Saturday, December 27, 2014

Routed

Cowboys 24, Eagles 0

Routed

Donovan McNabb and the Eagles´ offense were shut out by the Cowboys in the last game of the regular season. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Donovan McNabb and the Eagles' offense were shut out by the Cowboys in the last game of the regular season. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

The Eagles will stir the ashes of this disaster, this 24-0 debacle, in an attempt to find some hope, seeing as how their playoff chances rest upon finding something in the next few days that will convince them that they can beat the Dallas Cowboys. And, well, good luck with that.

It was every bit as bad as the score indicated. Tempted by a chance at a division championship and a first-round bye in the playoffs, the Eagles got slaughtered instead. They got routed. The Cowboys ran all over them, shredded them through the air, and held their potent offense pointless. It was total domination.

And now the Eagles have to come back to Cowboys Stadium -- population: 100,621 yesterday -- and try to figure out a way to make it all go away.

Nobody covered himself in glory, from the head coach on down. Andy Reid stopped running when the team fell behind. The Eagles called a ridiculous timeout while in punt formation in the first half -- a timeout they really could have used as their drive expired at the end of the half. In the third quarter, down by 17-0, looking at a third-and-2 at the Dallas 35, Reid should have treated it as two downs to get 2 yards. Instead, he called a slant pass over the middle that fell incomplete and then saw David Akers miss a 53-yard field goal.

More coverage
 
Moving the Chains: Wasted opportunity for the Eagles
 
Phil Sheridan: Birds’ approach is a resounding flop
 
Bob Ford: Eagles face tough road in playoffs

Even with all of that, though, the problems were much bigger. Defensively, especially, you wonder where the Eagles might find an answer. They have lived on the edge for weeks, and now they have toppled. The defense looked hollow yesterday, empty in the middle. Their post-season hope all along has been for their offense to put up big numbers, and now that imperative seems even greater. But against a very athletic Dallas defense, especially up front, the Eagles couldn’t sustain enough of the underneath stuff and couldn’t hit enough of the long stuff upon which they have lived all season.

If this all sounds grim, that is because it is.
 

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected