By Art Beitchman

The opening kickoff turnover by the Eagles’ Josh Huff was all that was needed for the floodgates to open, and eventually give the Dallas Cowboys a critical division game, 38-27 leaving the Eagles needing to win out, plus needing help.

Huff fielded a short kick in traffic that was recovered by the Cowboys, then it was easily converted into a touchdown on a short field.

The Eagles battled back to take a 24-21 lead, but QB Mark Sanchez continued to be a turnover machine, throwing two picks, and the Eagles lost the TO battle 4-1 with the Boys. Sanchez’s inability to convert third downs carried over from the Seahawk game, taking much of the starch out of the Eagles offense in consecutive weeks.

Sanchez also missed routine throws to open receivers, throws that most NFL QBs make with their eyes closed.

Cowboys WR Dez Bryant torched Birds cornerback Bradley Fletcher time after time. Obviously, Romo was exposing the big-time mismatch for all it was worth. Bryant finished with six receptions for 114 yards, including three TDs, and he probably could have gotten three more — Fletcher was that bad.

The victory left the Cowboys with the NFC East lead with two games remaining. For the first time all year, the Eagles are in a group that characterizes them as “in the hunt.”

There are a few different scenarios by which the Eagles could still make the playoffs, but the most likely one is Dallas losing to the Colts, and the Eagles winning next Saturday at Washington versus the Redskins, then beating the Giants at New York the following week to win the NFC East at 11-5. And having a better division record than the Cowboys, as the first tie-breaker.

That’s the deal when you don’t care of business in your own back yard.

Next game is at FedExField, versus the Washington Redskins, Saturday December 20 at 4:30pm on the NFL Network

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