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Eagles top Cowboys in sloppy SNF game, reclaim first place in NFC East

Eagles top Cowboys in sloppy SNF game, reclaim first place in NFC East
Philadelphia Eagles safety Rodney McLeod scored a touchdown on a fourth-quarter fumble return in a win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in Philadelphia. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 2 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia Eagles reclaimed first place in the NFC East after they came out on top of a sloppy Sunday Night Football battle with the Dallas Cowboys.

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz completed 15 of 27 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns, but also had four turnovers in the 23-9 triumph Sunday in Philadelphia. The Eagles also were aided in the fourth quarter by a bizarre fumble return for a touchdown and a safety.

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"I felt like we did what we had to do to win," Eagles safety Rodney McLeod told reporters. "There's going to be times where the defense carries the team and there's going to be other times where the offense comes up big and bails us out.

"Every phase showed up [Sunday] when we needed them the most."

The Cowboys put together a nine-play, 47-yard drive on the game's opening possession, but were only able to come away with a 48-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein.

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Wentz and the Eagles later ended the first quarter with a 10-play, 83-yard touchdown drive for a 7-3 lead. The Eagles quarterback capped off that drive with a two-yard touchdown toss to rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor.

Zuerlein added two more field goals in the second quarter to give Dallas a 9-7 lead at halftime.

Wentz threw his second interception of the game on the first possession of the second half, but the Cowboys were unable to capitalize as Zuerlein missed a field goal attempt to end the next drive.

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The Eagles used the good field position from the spot of the missed kick to spark a nine-play, 53-yard touchdown drive. Wentz threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Travis Fulgham to give the Eagles a 15-9 lead.

Neither team scored an offensive touchdown for the rest of the game.

Dallas appeared to be moving the ball well in the fourth quarter before Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards sacked Cowboys quarterback Ben DiNucci and forced a fumble.

Neither team realized where the ball was at the start of the play, before a Cowboys offensive lineman inadvertently kicked the ball backwards. McLeod then spotted the ball and scooped it up before he ran for a 53-yard touchdown.

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The Cowboys were backed up to their own 11-yard line on the next drive. They snapped a punt through their own end zone to end that drive with a safety.

DiNucci -- the Cowboys third-string quarterback -- completed 21 of 40 passes for 180 yards in the loss. Ezekiel Elliott had 73 yards from scrimmage on 20 touches for Dallas.

"We are getting it going in the run game, but we have to protect the quarterback better and make a couple more plays," Elliott said. "We have to score touchdowns. We can't just kick field goals."

Edwards, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry each had sacks for Philadelphia. Graham and Edwards also recorded forced fumbles.

"A win in this league is a win, man," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. "They are hard to come by. There's never a pretty win. There's never an ugly win. A win's a win. We've got to start stacking them together."

The Cowboys (2-6) host the Pittsburgh Steelers at 4:25 p.m. EDT on Sunday in Arlington, Texas. The Eagles (3-4-1) have a Week 9 by before they face the New York Giants in another NFC East game at 1 p.m. EDT on Nov. 15 in East Rutherford, N.J.

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Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott (L) is stopped by Washington's Landon Collins during their game at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., on Sunday, where the Cowboys lost to Washington 25-3. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

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