Happy spooky season to all of you with pumpkin emojis in your social media names. May your costumes get you all of the likes, loves, eye emojis, and finally noticed by your crush.
I’ve always been more of a Christmas guy. The whole family gathers, I get to listen to classic songs that I never play other times of the year, and there’s sports. NBA on Christmas Day has been one of my Christmas traditions since Steve Kerr still played for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
For me, on the occasion that Christmas falls on Sunday, NFL games feel like an intrusion. Goodell, keep your shoulder pads and challenge flags away from me on Dec. 25. This is the one day I’m happy spending part of my day watching the New York Knicks play.
Christmas Eve, however, I’m ready for some football this year.
There is a Week 16 dandy on Saturday afternoon. Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles Part II, this time hopefully with Dak Prescott.
The two teams played last night, and with the Eagles undefeated and the Cowboys having only lost one game, this Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup looked like an early game of the year candidate for NBC. And with the Philadelphia crowd riled up after the Phillies took their bats to the Atlanta Braves’ championship defense at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, this was certainly a spooky-season night fit for “Dreams and Nightmares.”
What a nightmare it was for the Cowboys at first going, down 20-0. Backup Cooper Rush threw two of his three interceptions in the first half, and the Eagles tenderized the Cowboys’ defense like it was a brisket from H.E.B. This game had all the makings of this being the primetime moment when the Eagles separate themselves from the rest of the league in front of a crowd frothing at the mouth, during what might be the highest-rated regular-season game of the year.
For a while, it appeared that the only positive about this night for the Cowboys would be that the Rush experience would be over after Week 6, but the defense dialed in at the end of the first half and forced the Eagles into two field goals. Then someone must have clicked on Dorrough’s “Get Big” at halftime, because the Cowboys manhandled the Eagles to start the second half.
Ezekiel Elliot, Tony Pollard, it didn’t matter who carried the ball, the gains were significant. Zeke even looked swift again when he made that long cut for that 14-yard touchdown. On defense, this Cowboys unit that had been dominant all season swarmed Jalen Hurts, limiting his effectiveness.
Suddenly we had 20-17 game in the fourth quarter, until the Eagles finally scored again and Rush threw his final pick of the game on the next drive. Big plays on both sides of the ball, division rivals, fast and physical defense, oh please let’s run this back.
For those of you whose parents let you open one gift on Christmas Eve, we all get that experience later this year. If you’ve got a family party that day, either start it in the afternoon, or wait until night time.
While Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors should bring the always appreciated bad blood to Christmas Day, the game of the weekend is Cowboys Eagles II.
Get your eggnog ready.