Eagles win in OT, Cowboys' slide hits 6
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) DeMarco Murray put Philadelphia in position to win in his return to Dallas. Sam Bradford and Jordan Matthews finished off the Cowboys.
Bradford threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Matthews in overtime and the Eagles sent the Cowboys to their longest losing streak in 26 years with a 33-27 victory Sunday night.
Matthews broke away from rookie defensive back Byron Jones and ran past safety J.J. Wilcox on the first possession of overtime to hand Dallas (2-6) its sixth straight loss. The last time Dallas lost that many in a row was in 1989 when it dropped eight straight and finished 1-15.
”Me and Byron had been competing all game,” said Matthews, who had nine catches for 133 yards. ”He doesn’t play like a rookie, and he’s so aggressive. We said let’s try and go with a double move. Sam threw it right on the money.”
Jordan Hicks had a 67-yard interception return for a touchdown for the Eagles (4-4) in just the second overtime game for teams that have met 114 times.
The Cowboys have lost every game without quarterback Tony Romo, who will miss at least one more with a broken left collarbone.
Murray had 161 total yards – 83 rushing and 78 receiving – in his first game on his old home field after winning the NFL rushing title with the Cowboys last season.
”They’re a tough opponent. They’re like family to me,” said Murray, who broke Emmitt Smith’s Dallas franchise record with 1,845 yards last season and is starting to churn out yardage after a slow start this year. ”This one’s special. A lot of emotion.”
Dallas All-Pro receiver Dez Bryant had his first touchdown catch of the season in his second game back after missing five with a broken right foot.
Dallas defensive lineman Greg Hardy had a sack and two penalties, including an unsportsmanlike conduct call, a day after he tweeted ”regret” in response to the release of pictures of his bruised ex-girlfriend from his domestic violence case.
”Greg has a commitment to us,” Dallas owner Jerry Jones said. ”He has a commitment to do the right thing. We expect him to do the right thing.”
It was the second time during the skid that Dallas lost by giving up a touchdown to start overtime. New Orleans’ Drew Brees threw an 80-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the extra period in Week 4.
This time, Murray had a 20-yard run to get the drive going. Bradford’s winning toss on his 28th birthday came a play after officials originally ruled a fumble at the end of a run by Ryan Mathews. But replays showed his knee was down before the ball came out.
”Jordan did a great job running that route,” Bradford said. ”It was something that we worked on all week. Best birthday present ever.”
The Cowboys forced overtime with a 54-yard drive to Dan Bailey’s 44-yard field goal that caromed off the left upright and went through. Byron Maxwell was called for pass interference twice against Bryant on the drive.
Bryant had 104 yards on five catches, and Cole Beasley had career highs with nine catches for 112 yards with two touchdowns, which matched his total from a win against Chicago last year.
Matt Cassel threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns, including an 18-yarder to Bryant in the end zone when he threw up a jump ball after a Romo-like spin out a potential sack. But the big mistake to Hicks left him with the same 0-3 record Brandon Weeden had filling in for Romo.
Hicks stepped in front of a pass in the flat for Darren McFadden and sprinted 67 yards untouched. Cassel hung his head as he slowed up, realizing he had no chance to catch the former Texas linebacker.
It was the 20th takeaway for the Eagles, who went into the game leading the NFL, and it extended their with at least one to 14 games.
Philadelphia stayed even in the loss column with the NFC East-leading New York Giants (5-4), while the Cowboys are running out of chances to stay in contention to defend their division title before Romo returns.
”You see our team coming closer and closer together each week, and we’re trying to figure out a way to get it done,” Cassel said. ”That’s not to say this doesn’t hurt. I’m not trying to minimize what happened.”
Bradford was 25 of 36 for 295 yards, with the one touchdown to Matthews. He directed an offense that didn’t score in the first quarter for the sixth time in eight games, but scored four times in five full possessions in the second half and overtime.
NOTES: Dallas lost linebackers Sean Lee (concussion) and Anthony Hitchens (ankle) on Philadelphia’s 95-yard scoring drive to start the second half. Lee went out after tackling Murray on a short pass on the first play, and Hitchens was injured on Mathews’ 6-yard scoring run. … Mathews had 67 yards rushing and the Eagles had 172 as a team. It’s the fourth straight week they’ve had at least 158 yards rushing. … With the retractable roof at AT&T Stadium open, light rain fell briefly in the second half.
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