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Team Grades: Cowboys Beat Eagles, Lose Tony Romo To Broken Clavicle

By Shawn S. Lealos

The Dallas Cowboys remained in first place in the NFC East, and did it by beating their second straight divisional rival in the Philadelphia Eagles. However, for the second week in a row, the win came with a huge loss for the Cowboys. While Dallas beat the Eagles 20-10, they lost their starting quarterback Tony Romo to a broken clavicle, and he will join Dez Bryant on the sidelines for at least the next two months. Here is a look at the Cowboys performance in their second game of the 2015 NFL season.

Offense: C

This was one of the ugliest offensive games this year. The Philadelphia Eagles couldn't do anything on offense the entire game and the Dallas Cowboys were not much better. Before his injury, Tony Romo only completed 18 of 27 passes for 195 yards and never got the team into the end zone. Brandon Weeden was a bit better, a perfect seven of seven for 73 yards and a touchdown.

Terrance Williams was the top receiver in the game, but he was pretty quiet until the end when he caught the only offensive touchdown of the entire game for Dallas, a 42-yard strike from Weeden to put the game out of reach. Jason Witten, who was explosive last week, hauled in seven balls for 56 yards this week. No other receiver really did much else. It just wasn't a good offensive game on either side of the ball.

The running game was slightly better than last week, but not much better. Joseph Randle carried the ball 18 times for 51 yards and Darren McFadden carried the ball 10 times for 31 yards. That equals less than three yards per carry, and neither man got into the end zone. The only thing that made the Cowboys running backs look better was last year's starter, DeMarco Murray, only gaining two yards on 13 carries. Honestly, the best running back was Lance Dunbar, and that wasn't because of the eight yards on his only carry, but because of his 45 yards on three receptions.

Defense: A

The Philadelphia Eagles offense was poor, but the Cowboys defense had a lot to do with that. Sam Bradford threw two interceptions, one right into the chest of Sean Lee when the Eagles were driving into the end zone, and the second was a ball tipped by a wide receiver into the arms of safety J.J. Wilcox. The Cowboys only sacked Bradford once, an Anthony Hitchens sack, but they also forced Bradford to fumble the ball once, recovered by Nick Hayden, and hit him once. That fumble recovery came immediately after Tony Romo fumbled on the play he broke his clavicle; perfect timing for the Cowboys.

The Eagles only managed 219 passing yards on offense, but a large amount of that came at the end of the game when the Eagles drove for their only score of the game. However, the Cowboys defense completely shut down the Eagles rushing attack. DeMarco Murray managed two yards rushing, Ryan Mathews finished with no yards and Darren Sproles managed negative four yards on one carry. If the two Sam Bradford runs were eliminated, the Eagles would have finished with negative two rushing yards in the game.

The Cowboys defense bent at the end, but they never broke. For the second week in a row, the Cowboys shut down their opponent's offense, something that many thought the team would struggle with. Even without Greg Hardy and Orlando Scandrick, Dallas' defense is what has them sitting at 2-0 at this point in the season.

Special Teams: B

Dan Bailey might be best known in this game as someone who got a personal foul penalty called on him when he grabbed DeMarco Murray's arm when the Eagles' running back ran out of bounds. However, in the game, Bailey was a perfect two-for-two in field goal attempts, with 20 and 28 yard field goals in the first half of the game. In the punting game, Chris Jones had six punts for 315 yards, including a 61-yard bomb, one touch back and two punts inside the 20.

In the return game, Lance Dunbar had one kick return for 31 yards and Cole Beasley had two punt returns for only one yard. On the other side, Josh Huff had 21 yards on one kick return and Darren Sproles had 20 yards on two returns, in the only area of the game the Eagles outplayed Dallas.

Coaching: B

The Dallas Cowboys defense was coached expertly. It stopped the Eagles every step of the way, held down the passing game and completely shut out the rushing game. On the offensive side of the ball, Dallas seemed to be struggling to figure out how to move the ball without their biggest weapon Dez Bryant. It was interesting that Brandon Weeden ran the offense better than Romo did when he replaced the injured starter, but Romo is used to throwing to Bryant and Weeden doesn't have that handicap. The Cowboys coaching staff will have a lot of work to do the next two months without their two best players.

The Dallas Cowboys are in trouble. After beating the New York Giants in week one, while losing Dez Bryant, and the Philadelphia Eagles this week, while losing Tony Romo, Dallas has an uphill battle despite their undefeated record. Next week they face the Atlanta Falcons, who are also undefeated, and then face a struggling New Orleans Saints, before facing a very good New England Patriots. Without Romo and Bryant, Dallas will be lucky to finish those games with a 3-2 record, and then comes rematches with the Giants and Eagles and a game with the Seattle Seahawks. By the time Romo and Bryant return, the Cowboys could be in a huge hole. It is a nice start, but injuries have cast a shadow over the Dallas Cowboys.

Shawn S. Lealos is a freelance writer who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He writes for a variety of national publications and has over 15 years of sports journalism experience. Follow Shawn on Twitter @sslealos.

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