for Cooper, but cornerback Sterling Moore batted the ball away and Parkey came on to kick a 22-yard field goal for the 20-7 advantage.
Sanchez was 17 of 24 passing for 202 yards and 1 touchdown in the first half. McCoy gained 83 yards on 14 carries. Maclin caught 5 passes for 93 yards and Matthews had 4 grabs for 51 yards and a touchdown.