Monday, February 8, 2016

What I saw: Eagles vs. Cowboys

The Eagles' slim playoff chances were crushed in the first quarter of their game in Dallas as the Jets lost to the Giants.

What I saw: Eagles vs. Cowboys

Tight end Brent Celek scored the Eagles´ first touchdown. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Tight end Brent Celek scored the Eagles' first touchdown. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

The Eagles' slim playoff chances were crushed in the first quarter of their game in Dallas as the Jets lost to the Giants.

But the Birds played the game anyway and beat the Cowboys, 20-7.

Here are my game observations:


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* Michael Vick got off to a hot start and finished 18-for-30 for 293 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Most of the damage was done in the first half, when Vick went 13-for-20 for 221 yards. Early on, he escaped pressure (and a face mask) and threw one up for grabs to Riley Cooper. Cooper did a good job of making a play on the ball and picked up 41 yards. Vick then threw a 13-yard strike to Brent Celek for the Eagles' first touchdown.

*DeSean Jackson had a good game, finishing as the team's leading receiver with five catches for 90 yards. Jeremy Maclin had five catches for 72 yards.

* After a second-quarter reception, Maclin was on the receiving hit of a late hit by Anthony Spencer. Rather than just putting a hand on Maclin, who was on the ground, Spencer came out of nowhere and delivered a big blow. Maclin left the game briefly, but then returned.

* Jason Avant thought he had a touchdown in the second, but he lost control of the ball as he crossed the goal line, and it was ruled a fumble and a touchback.

* Jackson had back-to-back end arounds in the second for 27 yards (total).

* Vick and the offense put together a nice two-minute drill at the end of the first half. Vick hit Maclin, Jackson and Avant for gains of 22, 33 and 27 yards, respectively. He then found Maclin for a 5-yard touchdown.

* Was it just me, or did Brent Celek look as fast as he's ever looked on that 39-yard tight end screen in the third? That play set up an Alex Henery field goal, which put the Eagles up, 17-0. Henery later hit a 51-yard field goal.

* LeSean McCoy limped off after a tough 8-yard run in the third quarter. He returned and finished with 36 yards on 12 carries.

* Clay Harbor somehow got matched up one-on-one with DeMarcus Ware, who slammed Vick to the ground for a sack in the third. Ware had both of the Cowboys' sacks.


* Jason Babin put a hit on Tony Romo in the first that knocked him out of the game. Romo was diagnosed with a hand contusion. Get ready for a week full of reports about how he's healing. Next week's Giants-Cowboys game will decide the division.

* The Eagles were without Asante Samuel, but did a good job in coverage. And yes, it helped that Stephen McGee was at quarterback.

* Trent Cole dropped Sammy Morris for a 9-yard loss on 3rd-and-1 in the second quarter. Cole also had a sack in the third, his 10th of the season. Cole and Babin have combined for 28 sacks on the season. They are the first pair of Eagles to have double-digit sacks since William Fuller and Andy Harmon in 1993.

* On 3rd-and-2 in the third, Cullen Jenkins dropped Morris for a loss.

* Curtis Marsh was called for unnecessary roughness in the third for hitting a defenseless returner on a punt-coverage play. I didn't understand the call. Looked like he made a great play and had perfect timing.

* Nate Allen broke up a pass intended for Dez Bryant in the third and nearly came away with an interception.

* Good coverage by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on Laurent Robinson on a third down in the third.

* Juqua Parker threw Tyron Smith to the ground and sacked McGee to force a punt in the third quarter. Derek Landri added a sack in the fourth. And Philip Hunt hit McGee and forced an incompletion in the fourth.

* Brian Rolle had good coverage on Jason Witten in the fourth and nearly had an interception.

* The Eagles had a punt bloked for the second time in three weeks and also gave up a big kickoff return. Special teams have had several issues in the Eagles' last three.

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About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at or by clicking here

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