Big Win in Big D

Posted: December 30th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 195 Comments »

The Eagles beat the Cowboys 24-22. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t easy. But it was one hell of a win. There are no style points in the NFL, just final scores. I was hoping the Eagles would build off last week’s dominant showing, but that didn’t happen. This became one of those games you hope to survive.

We can make all the Kyle Orton, Tony Romo, Jerry Jones or Monte Kiffin jokes we want, but we have to give the Cowboys some credit. They played hard tonight. They won the line of scrimmage, on both sides of the ball. That doesn’t mean the Eagles lacked heart or toughness. Some nights the other guy just gets the job done.

I do think the Eagles should be concerned that Dallas won the LOS. That’s not to be taken lightly. If the Eagles were facing a more complete team or better QB, they might have lost that game.

Nick Foles had a nightmare game vs Dallas back in October. He was a very different player tonight. Foles went 17-26-263. He threw for 2 TDs. He didn’t have a pick, but did have a fumble. That turnover led to a Dallas field goal. Foles made some big throws in the game. He hit Celek with a deep ball early on. That was almost a perfect throw. Foles threw somewhat of a jumpball to Jason Avant on a later drive. That appeared to be risky, but Foles saw the matchup and knew Avant had the edge. Foles took a chance, but a calculated one.

Shady McCoy had an up and down game, but he was spectacular for one drive in the 2nd half. The Eagles led 17-16 when they got the ball near midfield. Shady ran the ball 7 times on that drive. Bryce Brown had a couple of carries, including one for a 6-yard TD that provided the winning points. Shady ran well all game, but the blocking wasn’t consistently good. He finished with 27 carries for 131 yards. He also caught a short TD pass.

The Eagles defense did not have a banner night. They gave up 358 passing yards to Kyle Orton. The pass rush was non-existent. That was extremely discouraging. The CBs did a very good job in the game. It was the LBs and Safeties who struggled. Jason Witten ate them alive. And in a nightmare scenario, Dez Bryant was matched up with Patrick Chung 1-on-1 late in the game on a 4th down. Bryant caught the pass, broke the tackle attempt and ran for a TD.

Cris Collinsworth was going on and on about Mychal Kendricks early in the game. Kendricks looked good, but I was waiting for his one or two key mistakes to change all the hype Collinsworth was throwing his way. Wouldn’t you know it, MK played the best game of his NFL career. He led the team with 12 tackles. He had an INT and FF. He got burned by Witten a time or two, but only because Jason is 6 inches taller. Nothing you can do about that.

Brandon Boykin sealed the game with an INT. He also made a key play earlier. It was 3rd/2. Dallas ran left. Boykin got wide and forced Murray to stay inside, where he was stopped for just a gain of 1. Then on 4th/1, Barwin knocked down Orton’s throw. Boykin also broke up a deep ball to Bryant. He did get burned by Terrance Williams for a big gain, but did have good coverage even on that play.

STs was a big concern going into the game, but the Eagles won that battle. Donnie Jones hit some big punts. His final kick, with the game on the line, went for 56 yards. That is clutch. Alex Henery hit a 47-yard FG and had several touchbacks. DeSean Jackson had a 23-yard PR that set up a long drive (got stopped on 4th/GL).

The Eagles made more plays than Dallas. The Eagles protected the ball better than Dallas. The Eagles were smart. These things helped them to win the game.

The novelty of the win will wear off as the reality of facing the Saints on Saturday sets in. Enjoy the win for the next 24 hours. Never overlook how great it is to win a division title. Remember that just a year ago the Eagles lost the finale 42-7 in a game that wasn’t even that close. That was rock friggin’ bottom.

Chip Kelly did a great job with this team and got them to finish 10-6 and win the NFC East. We’ll see how the team does in the postseason, but this was a great ending to a terrific and fun regular season.

And it didn’t hurt to see Jerry Jones look utterly frustrated at the end of the game. That’s a pretty good late Christmas present.

_


  • Andy124

    Not to often you lose the LoS handily and still win the game. Whatever happens next week, we beat Dallas and blew all reasonable expectations out of the water. Young guys get to find out what playoff football is like so they’ll be better at it next time around. Looking forward to next week so much more than this, because losing won’t crush me.

    E-A-G-F-O-L-E-S go Eagfoles!

    • D3FB

      I don’t know that you can really say that we lost the LOS on defense. Sure the rush wasn’t getting there in terms of sacks or even consistent pressure but there were a number of times that someone would break through and prevent Orton from stepping into his through. Plus we shut down their run game. Murray was 17 for 51, with a long of nine. That’s 3 ypc. That’s impressive.

      • http://www.aceandson.com/blog Richard O’Connor

        Great point on the run. Murray’s a very good back and this was just the kind of game where a RB can get you a win (like McCoy did on the Brown TD drive).

      • Always Hopeful

        I thought Murray was gonna gash us all night…he was trucking guys. I don’t know what the numbers were after Kendricks laid that good lick on him, but they reeled him in after a while.

        Hard running Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram in town Saturday…also the jitter bug Sproles…man, I’m glad I’m not Rob Ryan OR Billy Davis this week :-)

    • BC1968

      131 yards rushing for McCoy means they were dong something right on the offensive line, even though the pass protection was bad tonight.

  • Septhinox

    What worried me is that not only did the pass rush not get there, but neither did any of the blitzes. That can be a problemn going forth. Also, Cover 0 with Chung in the game is a no-no.

    Also, you must try Herr’s. ;)

    • TommyLawlor

      I’m looking forward to some Herr’s chips.

    • McNabbulousness

      i’m with you, what ever they were doing worked, we couldn’t get to the statuesque orton at all. Even with the blitzes i only saw one play (by cole) where we got a good hit on orton.

      and that cover0 with chung was bullshit. if we’d lost everyone would have looked back on that play call as a big reason why we didn’t win.

      but we won! hopefully we can learn and build off the mistakes from this game

    • dave H

      Charles Chips! used to be delivered in tins .. Chip Kelly’s real name is Charles – CHARLES CHIP ALL THE WAY !!

    • fran35

      100% on the Chung comment. That guy is terrible. I would rather have Kurt Coleman out there. Chung reminds me of Jarrad Page. Remember that guy? Couldn’t tackle and kept blowing up his own teammates with his blind and late hits.

      • greenblood0118

        Chung is dung. Davis’ head should be examined for calling a Cover 0 on that play when ONLY a TD gets them back in the game…

    • ACViking

      Watch the replay and Chung steps up then to the side to try to tackle Bryant . . . instead of a direct line to where Bryant was *going to be*.

      Frustrating.

  • Matt

    Great great tough win. Remember too that the Cowboys have only lost to the Broncos (51-48) and the Packers at home this year before the Eagles. And they seem to match up well against our lines. I don’t like that, and maybe something that can be fixed.

    And note for you Henery haters- he has made 9 straight FGs, including 51, 49, and 47 yard ones; and he had a good kick off game too. Maybe we can finally put that stupid hate to rest. His 47 yard FG was the difference in this game.

    • Insomniac

      That would be impressive…for a high school kicker.

      • Matt

        Its impressive, for an NFL kicker.

    • fran35

      Henery is unreliable and weak legged. He absolutely needs competition in training camp. We should not be called haters for expecting our NFL kicker to be reliable. Here’s a scneario for you: Late playoff game, down 2. We are playing in a cold stadium and need a 47 yd FG. Are you confident in Henery? Or how about when we need to kick the ball out of the end zone so a Coradelle Patterson type can’t have a return—is Henery your guy??

      • Matt

        Well the facts don’t support your first sentence at all. He missed a 60 yard FG, not because of distance, but because it was wide.

        Am I confident in Henery in that playoff scenario? Hell yeah- the facts are clear that I should be. Again, he’s made 9 straight FGs, and they weren’t all easy- a 51, a 49 OUTDOORS, and a 47. And he’s made two 48 yarders on the year. And kicking deep? Well he did it just find last night and against the Bears, so yeah I’m confident there too.

        I call people like you haters because you ignore the facts and go by what you think you see.

        • fran35

          Still feeling good about Henery, tough guy? The guy shit the bed in exactly the situations you wanted. WRONG

          • Patrick Henry,The2nd

            You are damn right I’m still feeling good about Henery. He wasn’t the reason the Eagles lost, and did NOT shit the bed, at all, in any universe.

            Henery is not the problem in ANY sense of the word.

    • P_P_K

      Good points, I had forgotten how tough the Cowboys had been at home.

    • iceberg584

      He’s definitely been better. He was hooking some kicks in the first quarter of the season, and supposedly, Fipp made a correction to his mechanics afterwards. Since the Broncos game, he’s missed two kicks…the ridiculous 60-yarder in the first Dallas game, and one in the wind in Green Bay. I think he needs a signature, David Akers-esque last-second GW field goal before people get off of his case.

  • izzylangfan

    Jerry Jones is the gift that keeps on giving for Eagles fans.

  • Phyxius

    Something has to be done about the horrible officiating, football is becoming less enjoyable.

    Nonetheless, it was great seeing all the players happy after the win.

  • Cafone

    I wish the play clock error had affected the outcome of the game. It would have made Dallas fans even more miserable.

    • eagleyankfan

      I think it did affected the game.

      • DarthBanner

        Cowboys scored a TD on that drive, so it didn’t really affect the outcome.

        • eagleyankfan

          I meant more of “in the moment”….while it happened, it had impact. It was a huge mistake by the refs/time keeper…

          • DarthBanner

            More the clock operator than anyone else. I find it funny (now) that the one flag the refs threw on the cowboys was wrong, yet cowboy fans will complain about that while looking over all the muggings that they got away with.

          • fran35

            They did get away with some muggings. After watching them play the Skins last week, I felt the Cowboys got alot of calls, almost like the officials were trying to gift them the game. I felt the same way this week. I guess the NFLloves the Boys

          • iceberg584

            In fairness, I saw about three blatant holding penalties not called on our O-Line. Off the top of my head, the only call that really infuriated me was the phantom holding on Lane Johnson in the first quarter.

  • BC1968

    I just took my whole punter post down because it doesn’t make any sense after reading the post and Tommy already expressed what i thought needed to be expressed about something that could easily been overlooked. Wow, that was crazy. lol

  • SteveH

    Kendricks and Boykin put their big boy pants on tonight and had monstrous games. My favorite play of the night outside of the Boykin interception was when Kendricks crushed Murray at the LOS. Was beautiful to see since Murray had been putting a hurt on us all night. Retribution is sweet.

    • iceberg584

      Yeah, that hit took a bit of the wind out of his sails.

  • BC1968

    The League Office said they will be apologizing for not calling a penalty on the Chargers on the 4th quarter FG kick that would’ve given the Chiefs’ kicker a second chance kick from 36 yards. If you saw what happened then you know why. Thanks NFL league office, that ought to make the Steelers feel better. lt really makes me breath a sigh of relief to know that if we ever get royally screwed by the refs that an apology from the league office will be in order :)

    • RobNE

      What was the penalty? Penalties are missed all the time.

      • Andy124

        SD lined up with 7 men on one side of the ball on a field goal block attempt. New rule says you can only have 6.

        • RobNE

          Well that happens. This year seemed bad for the refs. But Pitt can’t think that is the primary reason they are out of the playoffs.

  • ICDogg

    NFC – (6) New Orleans at (3) Philadelphia (NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET)

    Opening Line: Eagles -2 ½, 55

    Philadelphia Home Record: 4-4 SU, 3-5 ATS
    New Orleans Road Record: 3-5 SU, 1-7 ATS

    Head-to-Head: The Saints have won four of the last five meetings against the Eagles. The last encounter took place from the Superdome as New Orleans captured a 28-13 win.

    Playoff Notes: The Eagles have dropped their last three playoff appearances both SU and ATS, with the last defeat coming in 2011. Since QB Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton joined forces in 2006, the Saints have gone 5-3 SU and 3-5 ATS in the playoffs. All three of the losses came on the road and New Orleans gave up 39, 41 and 46 points in those defeats, which helped the ‘over’ go 3-0.

    • BC1968

      That year in 06-07 when we had Garcia finished up the season I remember we lost to the Saints in the regular season in NO when Brees was able to take the last 5 mins off the clock, kept getting 3rd down conversions and we never got the ball back. If I remember correctly, the same damn thing happened after we got by the Giants with Garcia. We played again in NO, in the end the defense couldn’t get the Saints off the field converting 3rd downs and running out the clock. If my memory serves me well, that’s off the top of my head.

  • BC1968

    How bad did Bears’ fans want us to lose tonight? We destroyed them in a game we didn’t need as bad as them, but it did end up giving us the 3rd seed, so we did have a reason to play hard. Anyways, tonight they sat and watch us win a game we really need and squeak by a team that wasn’t as good as them.

  • Joe Minx

    Now that I’ve calmed down a bit from celebrating, I really just don’t understand why it seemed like such a chore for us to move the ball on that terrible defense. I’m surprised we even managed 24 points to be honest, everything felt so hard to get. What is it that they do that causes our offense such problems? I find this vexing, especially with the way Chip used to wax Monte Kiffin in college.

    Also, what in the world was Billy thinking with the Cover 0? I mean I get that he was counting on the blitz getting home to disrupt the play, but still. Cover 0 on Bryant with Chung the lone man. There’s not a worse matchup nightmare than that.

    • Michael Jorden

      While the Dallas D was terrible in past games this season and statistics show they aren’t a good unit – they played pretty darn well tonight. Dallas was really up for this game on both sides of the ball. I didn’t think coming into the game they would match the Eagles’ intensity, but they did. Division rivals…

    • DarthBanner

      I was concerned that after hearing all week how bad the defense was and how Dallas had no chance without Romo, the Cowboys would come out with a chip on their shoulder and play well on both sides. That obviously happened, but the Eagles were able to withstand it.

    • Always Hopeful

      Cowboys are Chip’s kryptonite :-)

      • ACViking

        No. It’s Kiffin who’s the Kryptonite. He couldn’t match Kelly in college.

        But Kiffin knows every NFL trick there is, and has NFL players pulling them off.

        Last night was — to me at least — more about coaching than the players.

        Kelly’s a fast learner. If Kiffin sticks around, I’d like to think it’ll be harder and harder for him to keep Dallas in the games.

        • Always Hopeful

          Yes, specifically Kiffin and the scheme he’s taught the ‘boys.

          I wonder about our o-line going forward. I’m not a football expert, but it just seems like they had lots of trouble in pass-protection last night and earlier against Dallas.

          I was hoping that the October game was a fluke, but Monte gave the ‘boys a chance to win last night.

          • ACViking

            Kiffin still has some tricks to teach.

          • Always Hopeful

            Could also be a match up issue? I keep seeing Selvie and Hatcher coming free and are they just too athletic for our line to defend?

            I’ve haven’t seen many Dallas games, but I’ve seen them get beaten by lesser offenses than ours.

            I also temper that with the fact that it’s a division game and all…I hated playing the Cardinals back in the day ’cause no matter how bad they were they always seemed to give the Eagles a tough game :-)

          • ACViking

            AH:

            The match-up issue . . . that’s a great question.

            Hatcher and Selvie were incredibly active last night. And in the first game this year.

            And the Cardinals? That problem goes back to the early 1970s — no matter how bad they were, the Cards always seemed to win a game against better Eagles teams.

            That was a match-up problem, too. The Cards of the late ’70s – early ’80s were constructed very much like the 1980 Oakland Raiders. Particularly at the skill positions.

          • Always Hopeful

            Always love the historical aspect you bring!

    • SteveH

      The initial plan wasn’t to have Chung cover Bryant, the Cowboys motioned Bryant to the slot to get him matched up on Chung. Not an ideal scenario to be sure but it wasn’t like Billy D called up a defense that deliberately had Chung 1 on 1 with Bryant.

    • Michael Winter Cho

      Foles seemed to be getting a lot of pressure and also not seeing things quite as well as you might like. I liked how he used the interview to praise the rest of the team. Great leadership.

  • ICDogg
    • Michael Jorden

      This is so incredible – big win for Chip Kelly and staff for their first season.

    • eagleyankfan

      Imagine what next year can bring…

      • jshort

        I’m imagining what this year can bring. Last night was a pressure cooker. Was on the edge of my seat the whole game. Now we have nothing to lose, Young and dumb, no ghosts in their closets. They don’t quit. So whatever happens happens, the pressure is gone. Foles exorcised himself, the rest is gravy.

        • Always Hopeful

          I like that approach! I’ve flip-flopped over the second half of the season with my expectations for this team.

          I go from “good to see improvement, they’ll be even batter next year…” to “why not this year?…they have enough pieces to ’cause a ruckus THIS year!”

          Hopefully they’ll continue to ’cause a ruckus this year!

    • ACViking

      ICD:

      You know, the Eagles PPG, PAG, and TY aren’t that much different from 2011 — when the offense had many of the same players.

      The difference was turnovers. Particularly at the QB spot (25 INTs + a bunch of fumbles).

      Foles may not be the most talented, but he proved again (as McNabb did in Reid’s insane pass-happy offense) that if you protect the ball, your chances of winning increase. By how much I don’t know. But they go up for sure.

  • Bob Brewer

    Regarding the offensive line, I don’t think they played well but I also think Foles did not make them look good either. Foles held the ball way too long last night on numerous occasions.

    He has to be quicker with his decisions.

    • SteveH

      I mean, when no ones open, that makes getting rid of the ball quickly difficult. Numerous replays showed everyone blanketed. I think he could have thrown the ball away on a few of those, but I think he was trying to make a play. Typical young QB stuff.

      • iceberg584

        I think he needs to consider throwing it away out of bounds. The whole “firing the football into the ground ten feet in front of him” routine seems to draw a lot of grounding penalties.

        • ACViking

          That’s a Bill Lazor thing. No way Foles does that more than once if it’s not USDA-Kelly approved.

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    Numbers aren’t everything, but its very odd when Foles can have a statistical game so good but still leave me somewhat unimpressed.

    • Bob Brewer

      I completely agree. He looked very nervous last night, which might be expected since it was, essentially, his first playoff game.

      But man he never made me feel comfortable despite his numbers.

      He’s going to have to play better this week. This is his first game going head to head against a truly elite QB.

      • Michael Jorden

        I was at work during the game so not able to actually watch any of it closely but it looked like he was getting quite a bit of pressure. I’ll be real interested to read Tommy’s game review.

        • Bob Brewer

          I thought there was some pressure but it was less than he felt. He just held the ball too long.

          But I’m probably being somewhat harsh. QBs take years before getting that part of the game down. He’s been great.

          • RIP Worms

            Dallas generated a lot of interior pass rush last night. Foles has been outstanding all year at avoiding the outside rush by stepping up in the pocket. Dallas didn’t allow that. I recall several plays where Foles tried to step up and couldn’t.

            I thought Monte had a great gameplan overall. Luckily the DBs stepped up and the offense made just enough big plays to win the game.

      • DarthBanner

        He was the anti-Romo, calmly taking the sack or throwing it away rather than trying to make a play by forcing it.

        • Breezy

          This does not get enough attention. Foles is from Texas. Im sure that got the butterflies goingg. All the pressureto win was on him, yet who had the backbreaking miscues come crunch time?

          • iceberg584

            Yeah, he mentioned he was going to have a lot of family/friends at the game at one of his pressers last week. I was not thrilled with that circumstance when I first heard it.

      • jshort

        He gets credited for winning the NFCE championship in his home state. Mom and Dad + family members must be feeling proud. Now he gets to go against a QB whose records he broke. Think he’s not wanting to hand him a loss? Should be a good one outside the comfort of a dome. Brees has small hands, hard to handle a cold or wet football.

      • Andy124

        This is his first game going head to head against a truly elite QB.
        Uh, hello? He already went up against Cassel, remember?

    • eagleyankfan

      Yes — but — keep in mind how young this kid is. He has yet to put in a full season as a starter — in a hostile environment and the NFC East title on the line. Meanwhile — veterans in Cinci and SB winner Flacco combine for 7 int’s.
      I think the kid is allowed to be a little nervous….

  • T_S_O_P

    What a night! Before it all began, I wanted a win, Vick in by Q3 (emphasising a blow out win), Trent Cole to make it upto 10 sacks in the regular season and Boykin to grab his 6th interception. We got two of those and it probably served us much better to win this way, than by way of blowout.

    I played my part. I woke up at half time. 17-10, OK, maybe I’ll watch some of this. I watched Foles take a sack, a three and out and Dallas scoring on the ensuing drive. Remembering last week, and how when I watched live, our Eagles suffered, so I flipped the iPad over and put my head back on the pillow.

    Could I sleep? No, of course I couldn’t, anyway how could it really be me? So I flipped the iPad back over only to witness Foles fumbling the ball. for sure it was me! I needed to go back to sleep to further our cause. So from that point I tried desperately to sleep.

    Thinking it had been long enough, I tturned the iPad back on to see the final score. There was 5 minutes to go in the 4th and we had a 24-16 lead. I then watch two fourth down conversions and a Dallas TD. How they missed the 2-pointer with their lucky omen watching, I’ll never know. Again, after we went 3 and out, I hit the sack.

    There was no way I could sleep, so after judging that time had expired, I opened the iPad and dreaded the worst. Dread turned immediately to joy.

    To recap, over the last two weeks, I have woke up and tuned in to watch the Eagles play their worst moments in games and this Saturday we have another night game. What to do? Cue Stevie Wonder’s classic Supersticious.

    • A_T_G

      I just put a package in the mail containing 3 Lunesta tablets, to be taken Saturday evening.

      • Mac

        Don’t send Lunesta, that’s a psychedelic sleep aid. He may unknowingly “wake up” make nachos and start watching the game in his sleep. Since he would be unconscious, he would be unable to stop watching.

    • DarthBanner

      Sleep you bastard, sleep.

  • ACViking

    The quality of QBs the Eagles will and could face over the next month has jumped substantially. Without a consistently effective pass rush, it’s going to be a tough chore to win. Nothing we didn’t know. But it’s a reminder of how the Giants won 2 Super Bowls in 5 years.

    • P_P_K

      For the next 24 hours, I refuse to think about anything except how good it feels to have one this game and how terrible it must feel to be a Dallas fan. Will get back to the truth of your comment after the buzz wears off.

      • ACViking

        PPK . . .

        Enjoy.

    • bill

      Too much pass rushing talent in the line and not enough at LB. A bad mix for a 2-gap 3-4. They’ll hopefully re-balance in the offseason.

      • BobSmith77

        But it was the Eagles DL that generated no pass rush last night which was the biggest problem. Cox/Thornton played so well the week before but got owned last night.

        Davis did blitz alot too last night but Orton was great at making adjustments at the line. The Boys OL did an excellent job at giving him a pocket to step up & throw into all night long.

        It is the 2nd time in 3 weeks where the DL has generated almost no pressure up front which is a huge issue going into next week. Curious to see Brees’ numbers against the blitz especially when teams send 5 or 6 guys.

        • bill

          If you throw when the DL is 2-gapping, the DL is not going to generate a lot of pressure – they have to make a read *before* trying to penetrate and rush the passer. Not only is that an extra second on an absolute basis, but it also give the OL a chance to get set in their positions. Therefore, most 3-4 2 gap teams don’t put a lot of money into their DEs, as they’re not going to consistently be good pass rushers. You need pass rushers at LB to give you consistent pressure when you’re 2-gapping (which is why I wonder if Cox’s Eagles career is going to be shorter than most expect – unless Davis becomes Belicheatian, he’s probably not going to get the production out of Cox that a 1-gap team will, and the salary cap ramifications that result).

    • Allen3000

      Have we faced a dynamic duel threat QB all season (RG III doesn’t count this year)? Not that Drew Brees is a major threat to run, but looking ahead, we could *potentially* have to play against Kap, Cam Newton, or Russell Wilson. I’m definitely not expecting a victory next week, just genuinely curious as to how our defense would handle a dynamic duel-threat QB.
      If we give Brees the amount of time Orton had last night then it will be the Denver game all over again.

      • fran35

        Honestly, Cam Newton and Kao do not worry me nearly as much as Brees. I am unimpressed with those guys. Brees, on the other hand, could shred us

  • dan quisenberry

    So proud of this team and what they’ve accomplished this season. That win was a total team effort.

  • BobSmith77

    What parade of obscenities did Jerry Jones unleash when he turned his back to the camera almost immediately after the Orton pick?

    I was really hoping to see him on camera.

    • Michael Jorden

      Had to give his back to the camera. He couldn’t contain his demon face.

  • bill

    Will wait for the DGR to check my observations, but it certainly looked like Johnson and Herr-dog got abused on almost every play. The pocket collapsed pretty near instantaneously on many plays. Even if they didn’t let their guy free, they were getting pushed around like a blocking sled quite often, with the kicker being that last 3rd down sprint out play where Johnson got pushed into McCoy like he was on rails, blowing up the whole play. I think Foles had a pretty good game considering how poorly the line played.

  • Corry

    I can’t believe we lost the battle in both trenches and still won.

    • Corry

      And we beat the refs.

  • Dragon_Eagle

    As much as I, and pretty much all of us wanted/expected a blowout, at the end of the day it was a division game against a rival that came to play. Give kudos to the Dallas verteran team leaders (Witten & Co.) for getting them fired up to play.
    Great character win for our young Eagles team. That is the kind of win a team builds on and helps them learn how to fight.

    No matter what happens Saturday night, the future is looking very bright for this team.

    • Frencheaglesfan

      That must be so hard to be a guy like witten or ware to give your heart for such a terrible organisation. Also, I was so angry about the fact that the commentators were so pumped for a dallas comeback and so dissapointed when boyking made that awesome int, where is their objectivity. But I kind of like the fact that the media are against us.

      • Allen3000

        Did you catch Al Michael’s saying ‘Dallas just got screwed’ following the play clock mishap? Unbelievable. And those two clowns tried to play up that mistake as if it was the sole culprit for Dallas losing. There were a lot of missed calls – mostly ones that worked against the Eagles, but they rarely pointed out those mistakes. I truly hope those clowns don’t call the Eagles game on Saturday.

        • ICDogg

          And Dungy made some stupid remark about how Eagles fans wanted to throw snowballs at Drew Brees.

          • Dragon_Eagle

            We don’t?

          • dave H

            I think Dungy is literally retarded. he definitely is the most boring speaker ever / but I don’t think I have EVER heard him say anything that id consider an insight!!
            I felt Collingsworth was going to CRY!!
            ..Dallas screwed Dallas on that 15 seconds!! perfect

          • DarthBanner

            Nothing to see here. (sheepishly puts icy snowball back in freezer)

        • Miami_Adam

          They are calling our game. Unfortunately.

          • TheRogerPodacter

            oh god no. it was awful listening to them in that game!

          • DarthBanner

            And yet we’ve won the last 2 games with them broadcasting…

    • P_P_K

      “Great character win for our young Eagles team.”

      Agreed. The Eagles are playing like The Little Engine That Could.

  • ICDogg

    Leslie Frazer cut loose

  • Allen3000

    Tommy,
    At some point could you address Chip Kelly’s decision to NOT give Shady the ball at the goal line? On the 4th and 1, why not use the league’s most dynamic player? And if you don’t have trust that Shady can get you the 1 yard, why not kick it?
    I bring this up because this has happened on several occasions throughout the year. I get that McCoy is not a power back, but neither was Marcus Allen and he was money in GL situations. It’s just something that bothers me.

    • dave H

      I actually do like fat andy’s SHOVEL PAss to Shady, perhaps that’s from the 5yd line or out

    • ACViking

      Three straight games the Eagles have gone for it on 4th and less than a yard and Kelce’s been driven back — and the Eagles denied.

      Used to be that McCoy behind Peters and Herremanns was money in the bank.

      But the A-gaps getting jammed up big time.

      • Always Hopeful

        Ugh.

    • DarthBanner

      The sneak was the right call when they were trying to quick snap it while Dallas was exhausted and had the wrong personnel on the field for it. After Dallas called the timeout, subbed in players and stacked the box, the play should have been changed.

      • SteveH

        100% agree, a sneak after the timeout was a terrible call. Should have given it to Shady with the option of going superman over the top if nothing opened up. ‘Boys were completely ready for it and Kelce is not the best guy to go behind in a QB sneak situation where the ‘D knows its coming. I was super pissed at Chip at the time.

        • ACViking

          SteveH:

          I don’t remember a single short yardage play this season (including pre-season) or watching Oregon under Kelly where a RB went airborne — like Westbrook did on occasion.

          Regardless, short yardage behind Kelce is getting tougher and tougher.

          • SteveH

            I don’t recall seeing one either. I think in critical situations its a good option, its really hard to stop if the RB commits to it and goes all out.

          • ACViking

            Agree.

            But now that we’re talking about it, have there been many “over the top” plays around the NFL this year? There must have been.

            Anyway, I’m assuming Kelly coaches his RBs not to do it.

          • iceberg584

            I just don’t think McCoy is inclined to dive over the pile like that. I don’t recall seeing him do that under Andy either.

          • ACViking

            true

  • eagleyankfan

    wow — what a win. Not a fan at some of those offensive play calls. If the Eagles are of top offensive teams in the NFL AND one(if not the best) all time Eagle offense — why are they calling trickery plays with the game on the line? I thought that was horrible. Take the automatic 3. If not — put the ball in the hands of the people you’re paying to get the job done. Foles is not the guy you want doing a 1 yard plunge.
    Some play calling was simply amazing….
    Can someone take out a missing persons ad on the “pass rush”.
    Eagles are rebuilding and have faults to fix — but for now — PLAYOFFS and NFC East Champs!!!! What a ride!!!

    • Breezy

      Foles is definitely the guy I want doing a one yard plunge. Kelce on the other hand…

  • Ark87

    Wouldn’t get too caught up on negatives of the game. Cowboys played out of their minds and at times a little out of control. Refs allowed it, but they were gassed at the end of the game and had 3 turnovers because of it. Hard to hang with a team that was clearly inspired, but we did it.

    • fran35

      When Dallas had to call timout right before our failed 4th down goal attempt, they had players lying on the field, exhausted. I knew we had the, Not that particular play (we should have kicked the FG). but I knew if we got the ball back and just ran down their throats, we had em. And we did the very next drive, 9 or 10 straight run plays for a TD. Anti Reid.

  • ICDogg

    Shanahan and rest of coaching staff in Washington fired

    • Dragon_Eagle

      Only hire they can make that would make me nervous is Lovie Smith. Had the Chicago FO ever gotten him a real QB, they would have been a perennial contender.

      • TheRogerPodacter

        i’m curious to know what other coaches are available. i know Bill O Brien has been talked about for the Texans job, but thats about it.

        • jshort

          Think David Shaw would have any interest as a HC in the NFL? Or would there be an interest in him?

          • Andy124

            I don’t think Shaw ever wants to leave Stanford.

    • RobNE

      Darn it!

    • ACViking

      So I guess the 10 a.m. press conference won’t happen.

      It’ll be at 11 am?

    • Andy124

      Hopefully they only fired Kyle as the OC and are about to announce him as the new HC.

  • mksp

    Too many sacks, too many penalties, too many negative yardage plays on offense. Looked like Dallas was doing a lot of stunting again, we really seem to struggle with that.

    Its easy to say Nick should have gotten rid of the ball quicker, but the handful of times NBC showed the WRs downfield on a sack, it really didn’t look like anyone was even remotely open. The problem seemed to be that DAL was getting pressure with just their front 4.

    • bill

      Yep. That’s what I saw too. Will have to wait for the all-22 for confirmation, but even if there were a couple of open receivers he missed, you have to focus on the overall. Every QB misses a few plays a game, especially when his O line is doing their best impression of a sieve. We’ll see what the all-22 reviews think about the overall performance.

    • bill

      Two other observations that may be inaccurate upon further review:
      1. They played at a much slower pace than they have for most of the season. Seemed like a lot of substitutions on offense between plays.
      2. They didn’t use a lot of “man-beater” route combinations, and I know Dallas was good at RB/WR screens, but I thought I’d see more TE middle screens, as those have been successful with Foles when employed this year.

    • phillychuck

      The refs allowed a lot of pre-pass holding, which kept our receivers from getting open versus man coverage. We have to figure out how to beat that approach by next weekend.

  • mksp

    So we can all agree that we should start Boykin and have him cover Jimmy Graham all over the field, right? Put our best cover guy on their best receiver?

    • ACViking

      Boykin’ll get plenty of action, thankfully.

      My own strategy would be to run a LB at Graham in the first five yards and knock on his butt. Must beat the guy up.
      __________

      Edit: Not an entirely rational approach, but my heart’s in the right place.

    • Tumtum

      That is a bad match up. I say put Fletch on him.

    • fran35

      Don’t know about that one. I say Barwin. Graham is like 6’8 and Boykin is 5’8. Plus, Graham lived for jump balls. Not a good scenario for us

  • ACViking

    Re: A Quote That Never Gets Old

    Buddy Ryan owned the Cowboys — losing their first meeting in 1986, and then winning every one of their next 8 (non-strike) games.

    On Thanksgiving Day 1989, a reporter shouted to Buddy Ryan, as he ran off the field after an Eagles’ win, how did if feel to beat Dallas.

    Buddy answer, “Oh, who the hell are the Cowboys . . . .”

    Indeed, who the hell are the Cowboys.

  • CrackSammich

    I choose to believe that Mr. G in this video is GEAGLE, and I will picture all of his future posts in this voice.

    http://deadspin.com/this-eagles-fan-is-really-really-really-they-won-the-1491454859

    • jshort

      You mean that’s not GEAGLE?

  • Birdbrain77

    I just want to send my Gratitude to the Houston Texans.

    Thank you for trading us Demeco Ryans; he can be a lil slow in coverage but you can not underestimate his leadership and play against the run/intermediate routes.

    Thanks for letting Connor Barwin and James Casey walk in free agency. Barwin isn’t a beast pass rusher but that’s not what he’s asked to do; he been the best SAM backer we’ve had in a long time. Casey hasn’t been used much in the pass game but as a run blocker he’s been great. I can see Chip unleashing some new plays for him in the post season.

    Finally, and most importantly…Thank you for cutting Donnie Jones. Howie was smart enough to sign him immediately and he’s been one of the most impactful free agent additions.

    Is it a coincidence that Houston had the worst record this past season? I’m not saying those guys were the cornerstones of the franchise, but when you let quality players, who play their roles well, walk, it shows.

    • SteveH

      Amen, thank you Houston! We should send them a card. We should get a card, everyone should sign it and leave little messages about how thankful we are.

      • Birdbrain77

        HAHA that’s perfect

  • SteveH

    I’m allowed to pitch a snit about this because the Eagles won the game, but the officials were garbage last night. Outside of a completely bogus delay of game penalty which ended up not mattering anyhow (might have even helped the Cowboys since it helped set up the 4th down play that Dez took to the house) the Cowboys were flagged 0 times. Seriously? They seriously committed 0 penalties all game? You’ve got to be shitting me.

    The refs let both teams DB’s get away with lots of minor contact so I’m not going to hold all the small stuff against them, because they let us play too, so I’m only going to bitch about the big stuff that should have been called.

    The most obvious one they missed of course was Demarco Murray head butting Damion Square, then PI on Zach Ertz coming across the middle on an incomplete pass, and holding on Desean Jackson on his go route, and then one super critical holding penalty on Riley Cooper on the rollout play where Foles had to slide (and was hit by 2 defenders despite sliding, no flag). The hold on Cooper wasn’t shown on TV replay but an excellent picture of a Cowboys defender with a big ole fist full of jersey exists below.

    Outside of that, the Cowboys were flagged for no holds on their OL, and our DL drew no holding calls. The Cowboys must have played a remarkably clean and flawless game (guffaw).

    Between the refs and the announcers (barf) it felt like it was the Eagles against the world last night. And we won.

  • BobSmith77

    If the Eagles had lost the game last night, I would have considered the season a disappointment because the Eagles let a golden opportunity slip through their fingers to make the playoffs.

    At this point, I have no expectations in the playoffs and look on the playoffs like I did the ’00 playoffs – Required seasoning for a young coach and QB.

    Ideally, I would love to see this team get to the SB but more realistically just at least win this coming weekend vs Saints and build from there just like the ’00 team did.

    • ACViking

      A close game in the playoffs can quickly alter anyone’s “this is gravy” emotions. For example, if Drew Brees takes the Saints down the field with 1:30 remaining for the winning TD, I’d be surprised if everyone wakes up happy and chipper because “it was all gravy.”

      Now a blow-out loss, that’s a different story.

      The Eagles’ future looks bright today. But bad things can happen between next week and next July. In the NFL, players try to make it count now because they know the old saw about what the “N.F.L.” means.

      • SteveH

        Yeah weird how that happens right? If you’d told any of us before the season started that we’d down Dallas in week 17 and get into the playoffs we’d be so thrilled. Now that we’re here though we’re getting greedy.

      • NinjaP

        I don’t know. A season where we found a franchise QB and a good head coach. Making the post season is just a bonus. Eagles had a great year.

        • ACViking

          NinjaP:

          I was crestfallen after the Fog Bowl (on New Year’s Eve). Ruined the next couple of months.

          But I remember Reggie White saying how the Eagles were now ready to take the next step. And I dialed it back a bit — the disappointment.

          Never came close. The Fog Bowl was Ryan’s best chance to advance.

          • BobSmith77

            A lot of that was due to Ryan’s refusal to adequately develop Cunningham and the sheer amount of talent in the NFC at that time.

            49ers dynasty, very good Skins’ team that won a SB in ’91 and was coached by a HOF coach, and a Giants’ team that won 2 SBs in 5 years coached by a HOF coach.

          • ACViking

            BS77:

            Absolutely right. All you say is true . . . to a T.

            Which is why you can never take future success for granted.

            The NFL may de-code Kelly’s offense by next September. I doubt it, but who knows.

            Foles could blow out his left knee — like Carson Palmer did — and never be the same QB.

            McCoy could have a Brandon Graham-type injury.

            Anyway, you get the idea.

            Impossible to know what the future holds.

            So lets just win this year, so we don’t have to worry about it.

          • BobSmith77

            True but it was a different league with very different rules. Also forgot to mention Braman whose skin flint ways hurt the team too. ‘Skins and 49ers in particular had owners who weren’t afraid to spend and spend large on whatever their team needed and to pay their backups quite well.

          • ACViking

            There was a time not long ago that the Rams and Titans looked like future dynasties. Didn’t happen.

            Win when you can.

          • BobSmith77

            Titans made the playoffs 4 of the 5 years from ’99-’03 but were just perennial losers in the playoffs. Ditto the Rams although they did win a SB in ’99 and made another in ’01.

            I am not saying the Eagles were going to be a ‘dynasty.’ Beyond ridiculous. Just that things are shaping up nicely in the NFC East at least for next year especially if the Giants enter a transition with a new coach.

            Skins and Boys biggest hills to climb are their owners and that wont’ change anytime soon.

          • ACViking

            We’re agreeing.

  • P_P_K

    TLaw — I’ll wait for your DGR before agreeing that Whitten ate the Eagles alive. No argument he had a big game but I wonder if Davis schemed more to prevent throws to Bryant and Austin. Let qb2 hit the te for relatively small gains, way better than long balls to the wrs. Bend but don’t break. The tape will tell.

    • SteveH

      Collinsworth was saying the Eagles were playing a lot of safety over the top coverage on Dez Bryant, but that’s Collinsworth saying it so take it with a grain of salt.

      • ACViking

        No, you could see Nate Allen on Bryant’s side on several replays of passes to Whitten.

        • SteveH

          So… yes then?

          • ACViking

            Yes. Collinsworth was right. Sorry I wasn’t clear.

    • BobSmith77

      They doubled Bryant almost all night long it seemed and Davis keyed in on preventing him from getting deep. Biggest goat of the night to me for the Boys was Austin. Not sure if he has just fallen off that much or not but he seemed like in a lot of single coverage and just couldn’t get open.

      Eagles have done that all year long though it seems. Davis is willing to give up chunks of yardage over the middle but he won’t let a premier WR beat his CB deep (20+ yards) in single coverage. Only real exception I can think of was the Vikings’ game.

  • BobSmith77

    Another thought came to mind too:

    Eagles were able to go 4-2 in the NFC East this year. Reid benefit immensely during the ’00-’04 from from playing an NFC East that was down.

    – ‘Boys had a single winning season (’03) mixed in with 4 losing years.
    – Skins were mired and mediocrity and didn’t even have a winning season in those 5 years
    – Giants got to the ’00 SB and made a playoff appearance in ’03 but they crested downhill after the ’00 SB mixing in 3 losing seasons.

    During those 5 years (’00-’04), the Eagles went 24-6 (.800 winning pct) and it played a key role in their lofty records

    2000: 3-3
    2001: 5-1
    2002: 5-1
    2003: 5-1
    2004: 6-0

    It would be ridiculous to conclude the Eagles are setting up for another stretch of dominance in the NFC East like that but the division has been mired in mediocrity the past few years and every other team in the division will have its share of issues going into next season. Things are shaking up quite nicely for the Eagles to be take advantage of playing in 2nd tier division next year too.

    • RobNE

      This is what the pats do

    • Tumtum

      Speaking of next year. I can’t think of anyone pivotal to this team that is gone after this year. In fact the only person I can think of off the top of my head is Vick, who I think is gone. He is a nice player and fits the scheme well. Heck he could even of had a higher ceiling than what Foles’ proved to be. He just can’t be counted on to be healthy when he is needed. If Foles were to be hurt for 6+ weeks you could almost be assured your #3 would play for at least 1 of those games.

      • TheRogerPodacter

        basing this off eaglescap.com,
        FA – Vick, Maclin, Cooper, Geathers, Hughes (is he still here?), Allen, Coleman, Anderson
        RFA – Thornton, Hunt

        the biggest guys to get back are Maclin/Cooper and Thornton and probably Allen as well. We might want to bring back Coleman/Anderson for STs.

        • Tumtum

          I agree though its probably Maclin or Cooper not both. With desean McCoy and celek having decent contracts I don’t see them keeping 2.

  • SteveH

    Anyone else feel like this game is taking a long time to decompress from? I’m still feeling stressed after waking up this morning. Last thing I’m going to vent about and then I’m forcing myself away from Eagles news coverage.

    Lots of chatter about Foles’ play, he definitely looked rattled at times last night (a pocket as insecure as the one he had last night will do that to a QB, especially a young one in the biggest game of his career) but the Cowboys were doing an excellent job in coverage as well which really mitigated his ability to get the ball out quickly. There were several replays where they showed the Eagles receivers completely blanketed. Whatever route combinations we were running just weren’t springing guys free (for the most part) last night. Ideally I would have liked to have seen Foles just throw the ball away on a few of those, but its not like the first Cowboys game where he was missing guys running wide open.

    • ACViking

      This is how it feels after playoff games, right?

      • A Roy

        But against Dallas, I want style points.

  • SteveH

    Ok I lied, one more thing. Somebody PLEASE get a GIF of Nate Allen running away from Demarco Murray. The live feed had a perfect replay that showed Nate right in the alley that Murray was going to run through, and as soon as Nate saw him coming he ran right towards the nearest blocker to engage him. It was one of the more chickenshit things I’ve seen in a while and it casts the whole Nate Allen redemption narrative in serious doubt for me. I’d love to hear Tommy’s thoughts on this also, because it was just so flagrantly obvious that he wanted no part of tackling Murray. Shameful.

    • Griffins22

      I saw that too! I was about to post about it here but no one commented on it so I thought maybe I just misunderstood what Nate was doing. It sure looked like he was playing scared to me.

      • SteveH

        He totally chickenshitted his way out of the play. He was right in the alley that Murray was running through, I can’t envision any scenario where he, as the lone defender in the hole, was supposed to leave that hole and engage a random blocker.

    • Tumtum

      After Murray truck sticked Square I was scared for Allen to hit the hole! Risking his life there.

      Seriously though I missed it. Would love a GIF!

  • BobSmith77

    Foles had happy feet and looked awkward at times but the pass protection was piss poor most of the night. He got sacked 5 times (1 was clearly his fault because of the checkdown option) and I would bet hurried/hit at least another dozen.

    This OL is pretty good at run blocking but I would like to see there numbers vs blitz. Seem to really struggle at times on picking it up especially from guys on the edge. 2 times last night a ‘Boys defender rushed in from the edge with no one blocking him and took a big shot on Foles.

  • SteveH

    A little schadenfreude for us Eagles fans:

    http://deadspin.com/the-skins-turned-mike-shanahans-presser-into-a-hostage-1491615415

    and another gem:

    @ESPNStatsInfo: Cowboys: 136-136 dating back to 1997

    • ACViking

      Two things.

      1. Rams will soon be starting the Clowney sweepstakes — if Bridgewater comes out (and goes to Houston).

      2. If Sam Bradford played as well as Nick Foles . . . we’d be lamenting how the rich Rams get richer.

      But Bradford hasn’t. And the Rams use of their Giffin bounty hasn’t been off the charts great. Just pretty good.

    • BobSmith77

      Best thing about the NFC East right now is that 2 of the teams are owned by incompetent, meddlesome egomaniacs.

      Giants are the only team where that isn’t the case but there is a very good chance that Coughlin might retire this offseason. Who the Skins and Giants might hire is going to have large ripple effects on the NFC East for the next 2 years and whether those teams really are competitive or not.

      • SteveH

        And the best part about incompetent meddlesome egomaniacs is that they never see themselves as the problem, will never remove themselves from their position as owners, and have a tendency to live until they’re 103 like good supervillians should. Long live Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder!

    • BobSmith77

      Lurie has taken a lot of cr@p over the years in Philly because this team hasn’t won a championship but he is the best owner by far.

      Snider is overly meddlesome and involved in way too many of the day-to-day decisions the Flyers make leading to too much in-house promotion and erratic decison-making.

      Montgomery is a fool & meddlesome and it still astounds me the Phils were able to win a WS & have the run they did with him at the helm.

  • ACViking

    Greg Schiano and GM Dominik out in Tampa.

    Same franchises keep making the same mistakes.

    • Bob Brewer

      Of course that franchise has a Super Bowl win (sigh).

      Speaking of which, Schwartz fired.

      • ACViking

        Yes. True enough. The Glazer family made a deal with the devil to get Gruden. Won a SB with Dungy’s team. And continue to struggle since.

  • HipDaDip

    Looking ahead to the Saints: it seems we have done a good job of taking away individual players this season (Bryant, Fitzgerald, Megatron…) but struggled against offense by committee. I think that bodes well for our chances of slowing down Jimmy Graham. Do the Saints spread the ball around well, or might we limit them by focusing heavily on Graham?

    Or could it be a WR vs. TE thing? We haven’t shut down any top flight TEs, have we?

    • Corry

      The Saints spread the ball out. Graham leads them in most of the receiving categories, but Colston isn’t far behind. You also have to account for Kenny Stills deep and Meachem and Sproles will beat you too.

      Brees has thrown for 5k yards again this year. He’s excellent at spreading it around.

    • ACViking

      Sean Payton’s a classic WCO coach. Spreads the ball around. A lot. On the ground and in the air.

    • Dragon_Eagle

      Saints offense is deadly and Brees is one of the best in the game. Honestly, if we hold this Saints team to under 30 points I would consider it a good showing. Our offense will need to execute well to win this one and keep pace with and pressure on the Saints.

      Now, if someone were to make a virgin sacrifice to the snow gods…

    • Tumtum

      Yeah pretty much what everyone else has said. Though I didn’t realize they were a WC based offense. They have 3 backs all distinctly different and dangerous. They have deep threats with just about every WR. Brees will toss it up for the guy to make a play (sort of like Foles to Avant last night) at least 4-5 times a game.

      On the + side; their o-line is not amazing, Sproles is having an off year, and it has been proven this year that Jimmy Graham is in fact human.

      I hope we don’t blitz Brees as much as we usually do. He and their play makers will make us pay with touchdowns. If I had my druthers they would keep everything in front of them and force check downs to the backs. This could certainly fail but I would rather lose that way. It seems to be what makes their offense sputter the most in games I have seen. Well that and shutting down Graham. I just don’t see us being able to shut him down. We just don’t have the right talent/size combo. Hopefully I can be proven wrong. Boykin has the talent just not the size. Carey has neither (weight not height being his issue). Fletcher then has to be the guy in my mind. If we were to use that blueprint of course.

  • BobSmith77

    I so hope Snyder goes off the deep end this offseason and buries the Skins for another 2-3 years.

    • ACViking

      His best move is to hire Lovie Smith. Which is why he won’t.

      • Tumtum

        Lovie always seemed to be a pretty submissive coach to the management. Could be right up Dan’s alley.

    • Dragon_Eagle

      It would be a shock if that didn’t happen.

    • ACViking

      Snyder and Jones are a pair.

  • jshort

    Kudos go out to Shummer, not waking up once, making Chip keep the challenge flag off the field.

    • Tumtum

      I missed this. What happened? I’m too busy smacking my forehead and walking in circles between plays to see the minutia.

  • iceberg584

    DeSean’s been pretty quiet the past couple games. I think he’s good for a long touchdown this Saturday. The Saints passing defense has been good, but it’s a little banged up, and they are obviously going to have to stack the box for Shady…

    • jshort

      new post

  • Yuri

    I know it was not the Eagles’ best moment, but the best image of the game is captured by the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. It was hard to choose which, I like the Escobar missile!

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