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Cowboys vs. Eagles 2012: Dallas' defense and special teams key to win

Dallas' defense and special teams played a key role in the Cowboys' 38-23 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

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The Dallas Cowboys went to Philadelphia on Sunday and defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-23, in a game that both teams desperately needed to win to stay relevant in the NFC playoff picture.

Cowboys fans were pleased to see that Dallas played a complete game, with major contributions coming from the offense, defense and special teams. KD Drummond of Blogging the Boys, SB Nation's Dallas Cowboys blog, noted Dallas' somewhat rare feat on Sunday.

The margin of victory was wholeheartedly due to three return scores; a punt, an interception and a game-clinching fumble recovery in the end zone. The Cowboys had not scored a touchdown without the offense having a hand in it since the end of 2011, when Terence Newman returned an interception for a score. Today, Dwayne Harris, Brandon Carr and Jason Hatcher all made their way into the ledger. The defense also knocked Michael Vick from the game in the first half with a concussion, and despite some lapses of their own came through with several nice plays.

Though it's not typical for teams to score with defense and special teams, nearly a year between scores from the units is frustrating -- especially with the amount of talent the Cowboys boast on defense.

Still, it's a step in the right direction for the Cowboys. Though Dallas sits under .500 at 4-5, the Cowboys have five of their last seven contests at home, and now have a 2-1 record in the NFC East, setting themselves up for a run at a playoff spot.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.