For the second time this season, the Eagles held Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray to fewer than 100 yards rushing. In fact, the Eagles are the only team to accomplish the feat this season when Tony Romo started at quarterback.
But Murray wasn't the problem for the Eagles on Sunday night. That would be wide receiver Dez Bryant, who had six catches for 114 yards and a career-high three touchdowns in the Eagles' 38-27 loss to Dallas.
Bryant scored all three touchdowns against cornerback Bradley Fletcher. Romo connected with Bryant on the scoring plays from 4 yards, 26 yards and 25 yards. The 25-yard touchdown put the game out of reach for the Eagles by giving Dallas a 35-24 lead with 12:48 remaining.
"I had a terrible game. That's what happened today," Fletcher said.
Following the Eagles' 33-10 win over Dallas on Thanksgiving, Bryant called out the Eagles for being "kinda cheap." Bryant didn't wait for kickoff on Sunday to begin mixing it up with the Eagles as he exchanged words with safety Malcolm Jenkins on the field pre-game.
"Everybody knows Dez is an emotional player," said Jenkins, who joked with reporters that the two were simply hashing out holiday plans. "That's the way he plays. He plays with a chip on his shoulder. He's very, very outspoken."
It's Sunday night and the biggest game in the NFL is the Cowboys-Eagles' showdown for first place in the NFC East ...
The Eagles' committed resources to stop Murray on the ground, which worked. Murray had 81 yards rushing on 31 carries for a 2.6 yards per carry average. But that left Bryant in one-on-one matchups on the outside with single-high coverage over the top.
"(Romo) did a good job of getting rid of the ball quick, especially on the ones to Dez down the field," Jenkins said. "There's no way for a middle-of-the-field safety to help on the ball and the rush is not getting there. He did a better job of not holding onto the ball and trying to keep the timing."
With Murray contained, Romo took charge and finished 22-of-31 for 265 yards with the three touchdowns for a 129.1 passer rating. Romo had just 199 yards passing in the Thanksgiving meeting. Romo's 31 attempts were the most since Dallas' game at Seattle back on October 12, when he had 32 throws.
"Romo wasn't dropping back as far as he was on Thanksgiving," said linebacker Brandon Graham. "We knew he was going to stay in the pocket, three-step (drop) and get the ball out. They did shorter routes and when there were longer routes they did max protect."
The Eagles sacked Romo three times, but whenever the quarterback needed to be bailed out Bryant was there for him.
"I think he and Tony have always had a special connection," said cornerback Cary Williams. "I think that those guys play really well together. Their communication is great. They made plays and we didn't."