Five observations on the Eagles’ 6-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the regular season finale on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field:
Staying … sharp?
After seeing the offense sputter in Game 15, Eagles coach Doug Pederson decided that Nick Foles & co. needed more work, so he played his starting offense for four series, all in the first quarter, which ended scoreless. Foles threw poor passes to end the first three drives, and the third drive ended in an interception — long, into double coverage, with a receiver open short.
Foles finished 4-for-11 for 39 yards and the interception, with a passer rating of 9.3. Since the beginning of the Game 15 win over Oakland, Foles is now 1-for-17 on third down. The Eagles lost, 6-0.
Put me in, coach
In a meaningless game played in freezing temperatures, the Eagles’ inactives list was littered with precautionary deactivations. Defensive end Brandon Graham (ankle), cornerback Jalen Mills (ankle), defensive end Derek Barnett (groin), defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, linebacker Nigel Bradham, safety Rodney McLeod and running back Jay Ajayi, all among the top 12 players on offense or defense, were inactive.
Left guard Stefen Wisniewski, who missed the last two games with an ankle injury, did play, as did the rest of the starting offense (minus Ajayi).
Sid the Kid
The Eagles were able to draft cornerback Sidney Jones in the second round because he ruptured his Achilles tendon preparing for the draft, where he was projected as a top-15 pick. He rehabilitated his injury all season and was activated Saturday for Sunday’s game. He played on special teams and replaced Ronald Darby at left cornerback on Dallas’ third series. He looked fast and smooth, but left at the end of the third quarter with cramps.
Besides Foles, several Eagles starters left early. They included right tackle Lane Johnson, right guard Brandon Brooks and center Jason Kelce, who was replaced by Isaac Seumalo, a second-year lineman who had played guard or tackle in his previous NFL games. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox started but exited quickly. Safety Malcolm Jenkins did not play.
Nate the Great
Third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld, a 6-foot-6, sixth-round pick by Washington last year who had never taken an NFL snap, entered for the fifth series and looked impressive in every aspect; strong arm, good reads, nice footwork and solid mechanics. He finished 19-for-23 for 134 yards and had a 22-yard scramble. Don’t get excited.
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