By Mike Grimm
The Eagles put the game away with an efficient drive that took up more than half the fourth quarter, converting three third downs and Jalen Hurts hit DeVonta Smith for a 7-yard touchdown. .
The Eagles failed on the 2-point conversion and led 26-17.
Hurts converted two of the third downs on rushing attempts and Philly needed the clutch runs after the Cowboys (4-2) powered their way back into the game. Ezekiel Elliott scored on a 14-yard run in the third that made it 20-10 and Rush, who mostly struggled, threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jake Ferguson in the fourth for a 20-17 game.
Gardner-Johnson made a diving catch for his second interception to cut off one late drive, and Brett Maher missed a 59-yard field-goal attempt in a last-gasp effort to stay within striking distance.
“Read your keys and go get the ball,” Gardner-Johnson said. “It feels good to come out in into the field like a hawk and go get the ball.”
Rush had led Dallas to four straight victories in place of the injured Dak Prescott but was overmatched under the lights in front of a rowdy crowd — and an Eagles defense that ranks second in the NFL in points off turnovers. Rush threw two interceptions in the first half that led to 10 points for the Eagles and the ineffective QB finished the half with a 1.0 rating.
No wonder the Eagles stand as the NFL’s lone unbeaten team.
Prescott, out since he suffered a broken right thumb in the season-opening loss to Tampa Bay, said his was plan was to play next week.
The Eagles scored 20 points in the second quarter and have now outscored opponents 112-27 in that quarter this season.
The Eagles had converted 8 of 12 fourth-down attempts coming into the game and kept the gambles rolling on their first scoring drive. Hurts connected with A.J. Brown on fourth-and-3 for 11 yards. Then on fourth-and-4 from the 10, the Eagles snared Dallas in a neutral zone infraction for an automatic first down. Miles Sanders scored on a 5-yard TD run and a 7-0 lead.
Rush, solid but hardly lighting up the scoreboard as a starter, had a pass deflected and intercepted by Gardner-Johnson, who flapped his arms after the pick and had Eagles fans going wild. Philly sports fans haven’t had much chance to settle down this fall. The Eagles are perfect, the Phillies are in the NL Championship Series, the Union host a playoff game this week, and the 76ers open the season this week and play the home opener Thursday.
Hurts capitalized off the pick and hit Brown for a 15-yard TD and a 14-0 lead.
Jake Elliott, who missed last week’s game with a bad ankle, added field goals of 51 and 34 yards to make it 20-0. Elliott’s second field goal came after Slay intercepted Rush.
“We took some shots from them,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said.
It’s what the Eagles do. It’s why they’re in first place.