Shockingly, it was Tony Kornheiser who I made a point I think we have to remember. The Eagles and Cowboys have to have emerged from that game thinking "who is better than the two of us?" That was a classic game. An absolute war of attrition were both teams can leave with their head held high. The home team edged this one out, but round two in week 17 when they come to our house and that should be something to behold. I just hope in the final week of the season that the game means enough for both teams to go as all out as they did tonight. Dallas held serve here, but there's not much between these two teams.
Onto the headlines
If I had to pick one play...
It had to be the botched handoff from McNabb to Westbrook in the 4th quarter. The blame certainly looks like it goes to McNabb on that one as it looked like he started to pull the ball away from Westbrook at the last moment. Until then, the Eagles had not turned the ball over... That one mistake was all it took in a game like this to turn the tide. The Cowboys scored on the ensuing possession and the game finished at that score.
That said, when your defense gives up 34 points it's hard to lay the blame on one offensive mistake. Which leads me to the next headline.
The offense is for real, the defense however....
The Eagles destroyed the Rams in week one with a performance where they looked dominating on both sides of the ball. The question coming into this week was how much of that was real and how much of it was the fact that the Rams are possibly the worst team in football? Well, we got some answers tonight.
The offense is for real. They put up 30 on what was supposed to be a good Dallas defense(and probably will be) and moved the ball at will for most of the game. McNabb had a great game(although there was some iffy decision making at the end), Westbrook was racking up TDs... most everything went quite well offensively. I think they showed tonight that they can play with any team in this league. And by the way they did it again without both their starting WRs.
The defense, however, I just can't say the same. I'll start with the good. They did get two turnovers, the Asante pick and the Gocong recovery for a TD of a Romo fumble. They held the Cowboys to just 68 yards rushing... Honestly, those should be signs of a really good performance. You stuff their run game, score a defensive TD, and get two turnovers. Problem is, in the other stats that matter they got dominated. The reason is all too clear, lack of pressure. Like I said before the game, the Eagles forced Romo into the two worst performances of his career for one reason only, pressure. He was sacked 7 total times in those two games. Tonight the Eagles failed to register a sack. If you can't pressure the passer, especially against good teams, you open yourself to getting picked apart.
Oh yeah... and Sean Considine sucks.
Did Westbrook have magnets in his facemask?
Is it just me or did the Cowboys grab Westbrook by the facemask an amazing amount of times? Between the times it was called and the times it wasn't I lost count of how many times Westbrook's facemask was grabbed.
Westbrook had 3 TDs on the night.
Desean Jackson makes history
First, Desean Jackson nearly made history with one of the more boneheaded plays you'll ever see. After he smokes two defenders down the middle of the field and makes a fantastic catch, he tosses the ball behind him about a half yard before he crosses the goal line negating a TD. Lucky for him, Brian Westbrook bailed him out with a leaping TD run from the one on the next play.
On the postive side... Desean became just the second rookie WR to have two 100+ yard games to start his career.
Desean finished with 6 catches for 110 yards.
Don't get too down
It always sucks to lose. It always really sucks to lose to a division rival. It always really really sucks to lose to Dallas... but don't get too down over this one. The Eagles showed tonight that there is very little between these two teams and this is a game that should give them the confidence to know that they can play with anyone. They have some real questions to answer on defense, but I think either way we know that this is not a bad Eagles team. This is a pretty good team that we should expect good things from this year. For that, we shouldn't get too down.