The Dallas Cowboys welcomed the Philadelphia Eagles to Cowboys Stadium for the first game of the 2009 NFL Playoffs.
The Cowboys won the coin toss, but elected to defer to the Second Half. Philadelphia handled the ball first but could do nothing after three plays and was forced to punt. The Eagles could manage little offense, punting all four times they had the ball in the First Quarter.
Dallas wasted no time with their first possession of the day, getting on the scoreboard when Marion Barber took a reverse handoff and dashed 25 yard for a touchdown. The Cowboys quickly led, 7-0.
The Second Quarter began when Philadelphia's Bernard Bunkley recovered a Cowboy fumble at the Dallas 40 yard line. Eagle quarterback, Donovan McNabb, returned the turnover favor by tossing a pass that went directly to Cowboy Mike Jenkins that squashed the first effective Philadelphia drive of the game.
The Eagle defense rose up on the next Cowboy possession and stuffed Dallas tight end Jason Witten inches short of a first down on a third down catch just across the fifty yard line. Sparked by their defense, McNabb fired a dart through the Cowboy pass coverage to darting wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin who broke into the clear with the ball and took it in for a touchdown. Kicker David Akers added the extra point and the score was tied just like that, 7-7.
Again the Eagles defense stood up the Cowboy offense and forced a punt. Philadelphia now had the better of the field position and took little time to score again, this time on a McNabb to tight end Brent Selek six yard touchdown pass. Suddenly, the Eagles were up on the Cowboys, 14-7.
Dallas was unable to generate any offense in the Second Quarter, just as Philadelphia sputtered in the First Quarter. Cowboy defensive end salvaged the First Half for the Cowboys when he sacked McNabb for a 10 yard loss, knocking the Eagles out of field goal range. The First Half ended with Philadelphia ahead, 14-7.
The Third Quarter began with a futile drive by the Cowboys that ended in a punt. Both teams traded field goals by the middle of the quarter before Eagle wide receiver DeSean Jackson reeled in a McNabb pass on the sideline for a key first down that put the Eagles in scoring position. The Dallas defense stood firm, holding Philadelphia to another Akers field goal. The Third Quarter was nearly over and the home-standing Cowboys were looking at a 20-10 deficit.
Dallas quarterback, Tony Romo, brought his team back into the game with a confident throw to the sure-handed Witten who bowled into the endzone from 3 yards out to bring the Cowboys seven points closer, 20-17 as the Third Quarter ended.
Donovan McNabb gave no thought to slowing down on the Eagles next drive. The Eagles turned to the air and McNabb slung his team down the field and found tight end Jason Avant curling in the endzone for a 5 yard touchdown pass. Philadelphia had stretched their lead to ten, 27-17.
The Cowboys trudged back into Eagle territory on their next drive, but could only manage a field goal attempt after the Philadelphia defense kept them out of the red zone. Dallas kicker Nick Folk then missed a 51 yard attempt that flew just outside of the right upright.
Not discouraged, the Cowboy defense held. Romo and Dallas moved back into Philadelphia ground right away. Easily within field goal range, the Cowboys took to the air and Roy Williams pulled down a high Romo pass in the back of the end zone to pull the Cowboys within three points, 27-24.
The Dallas fans were roused and the 100,000-plus of them were roaring for their team to complete the comeback. McNabb and the Eagles were game enough, and switched up their play-calling on their next possession, moving back to their running attack. The dagger in the heart of the Cowboys and their faithful fans came when Eagle running back, LaSean McCoy took a draw handoff from McNabb at the Dallas nine yard line and stabbed through the heart of the tottering Cowboy defense for the touchdown. There was less than a minute to go in the game and Philadelphia had taken a 10-point lead, 34-24.
Eagle defenders played a conservative pass defense the final few seconds of the game. Cowboy halfback Felix Jones scored what was only an afterthought of a touchdown when he ran two yards through a passive Eagle defense.
Final Score: Philadelphia 34 Dallas 31
2009 NFL Playoff Replay
Played using Downey Games' Momentum Football.
What This Is
A play through of the 2009 NFL playoffs. Write-ups are all original content.