Cowboys receive perfect Christmas gifts

Dec 24, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse (27) and cornerback DaRon Bland (26) and cornerback Trevon Diggs (7) and safety Malik Hooker (28) celebrate after Bland recovers a Philadelphia Eagles fumble during the second half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys receive perfect Christmas gifts

If the Cowboys were going to find a way to win on Christmas Eve, they were going to need a few gifts to come their way.

Those gifts were delivered right on time Saturday afternoon by Philadelphia quarterback Gardner Minshew, running back Miles Sanders, and the Eagles’ offense. Minshew and Sanders gifted Dallas four turnovers and an opportunity to stay in the hunt for the NFC East title – even if it is a long shot.

On Saturday, the Cowboys needed each one of those turnovers to surpass an Eagles’ offense that was unstoppable when it wasn’t gifting Dallas a short field.

The Eagles weren’t the only team at AT&T Stadium in a giving mood. The Cowboys’ defense also handed out gifts, allowing the Eagles’ offense to score on five of 10 drives without punting in a game for the first time this season. Thankfully for Dallas, it wasn’t enough to rally Philadelphia past a Cowboys team that only led in the second half for the final 2:19 of action.

Whether the win was earned or gifted, the Cowboys’ defense spent the afternoon handing out its own gifts.

Dallas gifted a backup quarterback the ability to torch them for 355 yards – more yards than Gardner Minshew had passed for since Oct. 6, 2019. Minshew had two touchdown passes and connected with seven different receivers in the game. He added another five yards on the ground, which included a 1-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter.

Despite the good statistics Minshew put up against the Cowboys, he gifted Dallas a pair of interceptions and a fumble – all of which turned into Cowboys’ points.

The first interception led to a 36-yard touchdown catch by CeeDee Lamb to give the Cowboys a 14-10 lead.

After the Eagles added 17 points, Minshew gave the Cowboys their second gift of the game – a fumble that safety Jayron Kearse scooped and returned to the Eagles 31. It led to a 12-yard Michael Gallup touchdown catch to pull the Cowboys even at 27-27.

After the teams traded touchdowns, Minshew would toss gift No. 3, a pass Cowboys’ nickel back DaRon Bland came down with at the Dallas 40. Bland’s pick led to a Brett Maher 48-yard field goal that put the Cowboys in front for good.

When Minshew finished handing out gifts, the Eagles weren’t done as a team.

Dallas would tack on another Maher field goal after Miles Sanders got into the giving spirit at his own 21-yard line. Carlos Watkins knocked the ball out, and Anthony Barr came up with the fumble recovery in what turned out to be the final gift of the game.

As the sun rises this morning on another Christmas day, the Cowboys are celebrating their four gifts, an 11th victory this season, a win over the NFL’s best team, and a chance, still, to win the NFC East title.

Dallas will have to play better, but a win over the Eagles on Saturday was the perfect Christmas gift, even if Santa was a backup quarterback dressed in Philadelphia green.

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