At the very least, it’s the most genuinely joyful feeling that Birds fans have been able to experience about football in some time.
If you thought watching your team go 1-5 in their final six regular season games was bad (it is), then what do you call that historically embarrassing loss that Dallas just suffered?
The Cowboys entered that game in a pretty great spot.
They were the No. 2 seed in no small part due to the Eagles’ collapse and a blown call that prevented the Detroit Lions from beating them.
They were 7-point home favorites in a stadium where they had won 16 times in a row.
They were going up against a quarterback with no playoff experience. And quarterbacks making their first playoff start against a quarterback with previous playoff experience were just 15-35-1 against the spread.
They were healthy; no starters were listed on their final injury report.
And, yet, they did what the Cowboys always do (shout out Kamu Grugier-Hill) and choked. They were never even truly competitive, going down 27-0 after a Dak Prescott pick-six.
It was glorious.
The Cowboys became the first team in NFL history to lose to a No. 7 seed. The first No. 2 seed to never make it to the divisional round.
They were indeed frauds who enjoyed running up the score on bad teams but suddenly didn’t look so good against more serious competition.
There's been only two instances since 2000 where a favorite of 7+ points lost in the playoffs by a wider margin than the Cowboys did today. Tight, unprepared, out-coached.— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) January 15, 2024
Second-most reg. season wins since 2021, but now 28 straight seasons without getting out of the div. round.
This marks the Cowboys’ 13th straight trip to the playoffs without advancing to the conference championship game, extending their own streak for the longest such drought in NFL history.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 15, 2024
Based on EPA per pass play, Jordan Love just had the most efficient game for any QB in a game this season.— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) January 15, 2024
It was his first playoff start. On the road. As a 7-point underdog.
16-for-21 for 272 and 3 TDs. Averaged 13 YPA. No sacks. No turnovers.
And now there are many questions about the Cowboys’ future.
Is Mike McCarthy back? Is he going to be replaced by Bill Belichick?
On one hand, the Cowboys have had success against the Eagles under McCarthy. On the other hand, no one is actually scared of him and he ultimately limits their ceiling.
A similar sentiment applies to Dak Prescott, who is entering the final year of his contract. Do the Cowboys give him an extension? Pretty embarrassing that some were tripping over themselves to anoint this guy as the NFL MVP, if you ask me:
Dak Prescott is now 2-5 in 7 career playoff games.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 15, 2024
Out of 169 playoff QBs with at least one win, only 7 have a worse winning percentage.
Dak’s 2 wins? 18-15 combined opponent record, lowest win percentage in playoff wins among 109 QBs to win multiple games.
Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn could also be gone (perhaps as Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks successor). Cowboys fans probably won’t be too upset about that after an awful performance against the Packers ... but there’s definitely room for the Dallas defense to get worse after his departure.
The Cowboys also have a number of free agent decisions to make:
Cowboys key free agents this off-season: RB Tony Pollard, OT Tyron Smith, CB Stephon Gilmore, C Tyler Biadasz, DE Dorance Armstrong Jr., S Jayron Kearse, CB Jourdan Lewis, DT Johnathan Hankins, DT Neville Gallimore, DE Dante Fowler Jr., OT Chuma Edoga, CB Noah Igbinoghene, RB…— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 15, 2024
With no fourth-round pick and no fifth-round selection until the compensatory range, the Cowboys own just three of the top 170(ish) picks of the 2024 NFL Draft. By contrast, the Eagles are currently projected to make six selections before the Cowboys’ fourth pick.
The Eagles obviously have much to figure out ahead of next season, especially if they don’t beat the Buccaneers in Tampa. But in a division where there still hasn’t been a repeat winner since 2004, they could very well overtake the Cowboys next season.
By the way, make sure to listen to this week’s NFC East Mixtape episode on the Bleeding Green Nation podcast feed to hear RJ Ochoa from Blogging The Boys have to re-live and analyze the Cowboys’ embarrassing loss. Gonna be a tough one for him as a big-time Dak and McCarthy guy! The episode drops on Wednesday morning (if not sooner).