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Cowboys Execute 'FishTips' In Win Over Philly

By Mike Fisher | @fishsports

PHILADELPHIA (105.3 THE FAN) -- With the help of Cowboys coaches and players, I develop "FishTips'' for each game, and of course did the same leading up to the Dallas-at-Eagles NFC East showdown.

The Cowboys' final score: Dallas 38, Eagles 27.

My final score on FishTips? Darn good. To wit:

1. DeMarco Murray needed only 168 yards to set the franchise record for a single season, surpassing Emmitt Smith's 1995 mark of 1,773 yards. But I didn't see this as his night.

RESULT: Murray ran 31 times for 81 yards, a paltry 2.6 yards per. He did have two short TD runs, so it's not like he wasn't important, but ...

2. There was a "why'' to my reasoning regarding DeMarco. And it had to do with my belief that Dallas would be more "pass-first'' than its been all season. Tony Romo's health, his numbers, and specifically his success on the road were reason enough for me.

RESULT: Romo was 22-of-31 for 265 yards. Very good. But get this: with his trio of TD throws and no picks here, he's got 18 touchdowns and just one interception in seven away games. That's a huge reason why 10-4 Dallas is 7-0 on the road, by far the NFL's best record.

The pass set up the run. And the victory.

3. I (and Cowboys coaches) saw the Eagles secondary as vulnerable, a bunch of 10- and 13- and 20-yard completions waiting to happen, especially with an inspired Dez Bryant (just a few days ago the proud father of his first daughter, Isabella Rose) being moved around on the field to win matchups.

RESULT: Five different Cowboys had receptions of 11 yards or more. And Dez? He caught six for 114 yards, including those three TDs from 4, 26 and 25 yards out.

4. The Cowboys defense would emphasize controlling the perimeter, would try to get 3-tech talents Tyrone Crawford and Henry Melton rolling inside like Seattle's Michael Bennett did last week against the Eagles, and with luck would force a Shady McCoy fumble, after having noticed that lately he's carrying it low and loose.

RESULT: McCoy was almost a non-factor, with 64 rushing yards and two catches totaling one yard. He wasn't guilty of a turnover, but that doesn't mean Dallas wasn't intent on getting some. And it did: the Cowboys forced three fumbles and recovered two, including one on the opening kickoff. They sacked Sanchez four times. And they intercepted him twice.

5. If it comes down to a kicker? Dan Bailey needs just six field goals without a miss in the final three games to become the only man in NFL history to go three straight years with 90-plus-percentage on kicks.

RESULT: The Cowboys stormed to a 21-0 lead, endured a Philly comeback to fall behind, and then when up 35-27 with 4:37 remaining, really needed him to ice the thing.

Bailey did his job. And the Cowboys did theirs, largely due to a Retro-Romo gameplan that positions them atop the NFC East.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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