For the third time this season, the Eagles would need a fourth-quarter comeback to ultimately win the football game. And tonight in Arlington, just like the previous two, Michael Vick and the Eagles offense delivered. Vick finished the game with 270 yards and two touchdowns, with 95 yards and a touchdown coming in the final frame.
For head coach Andy Reid, how the Eagles won is of little importance. For as he learned last season, any win against the Cowboys is a good win.
"When you play the Dallas Cowboys, and if you're good enough to win the game, that's a beautiful thing," Reid said after the game. "I'm proud of these guys. We've had a lot of changeover on this football team, and these guys put the pedal to the metal here. I'm enjoying it because it's an NFC East victory, and I'll enjoy it until we land and then we have to get ready for the Giants."
Aiding Vick in a big way down the stretch was running back LeSean McCoy. In what was his most productive day on the ground in his career, McCoy finished with 149 yards on 16 carries and averaged over nine yards per carry. But to grasp the full nature of McCoy's night, you must consider what he did in the second half.
McCoy headed to the locker room at halftime with six carries for 15 yards, and was a non-factor in the Eagles' first-half offense. The Cowboys, certainly, must wish they kept it that way.
After a 56-yard run on the first offensive play after the Eagles surrendered the lead in the third quarter, McCoy went on to simply dominate the Cowboys defensive front as the game wore down. The second-year running back had 66 yards in the fourth, and helped the Eagles pick up five first downs on the ground in the final quarter (including one to clinch the game after the two-minute warning).
"I like what we did there at the end," Reid said. "We got the football, we kept the football, and we pounded it. We played good physical football down the stretch there. I thought LeSean (McCoy) ran hard and explosive, and the big offensive line was coming off the ball. There's a point when you just need to do that."
It can't be overstated how important it is to win games while coming from behind in the second half. It gives a team confidence, and proves to each player in the locker room that the game is never over until the final whistle. Sometimes, just having that belief is enough to get it started.
While the Eagles offense is on pace to set a franchise record for points scored in a season, their ability to stay poised when trailing late in the game may well be their greatest asset.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 1:05 a.m., December 13