PHILADELPHIA—— The Eagles could rightfully have been arrested for what they did to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night, administering a near-perfect beating that left their NFC East rivals bloodied and humiliated and possibly in search of a good attorney following a 34-7 drubbing.
Though there was no trace of snow at Lincoln Financial Field following a storm the previous day, no snowballs would have been necessary for punctuation anyway. The players took care of all that on the field, making outspoken Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan choke on his August guarantee of victory.
In the end, the statistics were even more staggering than the final score, and the Eagles were back in the division race, even with a record (3-4) that's still under .500 as they approach midseason.
They entered with the league's top-ranked rushing offense. Dallas (3-4) entered with the league's top-ranked rushing defense. The Eagles left with 239 yards on the ground. The Cowboys left with not much of anything to cling to following one of the all-time lopsided results in this storied series.
By the end, the Eagles had compiled 495 yards, 31 first downs and an average of 7.1 yards per play.
What's more, running back LeSean McCoy came through with a career-high 185 rushing yards on a career-high 30 carries.
The Eagles scored on every one of their first six possessions. Not until under 10 minutes remained in the game did punter Chas Henry make his first appearance.
Even after a poor punt then was returned 23 yards to the Eagles' 44, the Cowboys could not convert.
They did, however, avert a possible shutout on their previous possession, when quarterback Tony Romo found wide receiver Laurent Robinson wide open down the right sideline for a 70-yard touchdown.
But up to that point, Romo and his offense had been all but battered into submission by an Eagles defense that followed up its best performance of the season two weeks earlier against the Washington Redskins with an even better one on national TV against Dallas.
Hence, coach Andy Reid remained perfect in games played coming out of bye weeks, improving to 13-0 in his career.
What the Cowboys did in the fourth quarter did not matter. What the Eagles did in the first three quarters did.
That included touchdowns on their first three possessions and field goals on their next two, before McCoy ran 13 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to give them a 34-0 advantage.
The Eagles took the opening kickoff and drove 79 yards for their first score, a 12-yard bubble screen from Michael Vick to Jeremy Maclin that underscored the cohesiveness of their offensive line, which mostly was out in front of him before he caught the ball.
Vick completed 21 of 28 passes for 279 yards and a pair of TDs. He was not intercepted.
An inside spin move by left defensive end Jason Babin on the Eagles' first defensive series netted the first of the team's four sacks. Two plays later, his pressure on that side helped Trevor Laws come through with their second, forcing a punt that set up the Eagles' second score.
This time, they only needed seven plays to go 90 yards, with McCoy running for gains of 11, 34 and 2 on the final three.
They had the ball back three plays later, when Moise Fokou broke up a pass that Nnamdi Asomugha intercepted at the Eagles' 33-yard line.
Vick responded with an 11-play drive toward Philadelphia's third touchdown, hitting Jason Avant for a 20-yard gain on third-and-8 to set up a 9-yard pass to tight end Brent Celek for a touchdown on the next play.
The Cowboys never were able to threaten basically because they never had the ball. They managed just 12 first downs as the Eagles finished with a 42:09 to 17:51 advantage in time of possession.
More importantly, this was the first time all season the Eagles did not turn the ball over.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, previewing the induction to the team's Honor Roll of late defensive coordinator Jim Johnson and former cornerback Eric Allen:
"No one who worked alongside Jim Johnson or Eric Allen will ever forget them. Jim was our defensive coordinator from 1999 until his very premature death in 2009. We are so pleased to have his wife Vicki with us today. ... Jim was the architect of an unpredictable, aggressive style of defense that left our fans and all of us cheering every time we sacked a quarterback or stuffed a run. He loved drawing up defenses [and] they came from everywhere, blitzes, strategy, and there was no denying that when you had Jim you had a very aggressive and wonderful defense. But many more than that in the locker room, on the practice fields, in the meeting rooms, outside the lines, outside the field Jim was just much more than a football coach; he was a motivator, he was a teacher, and more than anything I would say a friend [and] a friend to us all. He was old school as you know, he was gruff, incredibly honest both to the media and everybody he worked with.
"... Eric Alen ... was the prototypical modern cornerback; smart, fast, explosive, capable of changing the course of a game in a single play. He was a student of the game [and] he put his studies to use in becoming a feared defender and an interception machine. His 34 interceptions are the most in team history tied with Bill Bradley and Brian Dawkins. ... . We're proud to have Eric here with us today and we look forward to hearing him cheered at halftime by all of the Eagles fans."