Week 15 – Dallas @ Philadelphia: Embedded with the “screaming idiots”

Matt Walsh Philly
“You’re brave wearing that around here…A**hole!”

“The ladies room is that way, Cowgirl!”

“Dallas SUCKS!”

Ah, the city of brotherly love. Despite mentally preparing for this game for the better part of a whole season, it is still a shock to the system to hear that first Philly insult as a Dallas fan at The Linc.

We don’t get much of that in Australia, but let me tell you one thing, I’m glad my Cowboys won the game.

There wasn’t a whole heap of optimism pre-game from my side of things. Having been embarrassed at home (again) by the same Eagles team just two games prior, it was hard to see how the Dallas D would cope trying to contain Chip Kelly’s zipping, misdirection-saturated offense in a house of, well, quite frankly, screaming idiots.

Though the place calmed down a bit after the kickoff – a short one from Dan Bailey that caused enough confusion in the Eagles’ ranks to see a turnover and great field position for the Cowboys, DeMarco Murray put it in the end zone. Maybe I like this place?

The first quarter was one-way traffic. Rolando McLain had his name called out on nearly every defensive play, and the highly inexperienced D managed to stuff the Eagles and hold their dynamic duo of Sproles and McCoy to peanuts.

The Linc wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, when Dez Bryant had snatched his second TD just four minutes in to the second quarter (making it look effortless as usual), it almost felt like home! (We won’t mention the soft calls from the refs regarding what was apparently “holding” on Bryant numerous times throughout the game).

It wasn’t to last though, as soon as those Eagles’ fans get a sniff of momentum, the place livens up and things start to get rowdy.

Chris Polk was Chip Kelly’s go-to guy on red zone run plays, and he strolled in pretty easily twice on the night.

I started to worry in the third. Jeremy Maclin started to get going, and cameos from Brent Celek and and the run game saw the pace of the game pick up.

When Maclin hauled in a 72 yard catch and run, followed by Polk’s second TD of the night, we were standing for most plays. Chips started to rain on me and a few not-so-friendly words started to flow in my and a couple of other Dallas fans’ directions.

Darren Sproles then made the most of an awful Romo fumble and made it 24 unanswered to the men in green and then some not-so-friendly back slapping (or was it punching?) had me thinking of the worst.

“It’s getting loud!” Some middle-aged Philly fan started flapping his arms stupidly in my vicinity. That man was probably a banker or a practicing lawyer during the week, though his awful depth of vocabulary and insistence on hitting me and baying for for blood made me chuckle at that little zinger my mind concocted.

All I could do was focus on the game, and hope I hadn’t come all this way to see this unfold in Philly’s favour.

Cowboys’ teams of recent memory wouldn’t have won this game. But the road form this year has been flawless, and true to it, Romo orchestrated another stoic performance to give his team the lead in the NFC East.

He connected with Bryant crucially and consistently in the back half of the third quarter and in the last. First, to set up another Murray ground score, and then again after Mark Sanchez threw an ugly pick behind Ertz that was athletically taken by JJ Wilcox.

That score was a thing of beauty. 3rd and 7, Romo with great protection just dropped back and floated a pearler into the waiting stride of 88 who scored his third of night, and Eagles CB Bradley Fletcher could only watch it unfold in front of him.

On a side note, pay that man. Pay him good, Jerry.

By then, a procession of last gasps from the Eagles couldn’t do any good. Almost as beautiful as that Romo-to-Dez ripper, the Eagle fans started to file out, taking their trashy mouths with them. I made sure to wave them goodbye. Especially when Sanchez threw a ceremonial, game-ending pick to Bruce Carter.

Dallas got it done 38-27, improving to 7-0 on the road. My trip to see them in Washington two weeks from now is also looking pretty good.

Though, with good memories of The Linc, maybe I’ll book in again for next time.

(This story written by Matt Walsh, who after watching Homer Simpson declare his intent to “own the Dallas Cowboys,” also decided that will be his lifelong goal. Having closely followed them for about ten years, with only one measly playoff win, he now realises he chose the “Richmond” of the NFL. However, it doesn’t stop him watching, reading, and travelling to see them.)

Dec 14
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadephia PA (69,596)

Dallas 14 7 7 10 – 38
Philadelphia 0 10 14 3 – 27

Passing: Tony Romo (DAL), 265 yds, 3 TD’s
Rushing: DeMarco Murray (DAL), 31 car, 81 yds, 2 TD’s
Receiving: Dez Bryant (DAL), 6 rec, 114 yds, 3 TD’s
Pigskin Almanac “Pay The Man” award: Dez Bryant (DAL)

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