Friday, July 25, 2014
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Man Up: Few bright spots on Eagles' offense

A player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' offensive performance against the Cowboys:

Man Up: Few bright spots on Eagles' offense

Donovan McNabb scrambles but could not get a first down as he<br />his tackled by Cowboys Victor Butler in fourth quarter, eagles settled<br />for a field goal on this drive, on Sunday.  (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Donovan McNabb scrambles but could not get a first down as he his tackled by Cowboys Victor Butler in fourth quarter, eagles settled for a field goal on this drive, on Sunday. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Brent Celek´s touchdown was one of the few bright spots for the Eagles Sunday against the Cowboys. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Brent Celek's touchdown was one of the few bright spots for the Eagles Sunday against the Cowboys. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
 
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    A player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' offensive performance against the Cowboys:

    Donovan McNabb - He just looked out of sorts all game. McNabb probably should have been picked off on a bad throw intended for DeSean Jackson on the first series. Did the Eagles have protection problems? Yes. But even when McNabb had time, he was off-target. In the fourth quarter, he had Jackson wide open and threw behind him. The couple bright spots were when he bought time and made plays -- on the screen to LeSean McCoy that went for 45 yards, and on the touchdown to Brent Celek. McNabb's 61.4 QB rating was his lowest of the season.

    Michael Vick - We'll keep this one short: a 2-yard carry in the first and a handoff to McCoy later in the game. If the Eagles felt Vick could help them, they would be using him more. Consider it a failed experiment until you see proof suggesting otherwise.

    LeSean McCoy - There were some real bright spots for McCoy, and also a couple mistakes. He broke a tackle and had a great individual effort on a 17-yard run in the second quarter. Overall, he did a decent job as a blocker. There was one play where he was supposed to get in DeMarcus Ware's way before going out into his route, but McCoy didn't do enough, and Ware forced a McNabb incompletion. The normally sure-handed receiver also had a couple dropped passes. He did take a screen 45 yards in the third quarter for the Eagles' biggest offensive play of the game. And as I said yesterday, he missed a chance to convert in short yardage in the fourth quarter. Overall, 13 carries for 54 yards and five catches for 61.

    Leonard Weaver - Solid game for Weaver. Eight carries for 33 yards, and some punishing blocks. He showed great athleticism on a 17-yard reception in the first quarter, but it was called back because of a Todd Herremans penalty.

    Winston Justice - Not his greatest performance of the season, but Justice did an OK job. He was overpowered by Cowboys defesive end Stephen Bowen on a third-down McCoy carry in the second. Justice also had some problems in protection, although he did not give up a sack. He false started on a 3rd-and-7 in the fourth quarter for his second penalty of the season.

    Stacy Andrews - Nightmarish game for Andrews. He gave up a sack to Jay Ratliff in the first quarter and a second on 3rd-and-9 in the second. Andrews completely missed his block on Ware during Vick’s 2-yard run. And he forced McNabb to escape the pocket after getting beat by Jason Hatcher. Andrews came in during the third possession and stayed in at right guard once Jason Peters went down. I don't believe he returned though after Peters came back in. I have to double-check though. He did make one nice block on Ratliff to open up a hole for a 5-yard McCoy run in the second.

    Nick Cole - He had some serious problems in pass protection, particularly with Igor Olshansky. Cole moved over to left guard when Todd Herremans slid to left tackle. He went back to right guard once Peters returned. Hatcher beat him to sack McNabb in the fourth, but holding was called on Dallas away from the line of scrimmage.

    Jamaal Jackson - Jackson had some trouble with Jay Ratliff, who really impressed me as I re-watched the game. Ratliff was disruptive in the interior all game. As analyst Cris Collinsworth pointed out, Jackson should have snapped the ball on 4th-and-1 when the Eagles had the Cowboys offsides in the third.

    Todd Herremans - As I mentioned, he moved to left tackle when Peters went down. It was actually an interesting scene at the Linc. King Dunlap started to come on to the field as Peters came off, but was waved away. The Eagles gave him help with Ware on most plays, but when he was left by himself, Herremans had serious problems, which was to be expected.

    Jason Peters - He was probably the offense's biggest bright spot. Peters completely neutralized Ware, both early on, and then later when he re-entered the game. Peters often pushed Ware upfield, past McNabb. Really an impressive performance. The one downside was the false start on 4th-and-1 in the third.

    Brent Celek - Three catches for 39 yards, including a touchdown (his fourth of the season). The Cowboys moved Ware around, and Celek found himself on the losing end of a one-on-one battle with the Pro Bowl defensive end on a run play in the first. He made a nice block on Anthony Spencer during McCoy's 17-yard run. Celek had a drop on the Eagles' final drive.

    Alex Smith - The throw from McNabb in the first quarter was high, although Smith had a chance at it. His blocking was not very good. Smith got beat by Spencer in pass protection in the third, leading to a McNabb incompletion. He didn't get the job done during the Eagles' short-yardage failures in the fourth quarter. Smith had an 11-yard grab in the third, picking up a first down.

    DeSean Jackson - The Cowboys were successful in shutting him down and making other players beat them. Jackson had just two catches for 29 yards. He did deliver a good effort as a downfield blocker on the 45-yard screen pass to McCoy.

    Jeremy Maclin - He and McNabb were not on the same page all day. On the first offensive play of the game for the Eagles, he looked up for the ball about a full two seconds after it had sailed out of bounds. The first interception is on him. If you've watched McNabb for years, that wasn't even close to his fastball. Maclin has to make that catch. Chalk it up to rookie growing pains. It was encouraging to see McNabb still go to him in the fourth quarter. Overall, three catches for 44 yards.

    Jason Avant - He made a very nice catch for 23 yards on third down in the second. Avant caught the only other ball thrown his way. On the downside, he picked up a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, helping Celek celebrate after his TD.

    Reggie Brown - Yes, Brown was on the field at times. Nothing else to really say about him though. No balls were thrown his way.

    Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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