Circus comes to Dallas

DeSean Jackson's pose after blowing a touchdown play might resemble the feeling of many Eagles fans after the team's 41-37 loss to Dallas. (Ron Cortes/Inquirer)

IRVING, Texas -- Sometimes, a football game is a circus. And sometimes, the calliope crashes to the ground.
I mean, exactly what was DeSean Jackson thinking?

It was a fabulous game. It was a ridiculous game. For the final time at Texas Stadium, Eagles-Cowboys was big play piled upon big play, lightning bolts at 20 paces, seven lead changes, just outrageous. The Eagles will rue how it ended even as the Cowboys celebrated into the night (and morning). The numbers themselves, the numbers in the final score - Cowboys 41, Eagles 37 - will always tell a remarkable story. They will require no embellishment.

And then there is the case of Jackson, who seemingly cannot do anything that fails to cause jaws to drop.
The rookie receiver from Cal who lit up Lincoln Financial Field last week in his pro debut, and who now has become the first player in the NFL since the Eagles' Don Looney in 1940 to open his career with consecutive 100-yard receiving games, also made an embarrassing mistake, casually tossing away the ball at the end of what should have been a 61-yard touchdown strike in the second quarter.

The problem was that Jackson had not yet crossed the goal line, and a replay challenge by the Cowboys resulted in the play being ruled a fumble. At that point, only the vagaries of the NFL rulebook saved the rookie. The Eagles were given the ball at the Dallas 1-yard line and scored anyway on the next play. That left the situation to be classified as embarrassing rather than disastrous.

But what is it with Jackson? You hope he learns. You hope he realizes, after such a national-television faux pas, the downside of pride. You hope he knows now that hot dogs can result in worse things than indigestion. You hope, but you do not know.

Only time will mature him. At the same time, say a prayer that maturity does not diminish him. Because Jackson is a star-in-training and no one can doubt. He finished last night with six catches for 110 yards. It would appear that the only thing that can stop him are an injury or, well, himself.