Sunday, December 21, 2014

Defense, kickoff coverage and L.J.

What we're talking about following the Eagles' loss to the Cowboys:

Defense, kickoff coverage and L.J.

What we're talking about following the Eagles' loss to the Cowboys:

* What happened to Jim Johnson’s new and improved pass defense? With the Eagles unable to get pressure on Tony Romo, the Cowboys quarterback carved up the Birds, throwing for 3 TDs and 300-plus yards.

* The problem with the kickoff coverage. Eagles had their problems all night stopping Cowboys rookie Felix Jones. He had a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first half and averaged 41.2 yards per return.

* Where was L.J.? Tight end L.J. Smith had just one catch against the Cowboys, and that didn’t come until there was 3:47 left in the game.

* Has age caught up with Brian Dawkins? The Eagles’ 34-going-on-35-year-old free safety looked painfully slow against the Cowboys, particularly when he was matched up against tight end Jason Witten.

* Brian Westbrook’s costly fumble. Westbrook, who fumbles less than almost any other running back in the league, had a costly one midway through the fourth quarter when he and McNabb botched a handoff that swung momentum to the Cowboys.

And in a game like this with loads of points, loads of big plays and some strange ones, there are plenty of numbers to point out ... Of course, all the facts and figures won't provide any solace to the disappointed Eagles fans among you ...

* The Eagles have scored 75 points in the first two games of the season, most in franchise history after two games. That total is second in the league behind Denver, which has 80 points. The Birds' 9 touchdowns scored is tied for second, behind the Broncos' 10.

* Donovan McNabb threw his 175th touchdown pass, tying him with Ron Jaworski for the franchise record.

* Brian Westbrook scored his 25th career receiving TD and his 30th career rushing TD, making him one of only seven players in NFL history to have at least 25 rushing and 25 receiving TDs, joining Marshall Faulk (100 rushing, 36 receiving), Lenny Moore (63, 48), James Brooks (49, 30), John David Crow (38, 35), Frank Gifford (34, 43), and Timmy Brown (31, 26).

* Asante Samuel registered his first interception as an Eagle and his 17th since 2006, the most in the NFL during that span (Champ Bailey and Charles Woodson each have 14)

* Chris Gocong scored the first TD of his career on a fumble recovery in the end zone.

*

The Eagles will take Tuesday off and then return to the practice field Wednesday to get ready for the Steelers, who come to the Linc for a 4:15 p.m. start Sunday.

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Eagletarian is your home for comprehensive coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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