Destiny. Redemption. Playoffs.
All three of those things took place when the Philadelphia Eagles overpowered the Dallas Cowboys by the score of 44-6.
Head Coach Andy Reid moved away from his pass-happy ways, calling 36 runs compared to 22 passes.
Donovan McNabb threw for 175 yards on 12 completions, two of them going to touchdowns.
The Eagles spread 135 yards between fiver rushers. The longest came from Correll Buckhalter in the latter stages of the third quarter. Buckhalter was also responsible for the longest reception of the day, a 59-yard catch-and-run at the beginning of the second quarter.
A stunning offensive performance, however, was not the story of the game.
Tony Romo and the Cowboys were plagued with turnovers and the Eagles wasted no time capitalizing on them.
The Cowboys had five giveaways. Romo was solely responsible for three of them.
At a time when the Cowboys sorely needed a big score to bring them back in the game, bruiser back Marion Barber coughed the ball up four yards from the endzone and Josello Hanson returned it 96 yards to put the nail in the coffin of the Cowboys’ game, season and playoff hopes, all at one fell swoop.
Defense was the word of the day.
Second-year linebacker Akeem Jordan came up with 10.5 tackles. Brian Dawkins was next with five takedowns, one sack and two forced fumbles.
The cameras spent most of their time documenting McNabb, but the catalyst of this team was Dawkins. From the beginning of the game the veteran could be seen hyping the crowd up while simultaneously motivating his team to never take the foot off of the gas.
Once the fate of the game was obviously sealed, Dawkins wasted no time rejoicing with tears of joy.
“I’ve never been a part of anything like this, obviously” Dawkins said after the game. “For the guys to pull together the way they pulled together after a tough loss… it speaks volumes about this team and the belief we have in our coaching staff.”
Everything became aligned for the Eagles to play their way into playoffs and the Eagles, just like everything about the night, jumped at the opportunity. Philadelphia is playing some of the hottest football right now. Let’s see if they can ride this wave into the post season when they take on the Minnesota Vikings next week at Minnesota.