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Dallas Cowboys' season hits precarious turning point

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A promising season for the Dallas Cowboys now sits at a crossroads.

Crushed 33-10 by the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, the 'Boys have lost their first-place share of the NFC East and now face a precarious uphill battle for a playoff spot.

After facing the Bears next Thursday -- live on NFL Network -- Dallas is tasked with knocking off the Eagles on enemy shores in Week 15. It's a rematch that looms as a must-win game for the Cowboys and their stiffest challenge to date. Especially after what we saw on Thanksgiving Day.

Coming into the bout openly concerned with containing Chip Kelly's high-speed offense, Dallas looked completely caught off-guard. If other coaching staffs have caught up to Kelly's scheme, the Cowboys resembled last year's Redskins when Washington served as the Week 1 guinea pig for an attack that hovered as a complete mystery.

After dropping a game this season to then-Redskins' backup, Colt McCoy, the Cowboys on Thursday made Mark Sanchez look like the second coming of Norm Van Brocklin. The Eagles passer led one crisp, mistake-free march after the next, shredding Dallas for 464 total yards and never letting go.

The Cowboys have beaten teams all season with a ball-control approach that chews up clock and allows Tony Romo to set the pace of games behind the power of MVP-level runner DeMarco Murray. It's a legitimate formula that makes Dallas a headache to deal with -- and Romo better through the air -- but that all went to seed on Thursday before a stunned crowd at Jerrah World.

Instead of months to prepare their rebuttal, though, the Cowboys face a ticking clock. The corrections coach Jason Garrett makes between now and Week 15 will go a long way toward deciding this year's rough-and-tumble NFC East.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the Week 13 games and reacts to the news of RGIII's benching in D.C. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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