PHILADELPHIA -- The Dallas Cowboys, a team familiar with December heartbreak, blew an early 21-point lead but managed to come back and down the Eagles, 38-27. Here's what we learned:
- Scott Linehan called a fantastic first half. Although the final drive before the break ended up skewing his passing ratio a bit, his balance and unpredictability out of certain formations embodied what Jason Garrett hoped for when he surrendered play calling duties. We especially liked the five empty set plays that looked to throw Philadelphia a bit. It ended up giving Dallas just enough of a cushion heading into the second.
- Could this have been Mark Sanchez's chance to fend off Nick Foles? At times, Sanchez looked to have more velocity and certainty behind his passes than ever. At others, he was again frantic and unable to digest certain coverages. His pick was ill advised, but a pair of overthrows were just as costly. At this point, turning back to Foles seems obvious.
- There doesn't seem to be any excuse for leaving Bradley Fletcher on Dez Bryant. We understand that options are limited, but the second touchdown should have been the indicator. That being said, Bryant's price tag continues to balloon. Jerry Jones said he did not want to spend emotionally, but what if Dallas makes the playoffs? Could Bryant set the record for guaranteed money given to a wideout?
- If there's an advantage to all the brutality Tony Romo has endured over the years, it's that he seemed to have finally figured out a way to minimize the damage on certain sacks. But then, he does a complete 180 at the six-minute mark in the third quarter and holds the ball for more than seven seconds, never anticipating a rush from his blind side. The Eagles took over at Dallas' 14-yard line and took the lead momentarily. It seems Romo is still learning to operate with certain limitations.
- How many people thought that Dallas was operating on the same, tired cycle? After blowing a 21-point lead, did it not look like another epic collapse? It's incredible what a little help across the offensive line and a little seasoning among the coaching staff will do for you.
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