Photo: The Cowboys’ Terrance Williams dives in for a touchdown as Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher defends on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. (Matt Rourke/AP)
Opportunities to take first place in the NFC East and for Nick Foles to push to become the Eagles’ starting quarterback were both spoiled in a 17-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
The Eagles’ offense struggled in the team’s ninth consecutive loss at Lincoln Financial Field, and Foles appeared overmatched before leaving the game with a head injury at the end of the third quarter. Matt Barkley replaced Foles and proceeded to throw three interceptions.
Foles started in place of Michael Vick, who missed his second consecutive game with a pulled left hamstring. Vick never looked so good as he did when compared to the performances of Foles and Barkley.
One week after Foles starred in a win over the Buccaneers, Foles went 11 of 29 for 80 yards. Barkley finished 11 of 20 for 129 yards and three interceptions.
The running game did not help, either. LeSean McCoy was limited to 55 rushing yards. DeSean Jackson was held to three catches for 21 yards, shut down most the game by Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr and the ineffectiveness of the Eagles’ quarterbacks.
The offense’s issues overshadowed a relatively impressive game from the defense. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo threw for 317 yards and one touchdown. He also had two interceptions. But most of his damage came in the second half, and the Eagles’ defense kept the team in contention.
The first quarter served as an insult to offensive football. Neither team could find the end zone, and there were six combined punts.
It didn’t get much better in the second quarter. There were seven more punts in that period, with the only score a 38-yard field goal by Dan Bailey as Dallas took a 3-0 lead.
The Eagles drove the ball to the Cowboys’ 42-yard line with 20 seconds remaining when Foles tried throwing a deep ball on third-and-1. It was incomplete, and Kelly elected to attempt a 60-yard field goal instead of going for fourth down. The Eagles had one timeout at the time. Alex Henery missed the field goal.
The Cowboys opened the second half by going 66 yards on 10 plays to take a 10-0 lead. On third-and-goal from the 4-yard line, cornerback Bradley Fletcher wrapped up Dez Bryant and was flagged for the pass interference to give the Cowboys a new set of downs. They scored on a 1-yard rush one play later.
The Eagles could not gain any momentum until late in the quarter, when DeMeco Ryans intercepted Tony Romo’s pass at the Eagles’ 34-yard and returned it 36 yards to the Cowboys 30. But Foles struggled throughout the drive, underthrowing a wide-open Jason Avant in the end zone and struggling to make decisions. On third-and-goal from the 9-yard line, Foles was sacked and the back of his head was knocked against the turf.
Foles was examined on the sideline and tried jogging around before he was taken to the locker room and declared out for the game. That’s when Barkley entered the game, and the struggles only continued.
Following a Cowboys touchdown drive to take a 17-3 lead, Barkley threw an interception. On the next drive, he threw another interception. He added his third interception late in the fourth quarter to ensure the Eagles would not score a touchdown.
The health status for Vick and Foles is unknown for next week’s game against the Giants.
Courtesy: Zach Berman | Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer
Andy Reid returned to the Philadelphia Eagles a day after his 29-year-old son’s funeral, saying it’s "the right thing to do."
Garrett Reid, the oldest of five children for Andy and Tammy Reid, was found dead Sunday morning in his dorm room at Lehigh University where he was assisting the team’s strength and conditioning coach during camp.
Andy Reid was back on the sideline for a walkthrough Wednesday and plans to coach the preseason opener against Pittsburgh tonight at Lincoln Financial Field.
"You feel the strength of the team," Reid said when asked why he came back so soon. "I felt it with my family the past couple of days, and I feel it with the team. I’m a football coach, that’s what I do, and I know my son wouldn’t want it any other way."
Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, right, stands on the field as sign shows a photo of his son Garrett Reid, who died Sunday, before an NFL preseason football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Philadelphia Eagles’ Michael Vick and coach Andy Reid stand on the sideline during a moment of silence for Reid’s son Garrett
Andy Reid and Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin meet at the end of the game.
Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles talks with Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers before a preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 9, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
EDITORS NOTE: More than likely, if you’re reading this post … you are either somebody’s son or you have a son of your own. Understandably, there is a lot of jabbing and posturing about other NFL teams here, particularly against our NFC East foes. However, there are times when the gloves need to come off. Especially with an issue as personally devastating as this. I hope you’ll join me in wishing Andy Reid and his family the best as they work through this difficult time.
Philadelphia Eagles owners Jeffrey and Christina Weiss Lurie are getting divorced, a team spokesman confirmed to NFL.com on Wednesday.
The split won’t disrupt ownership or franchise operations, the Luries told employees in a letter obtained by The Philadelphia Inquirer .
The Luries were married 20 years ago and have owned the Eagles together since 1994. Jeffrey Lurie also serves as chairman and chief executive officer of the franchise. Christina Lurie is the president of Eagles Youth Partnership, a charitable foundation.
The letter said Jeffrey, 60, and Christina, 52, would “continue to work together as partners,” according to The Inquirer. They did not give a reason for the divorce.
Jeffrey and Christina have long been involved together in film production. They are the executive producers of “Inside Job,” which won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary.
Disgruntled Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel could find himself playing for a new team next season
The team will try to trade Samuel before the NFL Draft begins on April 26, according to a Sunday report in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Samuel, 31, is set to make $8.4 million in base salary next season with a salary cap hit of $9.5 million as part of the contract he signed with the Eagles in 2008.
The Eagles’ desire to trade Samuel is nothing new. General manager Howie Roseman said in February that the team will listen to teams interested in a Samuel deal, and the team admitted it tried to deal the cornerback last offseason.
Samuel was upset when the team acquired two high-profile cornerbacks last offseason, signing free-agent Nnamdi Asomugha and trading for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
If he is traded, it won’t be a surprise to the four-time Pro Bowl selection. Samuel asked his Twitter followers last month where they’d like to see him end up.
Philadelphia Inquirer cartoonist Rob Tornoe, who draws a weekly cartoon for the paper’s sports section, came up with this sketch, which obviously referred to the success the Philadelphia Eagles defensive line had against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.
I’m not sure what will make Dallas Cowboys fans more upset, the fact that Romo is running scared from a rival or that he is wearing his hat backwards.
The Philadelphia Eagles did not activate defensive end Brandon Graham on Saturday, so he won’t play against the Dallas Cowboys.
The team had until 4 p.m. if it wanted to put Graham on the 53-man roster and make him eligible for Sunday’s game. Graham remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list. This week, he went through his first practices with the team this season but still needs to work to get into football shape.
The Eagles have two more weeks to evaluate Graham and decide whether to activate him or put him on injured reserve. If the Philadelphia Eagles activate Graham, they will have to release someone to make room on the roster.
Graham tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in December and had microfracture surgery to help repair the injury.
Courtesy: Philadelphia Inquirer
The pass-happy Eagles find themselves in an unusual position: They lead the NFL in rushing.
Behind LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick, the Eagles have rushed for 170 yards per game and 5.7 per carry, both highs during the Andy Reid era.
Their quality on the ground, though, will be tested Sunday against the Cowboys’ defense, which ranks first in the league in yards per game (allowing just 69.7 yards per contest) and second in yards per carry (3.3).
“They’re big, strong, physical guys up front. I include the two outside linebackers in that. And then the two inside linebackers, when they’re in their base personnel, run around and make plays,” coach Andy Reid said Friday. “They’re excellent football players. And when their safeties get involved in the box, their safeties are good tacklers and physical.”
But the Eagles have an excellent player themselves in McCoy, whose 569 yards rushing rank seventh in the league.
The bigger test might be Reid’s willingness to stick with the run, especially if McCoy does not get on track early. Against the 49ers, Reid came in with a pass-heavy game plan and McCoy got only nine carries, even though the Eagles led most of the game.
“We’re going to run the football. That’s what we do,” Reid said. “We’re not going to stop running the ball.”
That hasn’t always been the case, but this year the Eagles’ 180 rushing attempts are more than the team has had through six games in any other year in the Reid era.
Last season, sticking with the run worked against the Cowboys. In the first meeting between the teams, in Dallas, McCoy had six runs for just 15 yards in the first half. He got 10 carries in the second half, though, and turned them into 134 yards.
Tight end Clay Harbor was a key part of the second-half blocking effort that night. He noted that this is a different Dallas defense, but one that he believes can be attacked on the ground.
“You’ve got to pick your spots, obviously,” he said. “Watching film, there are some plays where they have been run on. There’s some plays out there for us.”
Other teams, he said, have just failed to stick with the run.
“We have one of the best running backs in the league, and I don’t see why we won’t try to fit him the ball,” said wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
McCoy was coy about the game plan.
“Whatever’s rolling for us, we’ll probably stick with that,” he said.
Running, of course, doesn’t always work. McCoy ran 24 times against the Giants, gaining 128 yards, and the Eagles still lost that game.
And the Eagles have talented wide receivers who also need to be part of the game plan.
DeSean Jackson memorably burned the Cowboys for 210 receiving yards when the teams met in Dallas last year. The Eagles starters rested in the second meeting, the final game of the regular season.
McCoy has had success against Dallas. For his career, he has gained 231 yards against the Cowboys on 35 carries, a gaudy 6.6 yards-per-carry average.
Will he get a substantial chance to pad those numbers Sunday?
“We’ll find out,” was all he would say.
Courtesy: Jonathan Tamari | Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer | The Boys Are Back blog
Given a little bit of ammunition and some prodding, DeSean Jackson isn’t afraid to fire back at Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
Ryan took a not-so-subtle shot at Jackson’s Eagles and their “Dream Team” status during training camp, calling them the “all-hype team” and saying that the Dallas Cowboys would (in more colorful terms) beat the Eagles. So it’s no surprise that quote has resurfaced as the teams prepare to meet on Sunday night, and even less of a surprise someone brought it to Jackson’s attention.
“For a coach to really say that it’s hard for me to kind of respect that because the coach isn’t really out there playing,” Jackson said, according to The News Journal of Wilmington. “He’s doing a good job of calling the plays and putting his defense in the right position to stop the offense but as far as the defensive coordinator’s comments … it’s kind of unheard of, uncalled for.”
Jackson added that he would be more understanding if such talk came from a player “so I would be able to get a chance to get a shot at that player who said something.”
Rob Ryan’s comments got a lot of attention, as well as a rise out of Michael Vick, when they initially made the rounds. Vick now is playing it more even-keeled, saying the Eagles haven’t been paying attention to anything coming out of Dallas.
“We know it’s a competitive game and sometimes people say things they regret days, weeks and months later,” Vick said, per The Dallas Morning News. “I think from a competitive standpoint, he was just talking. It was nothing that we really paid any
attention to because we know what really counts is when you step out on the football field and whoever wins and loses the game, that’s what matters.”
Clearly, the Eagles seem to be doing a better job of avoiding the bait this time around. At least, as best as they can.
On Jan. 2, 2000, the Eagles hosted the St. Louis Rams at Veterans Stadium. The Rams were 13-2, the Greatest Show on Turf, and on their way to winning the Super Bowl under Dick Vermeil.
The Eagles were 4-11 in Andy Reid’s first season. Because of their miserable 3-13 record the year before, they had a ridiculously late bye, in Week 16. They wanted to finish strong. Rookie quarterback Donovan McNabb, who had suffered a sprained knee a couple of weeks earlier, donned a brace to make a statement that the Eagles were on the rise.
And so was born Reid’s remarkable run of victories after bye weeks. As trends go, perfection is a compelling one. In his 12 seasons, Reid is 12-0 in the first game after a bye. With a pivotal matchup against Dallas on Sunday night, the Eagles and their fans are hoping that trend holds for at least another season.
Here are 15 things to know about Sunday night’s Philadelphia Eagles – Dallas Cowboys matchup:
1. The Eagles are going to have their hands full with Diamond Dez Bryant. The second-year receiver has 19 catches for 339 yards in five games. He’s averaging 17.8 yards per catch and has scored four times. Bryant has six catches of 25+ yards, tied for seventh-most in the NFL, according to STATS.com. And that doesn’t mean it’s just Tony Romo taking shots deep down the field with Bryant. Yards after the catch are a big part of the equation. Bryant is tough to bring down, and if the Eagles’ defensive backs don’t tackle, Bryant will pile up the YAC. Bryant caught one ball against the Rams at the St. Louis 37. Quintin Mikell met him 6 yards later, but couldn’t bring him down. Bryant broke the tackle and scampered all the way to the 21 for a 34-yard gain, which included 16 yards after the catch. The previous week, against the Patriots, he turned a 5-yard catch into a 33-yard gain, juking two New England defensive backs to the ground.
It’s nice that the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys typically play on Sundays. That way if I want to light a votive candle and pray that Miles Austin develops scurvy, I don’t have to make a special trip to church.
Wish I understood my Dallas Cowboys aversion. All I know is that as a real Philadelphian, they inspire the same kind of animus as Super Pretzels. And for exactly the same reason: They’re both tasteless.
People often ask me why I dislike the Cowboys so. As Elizabeth Barrett Browning, a Dallas cheerleader until pantaloons above the ankle prompted her resignation, once wrote, let me count the ways:
Tom Landry’s hat. Did he think he was hiding his baldness? The Cowboys first coach wore fedoras right through the Age of Aquarius, shielding his head while the rest of us were expanding ours. I could maybe see the need for one on a December Sunday in Green Bay. But indoors in New Orleans? Or Miami? It was an affectation of the arrogant.