Friday, November 28, 2014

Sanchez has Thanksgiving to remember as Eagles thrash Cowboys


Arlington, TX -- The game Birds fans waited 25 long years to see did not disappoint. 

Two years removed from an embarrassing incident in a Jets blowout loss to the Patriots, Mark Sanchez achieved redemption, throwing a touchdown pass and running for another score as the Philadelphia Eagles seized sole possession of first place in the NFC East with a resounding 33-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Sanchez had 217 yards on 20-of-29 passing, and LeSean McCoy posted 159 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries for the Eagles (9-3), who raced out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back on their way to improving to 6-0 on Thanksgiving.

The only thing preventing the score from being even more lopsided was Philadelphia's inefficiency in the red zone. The Eagles scored a touchdown only once and settled for four Cody Parkey field goals in five trips, but it didn't come back to haunt them because of a strong defensive effort.

The Eagles ended Tony Romo's consecutive games streak with a touchdown pass at 38 and held league rushing leader DeMarco Murray to under 100 yards.

Romo completed 18-of-29 passes for 199 yards and threw two interceptions as Dallas (8-4) dropped its third straight home game.

"Today was an opportunity that we didn't cash in on, but we have to learn from this game and move forward," said Dallas head coach Jason Garrett.

Murray failed to reach the century mark for only the second time in 2014. He finished with a season-low 73 yards on 20 carries against the Eagles.

The teams will meet again in Philadelphia on Dec. 14.

The Eagles started quickly as back-to-back runs of 13 yards by Darren Sproles and 36 yards by McCoy placed the ball at Dallas 22. Sanchez capped the game's opening drive by scoring on an option keeper from the 2.

After a Dallas punt, Sanchez picked apart the Cowboys secondary, completing 5- of-6 passes on an 88-yard drive that ended with a 27-yard touchdown grab by rookie wide receiver Jordan Matthews.

"Our guys came ready to play. They played with great energy," said Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.

The Cowboys responded as Dez Bryant's 38-yard catch along the right sideline set up Murray's 1-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter.

Philadelphia got another big play the next time on offense. Sanchez found an uncovered Jeremy Maclin, who cut across the field to the Dallas 20 on a 58- yard catch-and-run. Sanchez had fumbled on the previous play, but offensive lineman Andrew Gardner alertly pounced on the ball.

Parkey nailed a 31-yard field goal to put the Eagles up 17-7 with 12:10 left in the first half.

The former Auburn kicker added two more field goals inside the final two minutes to put Philadelphia up 23-7 at halftime. The rookie made a 22-yarder and then hit a 26-yarder following a fumble by Dallas wideout Cole Beasley.

McCoy fumbled on the Eagles' first drive of the second half, leading to a 28-yard Dan Bailey field goal, but he atoned for the turnover with a 38-yard touchdown run later in the third quarter.

Parkey made a 25-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Notes: The Eagles won the only previous meeting between the teams on Thanksgiving by a 27-0 score on Nov. 23, 1989 ... The Cowboys fell to 29-17-1 all-time on the holiday ... Maclin had 108 yards on eight receptions and posted his first career 1,000-yard receiving season ... McCoy eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing for the fourth time in five seasons ... Bryant caught four passes for 73 yards ... The Eagles converted 8-of-15 third downs and outgained the Cowboys by a 464-267 margin.
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