Whoa! It turns out a screen pass can be a major weapon for this Cowboys offense.
I was all ready to write a halftime perspective on how the Cowboys failed to score a touchdown in the first half for the fourth time in five road games this season.
And then, completely unexpectedly, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott hit Michael Gallup on a wide-receiver screen and Gallup turned it into a 25-yard gain to convert third-and-15.
Screen passes have been the norm for third-and-extra-long for the Dallas offense this season and have mostly resulted in getting back to the original line of scrimmage.
Gallup picked up the first down and then some, sparking the Cowboys offense. Gallup got them to the Eagles’ 40 and four plays later Dallas was in the end zone, boosting its lead to 13-3 at the break.
From the Eagles’ 40, Prescott hit Cole Beasley for 21 yards, tight end Geoff Swaim for 1 and Allen Hurns for 17 to the Philadelphia 1. The Cowboys QB then scored on a dive, reaching the ball across the goal line.
Earlier in the half, it looked like the Cowboys notched a major highlight play and a TD when Ezekiel Elliott hurdled Eagles’ safety Tre Sullivan. Elliott appeared to stick the landing, but then his momentum got the best of him and he fell short of the goal line at the Philly 8. Dallas settled for a Brett Maher field goal, his second of the half.
But even leading 6-3, it felt like a positive for the Cowboys.
When the Dallas offense came alive before the half, the Cowboys heard something that has been a rarity on the road: a stadium full of unhappy fans, who booed the Eagles going into the halftime locker room.
Looking at the halftime stat sheet, Dallas out-gained the Eagles 218-132 in total yards in the first half.
So the big question for the second half: Can the Cowboys sustain that momentum on offense in the second half? Or will the Eagles turn it around and keep Dallas winless on the road this season?