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November 05, 2023

Eagles game ball: Philly survives the chaos against Dallas thanks to Jalen Hurts' poise, Josh Sweat's clutch sack

Jalen Hurts, with a clearly hurting knee, led two second-half scoring drives while Josh Sweat came up with a huge sack late to help the Eagles survive the late chaos against the Cowboys.

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Jalen-Hurts-Walkoff-Eagles-Cowboys-Week-9-NFL-2023.jpg Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Great win. Let's never do that again.

The Eagles beat the Cowboys, 28-23, in a huge divisional win where the last six or so minutes of it were the most chaotic and hair-pulling brand of football the Delaware Valley has seen in probably decades. 

Man, that experience. 

But the Eagles came out on top in the end. They're 8-1 now and up there as arguably the best team in football, definitely the best team in the NFC, and as with every win – no matter how chaotic or ugly it gets – PhillyVoice has game ball honors to hand out. 

Here are the two players getting the nod for Week 9...

Offense - Jalen Hurts

Hurts was down with little time left in the first half and slow to get up. DeMarcus Lawrence's helmet, while falling, bumped right into Hurts' knee – already ailing from a lingering bone bruise only disclosed last week – and the Eagles' QB felt it.

Philly got out of the half trailing by just three and the ball coming back to them out of the break, but with the entire stadium holding its breath over the status of their franchise QB, who jogged gingerly to the locker room.

He stayed in though, and coming back out for the second half, led the Eagles on two straight scoring drives that seized the lead, and the momentum, for the Birds – with a lot of added help from some costly penalties on Dallas' part.

Final observations: Eagles 28, Cowboys 23

On the first drive, after a blatant Cowboys facemask added 15 more yards on the touchback, Hurts and the offense chipped away into Dallas territory until Hurts dropped back and lofted a perfect pass over the shoulder of DeVonta Smith in the end zone to give the Eagles the 21-17 lead.

Then, after a Dallas three-and-out, Hurts and the offense came back out and did what they do best: churn out an 11-play, time-consuming scoring drive (6:18) that took further control away from the Cowboys and kept their defense out there for way too long.

Not that Dallas helped themselves any on it with three penalties – offsides, PI, and holding – that gave the Eagles massive chunks of free yards up the field.

The offensive line held, and Hurts stayed poised in the pocket, only running as a very last resort and with extreme caution straight to the sideline to avoid contact. But it was enough, as the Eagles marched downfield and Hurts capped it off with a quick pass on an out to A.J. Brown in goal-to-go territory for the score. 28-17, Eagles.

This should be the part where I write that the Eagles coasted and controlled the clock from there while the Cowboys withered away, but I can't. You more than likely saw what happened if you're reading this. That was chaos. Little of it was clean, which makes the pick for the offensive game ball hard enough, but the one for the defensive game ball even tougher.


Defense - Josh Sweat

And in reality, you can take your pick among a ton of choices with great plays and big stops, but then mistakes and frustrating penalties all over the place.

The last 5-6 minutes of this game were a mess, but Sweat is getting the nod here because his sack of Dak Prescott with 23 seconds remaining and no timeouts left for Dallas threw the Cowboys into a disarray that they had no time to recover from.

They ran a play on second and long with the clock running instead of spiking it, leaving them with only one more shot once it broke down into an incompletion, then got charged for a delay of game that left them a whole 27 yards back from the goal line with the Eagles knowing full well they had to press for it so stay back.

You can argue Sweat's sack was the nail in Dallas' coffin, and that the Cowboys hammered it in themselves.

Football is weird.

Future headlines: The Eagles are big time

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