Friday, December 26, 2014

Eagles-Cowboys: The Morning After

TALKING POINTS

Eagles-Cowboys: The Morning After

TALKING POINTS

 

What we’re talking about the morning after the Eagles’ loss to the Cowboys:

 

 

* Tale of the concussed running back. Brian Westbrook was held out for the second straight game after experiencing what the Eagles described as “symptoms of a mild headache’’ on Friday. Too early to tell whether he’ll play against the Chargers.
 

* The fourth-and-1 decision. After failing to pick up a first down on a third-and-1 in the fourth quarter, Andy Reid decided to go for it on fourth-and-1. But the officials ruled that Donovan McNabb’s quarterback sneak came up short. The Cowboys got the ball back on a short field and drove down for the game-winning touchdown.
 

* The bad Donnie. A week after one of the best performances of his career in the Eagles’ win over the Giants, McNabb completed just 16 of 30 passes and threw two interceptions against the Cowboys. His accuracy ran hot and cold.
 

* Third-down struggles. The Eagles converted just four of 12 third-down opportunities against the Cowboys, and came up empty on three third downs or 2 yards or less.
 

* The disappearance of the kids. The Cowboys did an excellent job of neutralizing big-play receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Each had just two receptions. No touchdowns.
 

5 NUMBERS TO PONDER

 

* It was the fifth time this season the Eagles had recorded at least three sacks. It was the first time they lost when they had that many. They now are 59-14-1 under Andy Reid when they’ve had three or more sacks in a game.

* Donovan McNabb, who completed just 16 of 30 passes, has completed 60-plus percent of his passes in just two of 18 games against the Cowboys.

* In their last four games, the Eagles have had the ball on their opponent’s side of the 50 on 24 of 49 possessions. They’ve scored 13 times and just three of those scores were touchdowns.

* The Cowboys were only the second team this season to score more than 17 points against the Eagles.

* The Eagles held the Cowboys to 3.3 yards per carry. They’ve allowed more than 4 yards per carry in just two games this season — New Orleans (4.6) and the Giants (4.4).

UP NEXT

The Eagles head to San Diego to face the Chargers, who stunned the Giants, 21-20, with a touchdown in the final minute Sunday. Eagles coach Andy Reid was clear after last night's Eagles loss that the team needed to be more focused for this West Coast trip than they were the last time the Birds went to the West Coast - a bad loss to Oakland.

The Chargers have won three straight games after a 2-3 start.

"Our team is getting better" coach Norv Turner said. "We’ve gotten better each of the last weeks since the bye. It’s nice to win a close game. It’s nice to win a game this way because I think when you win a game this way, it builds on your confidence and you know you can. We have won games like this in the past, but this one is very, very special in terms of the way it was going in the fourth quarter. It’s something, in my mind, we need to build on because I don’t think we are anywhere near as a good as we can be. We have a lot of new and young players playing. I know I say that every week, but they’re a week older right now."

*

To read Domo's Eagles-Cowboys report card, click here

Rich Hofmann chats Eagles at 1:30 today on the main philly.com page.

Check back later for a report from Andy Reid's day-after news conference and for Domo's Second Take, as he reviews the video from last night's game.

Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
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