1. While the Cowboys are 2-0 so far, they have suffered some devastating losses due to injuries. They lost Dez and Gregory in week 1. This week, Tony Romo went down with a broken clavicle. Before going down, Romo was sharp. He was able to move down the field with ease but was held back by way too many penalties throughout the game. Romo finished the day with a 66.6 completion %, setting a new NFL record for most consecutive games - including playoffs - with a 60+ completion % (21).
As much as losing Romo hurts, Brandon Weeden was able to produce in his absence. Weeden completed all 7 of his passes for 73 yards and a touchdown to Terrance Williams to seal the win for the Cowboys.
What's the Cowboys plan next? And what's the latest on Romo's nonsurgical "good news''? The scoop is here.
2. Sean Lee is BACK! Coming off his season-ending injury from 2014, Lee is as dominant as ever. His 23 tackles this season is tied for the highest in the NFL through the first two games. Against the Eagles, Lee had 14 tackles - including 9 solo and 2 tackles for a loss - 2 pass breakups and a big interception in the end zone. That interception is Lee's 12th since he came into the league in 2010 - which is more than any other linebacker in the NFL in that span. Before the game he was tied with Detroit's DeAndre Levy with 11. To put that into perspective, Levy has played in 73 games since 2010. Lee has played in 48. That's 25 fewer games!
Sean Lee is an absolute monster and the Cowboys will need him to continue playing like that to stand a chance without Romo.
3. These Cowboys defensive backs were yet again impressive. Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr each had another solid game and are playing with a ton of confidence. Claiborne is starting to look like the player the Cowboys drafted back in 2012. Carr allowed just 2 catches for 24 yards and a TD in garbage time. Rookie DB Byron Jones also showed up. Jones allowed 1 catch on 3 targets and made a really nice pass breakup to set up JJ Wilcox's interception late in the game. Speaking of Wilcox, he and Church are currently Pro Football Focus's 6th and 9th ranked safeties, if you're into that sort of thing.
To show just how impressive this secondary has been in the first two games, here are their stats.. They've held QB's to a 58.9 completion %, 208 yards per game, 1 passing TD and a passer rating of 68.1. With Randy Gregory and Greg Hardy coming back soon, the improved pass rush will just help these defensive backs even more.
4. As impressive as the Cowboys were against the pass, they were even more impressive vs the run. This front-seven held the Eagles to 7 total rushing yards. They held their former teammate DeMarco Murray to just 2 yards on 13 attempts, an average of 0.15 yards per carry. They also held the explosive Darren Sproles to -4 yards on 1 carry. So far this season, running backs have had 41 rushes vs the Cowboys for a total of 106 yards. That's just 53 yards per game and 2.5 yards per carry.
Speaking of Murray... Through week 2 of 2014, DeMarco Murray had 285 rushing yards and averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Through week 2 of 2015, DeMarco Murray has 11 rushing yards and is averaging 0.5 yards per carry. But Jason Peters says that Philadelphia has a better offensive line than Dallas...
5. At first glance, it didn't look like the Cowboys had much success running the ball either. Joseph Randle had 51 yards on 18 carries, just 2.8 yards per attempt. McFadden had 31 yards on 10 carries, just 3.1 yards per attempt. However, running against this Eagles front seven is no easy task. Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan are not easy to move and the Cowboys running backs did a nice job of taking what they could and picking up some dirty yards. There is certainly room for improvement in this area, but they did a solid job.
It'll be interesting to see if Christine Michael gets any opportunities next week vs the Falcons. Fish and Bryan Broaddus on how impressie he's been in practice on scout team. But do you activate four RBs on gameday?
6. The special teams unit was once again impressive. Dan Bailey was 2 for 2 on his field goal attempts and had 3 touchbacks. Chris Jones also had a really nice game with 2 punts inside the 20, 1 touchback and 53.5 yards per punt. The most impressive special teams play, however, was when Danny McCray blocked an Eagles punt and Kyle Wilber scooped it up and returned it for a touchdown. This unit looked worrisome in the preseason but has quickly erased any concerns in the first 2 games of the season.
The only real Teams goof? Bailey's oddball wrestling match with DeMarco on the sideline, which earned Dan a 15-yard penalty.
Said Garrett: Our kicker did a really good job manhandling their running back."
7. I was happy with how well Terrance Williams played in Dez's absence. Williams had 4 catches for 84 yards and the game-sealing touchdown. He made several big plays and was able to do some damage against the Eagles big free agent singing Byron Maxwell. In limited playing time together since 2014, it seems like Brandon Weeden and Terrance Williams have pretty good chemistry. That'll need to continue over the next few weeks while Dez/Romo are out.
Meanwhile, Fish has the scoop on the timetable for Dez and his foot. Amid all the hand-wringing, has anything really changed?
8. Lance Dunbar continued to be a huge weapon for the Cowboys in the passing game. He had 3 catches for 45 yards, including a big 39 yard over-the-shoulder catch on the sideline. He is currently on pace for 920 receiving yards this season. Wonder where all of the fans are who wanted to release Dunbar in favor of Gus Johnson?
And again: Do you play C-Mike ahead of him? Ahead of Randle? Ahead of McFadden?
9. The Cowboys currently have the 8th ranked passing defense, the 1st ranked run defense and the 3rd ranked total defense. That's against an Eagles team that was supposed to be an offensive juggernaut and a Giants team with one of the most explosive wide receivers in the NFL. And the Cowboys don't even have Greg Hardy, Randy Gregory or Rolando McClain back yet. This defensive group is only going to get better. Quite an improvement from the 32nd ranked unit in 2013.
10. With the win in Philly, the Cowboys have now won 10 straight regular season road games, tying the franchise record. They've also won 7 straight road games vs divisional opponents and 4 straight road games vs the Eagles. This is one resilient team with a lot of mental toughness. You can thank Jason Garrett for that.
The "process'' jokes, you'll notice, are gone. Cowboys observers have finally figured it out: The path to building a successful program IS a process. And RedBall has his team on that path.