|by Ryan Messick
“And then DeSean took care of the rest,” said Andy Reid when describing the throw to Jackson on his 91-yard touchdown, most of which came after the catch.
The head coach was describing one play, but he may as well have been describing the whole game. DeSean Jackson caught four passes for a career-high 210 yards, racking up the third most in a single game in Eagles history and carrying the Birds past the Cowboys in a 30-27 victory.
With the career day, Jackson cast aside last season’s lackluster performances against the Cowboys. Three games, three losses, and an average of 2.33 catches for 26 yards and no touchdowns. Three pieces of ancient history.
It wasn’t just a personal thing though, as the Eagles struggled mightily in those three losses. This time around, each of Jackson’s catches came at a key time for Philadelphia.
On the first play from scrimmage, Jackson caught a 60-yard bomb from Michael Vick, taking it all the way down to the Cowboys’ 13-yardline. Five plays later, the Eagles had a 7-0 lead.
“I think that set the tone for the game,” Vick said. “We basically came out and showed them we was going to be aggressive in all four quarters.”
The Cowboys came out firing too, going 77 yards on 10 plays before a one-yard strike from Jon Kitna to Jason Witten tied the game at 7-7.
The two teams traded punts until the middle of the second quarter, as the game seemed to fall into a lull. Jackson, though, stepped up again. Vick hit Jackson on a curl route at the 28-yardline and Jackson turned it into a 37-yard gain down to the Cowboys’ 2-yardline, this time setting up a 2-yard strike from Vick to Todd Herremans, who reported to the huddle as a tackle eligible.
Philadelphia grabbed the 14-7 lead, but after the two teams traded interceptions by Quintin Mikell and Gerald Sensabaugh, the Cowboys got a 50-yard field goal from David Buehler and it was 14-10 at halftime.
On the first drive of the second half, the Cowboys went 42 yards on 10 plays before a 43-yard field goal by Buehler made it a one point game with the Eagles leading 14-13, and the Cowboys gaining momentum. Cue Jackson.