Deja Vu in Dallas; Eagles Get Crushed To End Season

The horrific nightmare continues. Woe is me. I thought Reid said they’d be ready. Oh well.

The Eagles 2009 season came to a crashing end at the hands of those gosh darn Cowboys. It was kinda sorta a repeat from last week, only much, much worse. If not for some stupid penalties by the ‘Boys early, this one would’ve been over in the first quarter. Unfortunately, we had to endure four quarters of thorough destruction by the guys with stars on their helmets. Yes, they do OWN the Eagles.

Final score: Cowboys 34, Eagles 14

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar. The Birds defense gets completely manhandled all night, and the offense stalls repeatedly.

It’s both vexing and frustrating that a team can get beat by essentially the same plays three games in a row, but low and behold, that’s what happened. Bubble screens, slips screens, delayed draws. The Eagles had no clue how to stop them. It’s not as if Dallas was running some sophisticated attack. They just ran their offense to perfection using very basic plays.

Here are some painful observations from what was a mess of a game for the Birds:

  • Probably the worst game I’ve seen from the secondary in years. Everyone played like shit. Sheldon and Samuel were abused. Joselio Hanson was torched. Mikell got pushed around. Macho, before he got hurt, looked lost. Again, I fail to comprehend why you play ten yards off receivers when you keep getting burned by screens. Blame McDermott, blame the defenders. It was uglier than ugly.
  • Talk all you want about the reversed interception by Sean Jones, but it wouldn’t have made a difference. The Birds didn’t have the horses to win this one. By the way, I agreed with call. Jones never had full control of the ball.
  • All that tweeting and Ustreaming did DeSean a lot of good. He did squat, save for a garbage touchdown. Of course when your quarterback drops back to pass and sees nothing but large gentleman dressed in white jerseys getting ready to drive him into the ground, it’s hard to throw completions.
  • I love Trent Cole, but man did he get dominated by an aging Flozell Adams this season. Without his pressure off the edge, the defense really struggles.
  • Man, I sure hope Stewart Bradley is ready come training camp, because this linebacking corps is a conundrum. They have no middle linebacker or strongside backer. Maybe Fokou will improve, but if not, they are in trouble. In addition, Spoon sure did look old the last few games.
  • Hey, Chris Gocong had a good game. So did Joe Mays on special teams. Sadly, they might have been the only two.
  • Vick fumbles. Weaver fumbles. Game over.
  • Boy, Brent Celek sure did disappear after getting his bell rung. Amazing how much the offense relies on his production.
  • Losing the field position battle for a second consecutive game really killed any chances to establish an early rhythm. Of course when all you do is call 5 and 7 step drops against a ferocious pass rush, you get what you deserve, which was McNabb running for his life.
  • How many false start penalties was that on Jason Peters? Three, four… I lost count.
  • Speaking of McNabb. I’m sure the local media and a host of fans will crank up the “Don Must Go” chants even louder than normal, but he had little to do with losing this debacle. Was he sharp? No. Was his offensive line sharp? HELL no. Don’t start thinking he won’t be under center in September, because he will. Whether you agree or not matters little to Reid and Co. Maybe, just maybe, the Cowboys defense is really, really good. I know, blasphemy.
  • Safe to say, Brian Westbrook‘s future with the team is in jeopardy. He played sparingly and when he did he was a non factor.
  • Reid and McDermott were exposed by Dallas. It will be interesting to see how they adjust in the offseason, because they have to know that every opponent they face in 2010 will use the same schemes to attack them.

Let’s be real. The Eagles were physically dominated and severely outcoached in all three meetings with Dallas. The fact that each game got progressively worse means changes must be made.

The offense skill positions are pretty much set. If Westy doesn’t return, and even if he does, they need another running back. The center position will have to be addressed with Jamaal‘s availability a question mark for ’10. Obviously, the contract situations with Weaver and Avant will need to be resolved, but that’s another topic for another day. What about the Andrews brothers? Who knows, but continuity on the O-line has to be a priority.

On defense is where the most retooling is needed. A pass rushing defensive tackle and defensive end are badly needed. Trent Cole can’t do it all by himself. I’ve already covered the linebackers. In the secondary, how about a suitable nickel corner and a legit free safety? And Sheldon’s last few games have me a bit worried. I know he’s been dinged all year, but he was exposed by Brandon Marshall, Miles Austin and Roy Williams big time. Perhaps a taller corner added to the mix would help.

So, another Eagles season ends in customary crushing disappointment. We’re used to it by now. However, that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. I’m tired. I’ll be back Monday with more observations on what was a wild and wacky 2009 season. Goodnight, and good luck.

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Tags: Eagles Lose 34-14 To Cowboys Eagles Lose To Cowboys In Wild Card Game

  • Tony

    Let me preface by saying this is not out of anger, embarrassment, or frustration:
    First: Eagles should move McNabb. What made McNabb great was his ability to create plays. He is NOT doing this anymore. This makes him an average to slightly above average QB right now. Kolb is that already. Keep Kolb, move McNabb. Period. He is too expensive, and Kolb has similar skill sets, in my opinion.
    Second: Eagles must find some secondary help in the offseason. Brown was banged up, I know, but he’s getting up there in age and I’m not sure we have a viable back-up option. Hanson was torched. Mickell looked horrible again tonight as he has for many of the games I’ve seen. This seems to be a big area of need.
    Third: Eagles need (again) help along the defensive line and LB corp. I hate seeing these guys up front get pushed around. We need some big hogs up there. We need Stewart back in the worse way. Witherspoon is not the answer.
    Fourth: Offensively, we will be fine. I’d love to see a bigger RB taken in the draft. I hate to see so many passes compared to run plays. It drives me nuts. THERE is absolutely ZERO run threat. I thought Weaver was supposed to lead block for us?
    This debacle was bound to happen. It’s hard to win when a team is so one-dimensional. This fucking sucks.

  • Stan Green

    Are we ready to admit that RUSH was right.
    Our man Nabster is way OVER RATED.
    Time for Vick ?

  • KD

    Predicted a field goal short both ways. One to the Boys, one less to the Birds.

    War Cowboys!

  • theMBIIIeffect

    Good article even though it’s a tough one to write. I think losing Jamaal Jackson definitely hurt, too. The protection was a little off in both games. It’s a bad sign when the center can’t clear his own butt on shotgun snaps. I hope McNabb doesn’t get raked over the coals too hard after this game. Our pass rushers could pin their ears back and go after McNabb b/c the run game was an afterthought. And I hope that Westbrook’s career isn’t over. I have a lot of respect for both of those guys.

    What a chapter in a bitter rivalry. I’m sure that it’ll be a motivating factor for the Iggles in the offseason and they’ll be circling the meetings with Dallas on the calendar next season.

  • Some Guy

    That game didn’t inspire much confidence at all. Funny insight by NBC commentators: Cowboys owned the Eagles; Eagles owned the Giants; Giants owned the Cowboys; they all owned the Redskins. What will happen next season?

  • starshine

    Leave the dog killing stuff alone. Your HC and qb are gay. Leave the battery thing out, too. And then, there’s “spudcam” boy. Classic.

  • Steve

    I’ve been an Eagles fan dating back to 1966. Philly needs to face the facts – McNabb will NEVER get us a Super Bowl ring. After all his years in the league – he is too inconsistent. Flashes of greatness will NOT get us there! McNabb has to go and if Reid says no, he has to go too. Eagles need a complete restructuring. Now is the time …

    Valley Forge

  • Tony

    As I said, last night. Eagles need to change. It starts at QB. The Kolb era must begin. The McNabb era must end. Thanks Donovan, for all the memories, but you’re not doing what made you great (scrambling, running, creating). Because you can’t or are unwilling to do what you use to do, we are better off with a younger, possibly more accurate, and hungrier QB.
    Westbrook looks like he may be on his last legs. We’ll see how he looks in the off-season.
    THe secondary needs a revamping. Sean Jones was ineffective, Macho Harris is still young and may be good, although he missed quite a few tackles from what I’ve seen, Joselio Hanson could not keep up with any Cowboy receiver, Brown looked old, and Asante seems very undisciplined, although I’d keep him. He’s a playmaker.
    I’d love to see the Eagles take a page out of the Jets playbook and become a run first team. Here’s an interesting idea: The Jets won with a solid run game and defense WITH a rookie QB, the Eagles lost with a veteran Pro-Bowl QB, with ZERO run threat, and beat-up undersized defense. The Eagles gotta get bigger up front, defensively and need to commit to the run game with a larger, bruising back. These players are out there, and WILL be out there in the draft. The problem is that the Birds stubbornly pass these guys up in favor of a more finesse type player.
    Well… we just got our ass handed to us by a more physical team. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember the Eagles truly, really, physically dominating an opponent in a long time, exception being a beat-up Falcons team earlier this year.
    Change starts with a change in philosophy. Commit to being more physical EAGLES!

  • KD

    Run first is something you’ll never see out of Andy Reid or any West Coast offense…

    Especially given the fairly inept running game the Eagles possess. They’re great receivers out of the backfield but sub par runners.

    As a Cowboys fan, I’m really concerned with the Vikings who have a significantly better running game and a just as threatening pass game. Not to mention none of the Eagles 11 wins came from teams that finished with winning records…

  • Mike

    Kolb is over rated. His only good game was against the Chiefs. A few games of Kolb and you will be begging for McNabb back. That said: McNabb and Reid should be fired on the sole basis of losing to the Cowboys 3 times.

    Eagles Fans want a Superbowl first and to beat the Cowboys second. When you can’t do either of those it’s time to go.

  • Tony

    Mike, I completely disagree with you. Kolb has shown good accuracy and improved decision making. As it is right now, I don’t see much of a difference physically between Kolb and McNabb, especially when McNabb refuses or simply can no longer make plays with his feet. I’ll venture and say Kolb is even more accurate than McNabb.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am a McNabb fan. But, this whole situation is getting old and stale.
    To his credit, maybe it’s not even about McNabb. Maybe it’s all about the shit play calling of pass, pass, pass, and the unfair situation this puts McNabb in. Perhaps we are all asking too much from Donovan. Especially when defenses know what’s coming—a PASS.
    I like Coach Reid, but his stubborness is very annoying.

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