It was strength against strength. Coming into Sunday night's NFC-East clash, the Eagles sported the No. 1 rushing offense in the league and the Dallas Cowboys came in with the top run defense in the league, allowing just under 70 yards rushing per game to opponents. Well, LeSean McCoy had 80 yards rushing after only one quarter en route to the Eagles' 34-7 squashing of the Cowboys.
It was another banner night for McCoy, doubled down on his last game, when he ran for 126 yards on a then-career-high 28 carries. Sunday night, McCoy topped that performance with 30 carries for 185 yards rushing, the sixth highest single-game rushing total in franchise history. McCoy has now run for 754 yards on the season, second only to Adrian Peterson of the Vikings, who has played eight games to McCoy's seven. McCoy also leads all running backs with 5.6 yards per carry.
But to hear it from McCoy, the third-year running back's dominance in 2011 is a product of both his own skill and the talent and performance of his offensive teammates.
"I feel like I'm one of the elite guys," McCoy said. "I feel like each player has a fight in them, they want to be considered one of the best players in this league. I feel like every game is like an opportunity to prove myself, a guy that's kind of underrated. So I just want to go out there and prove myself. I think I have the offensive linemen to do it and I have the talent around me. It's different for me because I have so many weapons around me, it makes it a lot easier for me. Each player on this team won't get enough credit because the guy next to him is so much better than other teams. We've got so many weapons to go to. Anybody in any given game can take off. It can go for any of these players."
One of those talented teammates, wide receiver Jason Avant, agreed with McCoy.
"I think that the O-line deserves a lot of credit," Avant said. "I think everyone, when you have guys like (Jeremy) Maclin and DeSean (Jackson) on the outside, it loosens up the defense because they want to play cover two and that leaves the extra man out of the box. And then you have Mike (Vick) to add to that so the defensive end has to stay home. There are a lot of things that go into LeSean's (production), and then, you can't take away his ability, his playmaking ability and he's a great playmaker."
Of course, it takes a special player to take advantage of those opportunities. Head coach Andy Reid said McCoy is "playing as well as any running back there is." Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg referred to McCoy's work off the field as a complement to his natural ability.
"He's a dynamic-type player, he's very shifty," Mornhinweg said. "I think LeSean would be good in virtually any system. I think our offense sort of highlights his abilities and skills. Our offensive line and LeSean have obviously worked very hard, great preparation. In fact, LeSean popped into out Tuesday morning blitz meeting with the centers and quarterbacks that Howard Mudd is in charge of. So LeSean jumps into that meeting. So his preparation and hard work is high."
During his superlative Sunday, McCoy managed to score a touchdown (two, in fact, on rushes of 2 and 13 yards) for the seventh consecutive game, one game behind Steve Van Buren's franchise record, set in 1947. And in dominating the Dallas defense, McCoy became the first Cowboys opponent to run for over 100 yards since, well, since McCoy did it himself last December 12. In fact, McCoy is the only opponent to surpass 140 rushing yards in the Cowboys' last 50 games, and he's done it twice.
At this point, there's nothing McCoy can do that will surprise Eagles fans. The only thing left to do is to sit back and watch, likely with amazement.