Eagles beat hapless Cowboys despite brutal night from Carson Wentz

Jason Owens
·3-min read

In perhaps the best case yet for full-season flex scheduling, the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Dallas Cowboys 23-9 on Sunday.

In a game set up for Carson Wentz to get things right against the Cowboys’ 27th-ranked defense, the Eagles instead survived a mistake-filled performance from their struggling quarterback.

Wentz turned the ball over four times but added a pair of touchdown passes to beat a Cowboys team that failed to find the end zone.

Turnovers continue to plague Wentz

While Wentz upped his league-leading turnover tally to 15, the Cowboys struggled to move the ball at all with third-string rookie quarterback Ben DiNucci. DiNucci played like a seventh-round rookie making his unexpected NFL debut in place of a concussed Andy Dalton.

Otherwise, as expected.

Wentz’s four turnovers, against a Dallas defense that entered the night with a league-worst three takeaways for the entire season, were not. Even amid an ugly season playing behind a battered and injured offensive line.

Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles flicks an incomplete pass while under pressure from Randy Gregory #94 of the Dallas Cowboys in the third quarter of the game at Lincoln Financial Field on November 01, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
The Eagles survived four turnovers by Carson Wentz. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Eagles somehow on pace for playoffs

With the win, the Eagles improved to 3-4-1, which is good enough to retain sole possession of first place in the NFC East. But the result did little to quell concerns around a franchise quarterback whose play would have gotten a lot of less-pedigreed players benched by now.

For the Cowboys, who fell to 2-6, it was another abysmal effort in a season that’s flown completely off the rails.

Wentz completed 15 of 27 pass attempts for 123 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He took four sacks and fumbled twice, losing both. His first interception and third turnover of the first half saw him force a deep ball into double coverage in the end zone on first down from the 34-yard line with 2:14 remaining before halftime.

There was no reason to throw that pass. It’s a mistake — like many he’s made — that can’t be blamed on the litany of Eagles injuries.

Boston Scott and Travis Fulgham — both sixth-round picks — were rare bright spots for Philadelphia. Scott tallied 70 yards on 15 carries while Fulgham led the Eagles with 78 yards and a touchdown on six catches.

DiNucci’s debut a new low for McCarthy

Wentz’s saving grace was the quarterback on the other side. DiNucci finished completing 21 of 40 passes for 180 yards without a score. He took four sacks. He lost two fumbles. He somehow avoided throwing an interception despite putting several balls up for grabs — most of them in the first half.

DiNucci appeared to settle his nerves some in a second half that saw fewer reckless throws. But the Cowboys offense did little to move the ball on a night that saw Dallas convert just four of 16 third-down attempts.

Ezekiel Elliott, meanwhile, struggled to gain traction against an Eagles defense unthreatened by the passing game, averaging 3.3 yards per carry en route to 63 yards on the ground.

It added up to another botched effort from first-year head coach Mike McCarthy and his staff.

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