DeMarco Murray, Eagles outlast Cowboys in overtime

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  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
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Despite Matt Cassel's career night, DeMarco Murray, Sam Bradford and the Eagles offense had the last word over the Cowboys in a wild NFC East overtime showdown, 33-27.

1. In this week's installment of Eagles running backs sharing snaps: stability! Philly won this game on the ground thanks to a balanced running attack from their dynamic duo. DeMarco Murray (18 rush, 161 total yards, TD) and Ryan Mathews (11 rush, 67 yards, TD) received comparable carries and were for the most part equally effective. The Eagles used Murray more in the pass game, a role usually reserved for Mathews, and it worked well against the Cowboys' depleted linebacking corps.

On the Eagles' game-winning drive in overtime, coach Chip Kelly trusted both of his backs with meaningful carries. Murray took the Eagles into Cowboys territory and Mathews then converted a crucial fourth-and-1 before Sam Bradford connected with Jordan Matthews for the game-winning score on the ensuing play.

2. Three games into the starting job, Matt Cassel (299 yards, 3 TDs, INT) finally found his security blanket: Cole Beasley. The most unlikely of targets saved Cassel early and often while Dez Bryant was locked up in coverage. Beasley ran crisp routes and made life tough for Philadelphia's pressing corners en route to a career high in receiving yards (112) and touchdowns (2).

Not to be be outdone, Bryant came down with a highlight reel touchdown catch and went over 100 receiving yards for the first time this season.

3. Darren McFadden proved why he deserved to be the lead back in Dallas all along. With another 100-plus yard game, McFadden has now averaged 111 rushing yards per game since the Cowboys' bye. He's proven to be a work horse for Cassel and the Dallas offense, which needs a consistent running game to keep opposing secondaries off the line and their receivers.

4. Jordan Hicks, Cowboy killer: coming to a prime-time game near you. After breaking Tony Romo's clavicle in their Week 2 matchup, the Eagles linebacker stopped the Cowboys' momentum in the fourth quarter with a pick-six (HicksSix?) of Cassel, giving the Eagles a seven-point lead.

5. Another year, another Sean Lee injury. This time, the linebacker left in the third quarter and remained out with a concussion, his second in six weeks. It seems the Cowboys' defensive captain is stuck on the sidelines with a new ailment every season in Big D -- last year it was an ACL, and the year before that it was a neck.

6. The Eagles (4-4) continue to keep ground with the Giants (5-4) -- who won in Tampa Bay on Sunday -- in the NFC East. As Dallas (2-6) and Washington (3-5) continue to lose, the race for the division crown is slowly turning into a two-team competition. Philadelphia can surge ahead with a soft three-week stretch (vs. MIA, vs. TB, at DET) before taking on the likely-unbeaten Patriots in Foxborough.

Side note: The NFC East remains the most overrated division in football, but boy, are its prime-time games entertaining.

7. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett addressed the team's decision to play Greg Hardy, following the Friday release of photo evidence stemming from the defensive end's 2014 domestic violence incident.

"We as an organization, we don't condone domestic violence," Garrett said. "We take the issue very, very seriously and we knew when we signed Greg Hardy there'd be some criticism that came with that. We laid out expectations for him right from the start and we decided that we were going to give him a second chance. But in doing so, the expectations and the standards that we set will be very clear to him, how he, and really everybody else, is supposed to conduct themselves on the football field and off the football field. Those expectations and those standards are very clear to him. We decided to give him a second chance. He's worked hard for our football team up to this point. He knows what the expectations and the standards are and we'll hold him accountable to those."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones added, "He has a commitment to do the right thing. We expect him to do the right thing. He has a commitment to his teammates and his team and the refs and the NFL, relative to behavior. We need to give Greg the second chance and you lose that in the NFL if you don't do the right thing. So he'll do the right things if he wants to take advantage of the opportunities that he's got with the second chance and we'll see how it goes from there."

Hardy finished the game with two tackles and one sack. He was also flagged twice for 20 yards.

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