ARLINGTON, Texas -- Following the Eagles' 33-13 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night -- Philadelphia's second blowout loss in as many weeks -- the sense in the visitors locker room was that a defining moment of the season was upon them.
"I think the biggest thing for this team now is really find out who the dudes are," Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said. "I've been a part of teams where the dudes in the locker room do something about it, and I've been part of teams where it kind of crumbles. And now it's time to see the real leadership, the real players, the guys that's elite on this team, myself included, step up and do something about it."
The Eagles were outscored by the Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers by a combined 43 points over the past two outings. Some of the issues that hampered Philadelphia on Sunday have been cropping up for weeks.
The offense got off to another slow start, generating just a pair of field goals before intermission. It was the sixth straight game the Eagles trailed at halftime.
And they failed to score an offensive touchdown for the first time with Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback.
"This is something we're going through, not necessarily stuck in," said Hurts, who finished 18-of-27 passing for 197 yards and committed a momentum-stalling fumble on the team's first offensive possession. "We have to be able to learn from it, and we will. There's an eagerness to continue to press on."
The Eagles' defense, meanwhile, ranked 32nd on third down and 29th in the red zone entering the game. The Cowboys went 3-for-3 in the red zone and were 9-of-16 in third down conversions.
Philadelphia has allowed 109 points (36.3 per game) in its past three contests, the third-most points given up by a reigning conference champion since the 1970 merger and the most since the 2000 Rams.
"We just ain't taking care of each other," Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat said. "Our rush and coverage is not taking care of each other. It's week to week. We've just got to find out what is wrong and keep building on it. But it's getting to the point where it's just piling up and piling up, and we're not seeing the turnaround we would like to see."
The Eagles dropped to 10-3, and they are in a virtual tie with the Cowboys and 49ers atop the NFC. Next up is a "Monday Night Football" matchup at the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 18. The schedule eases up from there, with two games against the New York Giants sandwiching a home tilt versus the Arizona Cardinals.
"It's still great," Philly cornerback Darius Slay said of the team's confidence. "We've got great leaders in here that's going to lead the guys in the right direction. It's only the third loss. We've got four left. We've got to go out and capitalize on these four and get a push going, because everybody always says we've got time; but four games left, that time's shrinking."