Eagles Defeat Dallas 34 to 7

Last night was a great game with the Eagles really playing to their full potential.

–holding a team’s leading rusher to under 100 yards often is a measure of success; Philadelphia did that De Marco Murray, who gained  74 yards.  He still averaged  4.3 yards per carry; but the Eagles by scoring and a whopping 42 minutes of offense removed him as a threat,

–the Eagles ran for 239 yards against the NFL’s number one team against the rush; Dallas had previously allowed just 74 yards per game,

— the Eagles did have a key Red Zone failure and settled for just a field goal near the end of the first half,

–Nnamdi Asomuga was really alert getting the interception after the deflected pass; players can never let up in a game,

–Tony Romo’s 70 yard touchdown pass to Laurent Robinson was a well executed play; it prevented Andy Reid from getting his first shutout;

–the announcers made that same dumb statement about a running back, in this case Shady McCoy,  getting stronger as the game goes on; not true; the offense just consumes less energy than the defense for any given period of time,

–DeMarcus Ware continues to be  an Eagles nemesis getting four sacks for 23 yards.

–Stopping the Cowboys on downs inside the Eagles five with five minutes left in the game  was also big. Even though the score was 34 to 7,  I was not comfortable until then.

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Defensive Players; Two TDs; One Game

Mr.  Lurie will induct Eric Allen into Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Frame.  Allen, together two other players, had rare  accomplishments in one game in their careers.

Week 15-1993-New Orleans Saints at Veterans Stadium; Eagles 37  Saints 26

The New Orleans Saints were 7-7 compared to 6-8 for the Eagles.   The Eagles limited the Saints to seven first downs and outgained them in yards 314 to 158.     Eric Allen  intercepted two passes and scored touchdowns with runs of 33 and 25 yards.  The Eagles won the last three games to finish at 8-8.

Week 9-1973-Pittsburgh At Oakland; Steelers 17 Raiders 9

Oakland was 5-2-1 vs Pittsburgh 8-1.  The Raiders outgained the Steelers,  395 to 194;  However, Pittsburgh recorded five sacks for 47 yards; Defensive End Dwight White had a career day intercepting two passes in one quarter; the Steelers got three other turnovers;  the Raider ball holders muffed snaps on an extra point and a field goal; White’s interceptions were a prize; most defensive lineman never record an interception in their career.

Thanksgiving Day 1972-San Francisco at Dallas; 49 ers 31 Dallas 10

Dallas was 8-2 to the 49ers 5-4-1.  The Cowboys got an early touchdown for a 7 to 0 lead.  In the second quarter, they were inside the San Francisco 30 and driving for another.  Often one play or series of downs can turn the game around.  Line Backer  Skip Vanderbunt recovered a fumble from Craig Morton and returned it 67 yards for a touchdown.  After that, the 49ers did almost nothing wrong.  Two minutes were left in the game and SF led 24 to 10.  Dallas was still hoping for a comeback and had the ball at their own 18.  Skip Vanderbunt intercepted a screen pass and ran 21 yards for a touchdown.   

The 44 to 6 Victory Over the Cowboys in 08

Everything went the Eagles’ way prior to the 4pm start.  On this last weekend, Houston defeated Chicago and Oakland did likewise to Tampa Bay.  If the 8-6-1 Eagles defeated the 9-6 Dallas Cowboys, the playoffs included our city. What happened was a superb  display of power from both units.  Special teams also were right on target.  The first quarter ended 3 to 3.

Second Quarter

Now the fund began. Donovan McNabb thew a 63 yard screen pass  to Correll Buckwater.  The cork blew off the bottle.  McNabb began completing passes with ease to Bret Celek, DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, and Reggie Brown.  McNabb and Buckwalter scored touchdowns and the Eagles led 17 to 3 with about 90 seconds on the clock.  After the kickoff,  Philadelphia tried to keep the Dallas players in bounds after runs and catches; the Cowboys the reverse, hoping to narrow the score before hitting the locker room. Things changed for the better.

Tony Romo, from the Dallas 40, threw a lolly pop that Sheldon Brown intercepted and ran back to the Dallas 40; we were moving in the opposite direction.  Reggie Brown caught a pass for a ten yard gain.  Adams Jones tackled Reggie and cruelly twisted him with both players out of bounds.  Add 15 yards.  DeSean Jackson caught a pass at the 10.  Terrance Newman blocked Jackson in the End Zone.  With the ball at the one, Philadelphia got a touchdown with Bret Celek catching a pass.  Philadelphia 24 Dallas 3. But that ain’t all.  Adams Jones fumbled the kickoff return and Omar Gather recovered.   David Ackers kicked a 50 yard field goal and a happy bunch left the field leading 27 to 3 at halftime.

Third Quarter

This was a tribute to Brian Dawkins.  With 12 minutes left in the quarter, Dallas had the ball on a drive at the Eagles 28.  I still did not feel we slammed the door.  Tony Romo dropped back to pass.  Dawkins, on a safety blitz, ripped the ball loose.  Chris Clemmons  recovered and went 63 yards for the score.  Beautiful play but the Cowboys never give up and were driving again.   Romo threw a screen to Felix Jones, who caught the ball at the Philadelphia two. Just as Jones turned, Dawk tore the ball loose.  Julio Hanson picked it up and went 98 yards for a touchdown.  Dallas coach Wade Phipps looked  forlorn on the sidelines as the fireworks went off.

Despite this, the Cowboys kept trying to score.  Romo moved his left, Darren Howard smashed him, Romo fumbled, and Trevor Laws recovered.  This led to a field goal and a 44 to 3 lead after three quarters.

Fourth Quarter

Dallas foolishly kicked a field goal with seven minutes left.  Why would a team do this?

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The Philadelphia Eagles headed for the Wild Card Game at Minnesota.   This 44 to 6 win was one of the greatest in the Birds’ history.  It also showed  how statistics can lie.

Total yards gained-the Eagles 303 to 298;
First downs-the Cowboys 16 to 15.

Invisible difference but

Philadelphia led in sacks, 4 for 22 yards and the Cowboys only one for nine yards.
Philadelphia was a plus for in turnovers, five to one.

2006 Win Over Dallas at Home

The victories over Dallas at our house in 2006 and 2008 were near perfect performances. This games were among the best you will will ever see the Eagles play.

2006  

With 40 seconds to go, the Cowboys had the ball at the Philadelphia six yard line. The Eagles led tenuously 31 to 24.  Micheal Lewis had just committed a foul on Terry Glenn moving the ball way downfield.  One play earlier, Dallas had the ball at their own 24, fourth down and 25.  The Eagle defense had just sacked Dallas quarterback Drew Bledsoe on consecutive plays.   This brought their total for the game to seven sacks and 49 yards.   Brian Dawkins and Lito Shepard each made a pass interception.  Donovan McNabb was great going 18 for 33 for 354 yards and two touchdowns.  This last of three misfires meant  the performances might be wasted.

First Miscue

After a three and out on the first series, the Dallas punter fumbled the snap and  Eagles recovered.  Brian Westbrook ran the ball in for a touchdown.  On the second series, the Eagles sacked Bledsoe  and he fumbled.  The Eagles recovered at the Dallas nine.  This time, Red Zone problems reared their ugly heads and David Ackers kicked a field goal.  The score was 10 to 0 rather than 14 to 0.

Second Miscue

The score was 10 to 7. Donovan McNabb fumbled at the Cowboys 30, DeMarcus Ware recovered, and ran 69 yards for a touchdown. This gave the Cowboys a 14 to 10 lead.

As stated, the Dallas Cowboys were at the Eagles six with the score 31 to 24.  I thought the tying touchdown was coming.   Lito Shepard intercepted the pass a ran 103 yards for a touchdown.  One of the great plays in Eagle history.  The Link exploded.  Eagles 38 Cowboys 24.

I will talk about 2008 later.  Note it has been six years since the Eagles swept the Cowboys.   I suspect Philadelphia the Eagles would have won the final game at home last year but Any Reid chose to use reserves.  Counting the playoffs, the record since 2004 is 8 to 5 in favor of the Cowboys.  Close losses since then that have hurt:

21 to 20 at home in 2005
41 to 37 at Dallas in 2008
20 to 16 at home in 2009

The record should be 8-5.

Dallas at Philadephia Losses Since the Super Bowl

With the passage of time, the frame of reference starts with the period since the Super Bowl.  The Eagles are 2-4 with the Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field.

Victories over Dallas are special for several reasons:

1. Someone had the nerve to call Dallas America’s Team.  This is a insult to the other 31 cities.  Each metropolitan area has something unique in American History and to our economy today.
2. Dallas is the symbol of wealth and Philadelphia is more working class,
3. Of all of the teams in the NFC, Dallas has done the best in the Super Bowl.  They are tied with the San Fransisco Forty Niners in victories, five, and have the most number of  appearances with eight, and
4. The Cowboy is one  symbol of America.  What can’t an Eagle be the same.

Here are the the summaries for each year

2005-Early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles were leading 17 to 7 with a first and goal at the Cowboy eight. Then came three failures. Ackers had to kick for a 20 to 7 lead.   The defense collapsed with about six minutes left with the running of Felix Jones  and the passing of Drew Bledsoe.  The Cowboys score cut the lead to 20 to 14.  Then came a foolish play right after the kickoff.  Reggie Brown ran one way, McNabb threw it another way, and Dallas LB Roy Williams intercepted the pass and scored.  This play plus 95 yards in penalties showed the Eagles were not all together. Dallas 21 Eagles 20.

2007-Dallas won 38 to 17.  No problem for me at least.

2009-The biggest play of the season cost the Eagles first place in the NFC East and a BYE week.  With the Eagles leading 13 to 10 in the third quarter, Sheldon Brown intercepted and ran the ball 40 yards to the Dallas 30.  A clipping penalty nullified put the Eagles deep in their own territory.  After Dallas scored a touchdown, David Ackers kicked a 50 yard field goal to narrow the score to 20 to 16.  Philadelphia  could not stop the Cowboys after the kickoff.

2010-It was odd last playing Dallas in a game that was meaningless.  Andy Reid was correct in using the second string; but this loss really hurt.  Kevin Kolb did not play well at all. The Eagles scored first with Kolb throwing a short touchdown pass to Chad Hall.  Though the score was only 7 to 0,  Philadelphia was in control.   They would punt from their 20 yard line with less than two minutes in the first half.  Kevin Kolb fumbled, DeMarcus Ware picked  it up, and ran 16 yards for a touchdown.  Momentum changed.

The third quarter was scoreless and in the final period the Eagles missed a chance to win.  David Ackers kicked a 43 yard goal.  Next, Kevin Kolb threw one of his few sharp passes again to Chad Hall for 50 yards to the Cowboy eight. Once again came a Red Zone failure and the Eagles led 13 to 7.  Dallas Quarterback Stephen McGee capped a 40 yard drive with a four yard touchdown pass to Jason Whitten.  This was after a pass interception.

Kevin Kolb through three pass interceptions and, as stated fumbled.  Dallas sacked him five time for 39 yards in losses.  Okay it was basically an exhibition game; but this was Dallas.

Donovan’s Philadelphia Frustration

The Vikings announced that they are benching Donovan McNabb.  I think he still has some years but he will have to be a back up.  There is nothing degrading about this, although he  perceives it otherwise. I hope McNabb  returns to Philadelphia as a back up.  The big failures of the McNabb years were the losses  of the NFC Championship game in 2002, 2003, and 2008.  We can overlook the loss in 2001, since the Eagles were an upstart team compared to the St. Louis Rams.  I have already compared the 2008 loss to the Arizona Cardinals with the victory during the season.   All four games we are looking at below were at home.

2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Won During the  Season 20 to 10-outgained Tampa 269 to 207; sacked Brad Johnson six times for 29 yards in losses; turnovers evened out.

Lost NFC Championship 27 to 10-much more complicated; Tampa went three and out on the first series;  Brian Mitchell returned a punt to Tampa 20; on the first offensive play, Duce Staley carried it for a touchdown; the Eagles started  inside the Tampa 40  on the next two series;  Mitchell made another great punt return and Bobby Taylor intercepted a pass; the Philadelphia Eagles failed even to get a first down on both tries; this early limp offense was the key to the game; the Eagles defense also put no pressure on Brad Johnson and did not record a single sack.

Turnovers, sacks, and not getting those two early scores made this a real glum day.

2003 Carolina Panthers

Won During the Season 25 to 16;  both sides moved the ball well;  the Eagles won due to bad placekicking; Panther kicker John Kasey has been one of the NFL’s best placekickers through his career; the Eagles lucked out,  surviving Steve Davis’ 123 yard rushing effort.   Kasey missed three field goals and an extra point.

Lost NFC Championship 14 to 3. The Panthers actually did not move the ball as well as they did during the season game;  but they did get enough first downs to  burn the clock; Carolina recorded five sacks and four interceptions on Donovan McNabb and Koy Detmer; McNabb broke his ribs on a  cheap shot from a Panther lineman; this should have been a flag, ejection, and fine;  the Eagles did not get a single sack or turnovers.

Same old story.

A Disturbing Pattern

The Philadelphia Eagles, since 2003, have repeatably started slowly then gained momentum.  These turtle like starts have hurt the team in the playoffs.  In one case, the revival came too late and the Eagles had no post season action.  There maybe adjustments or motivational problems.

2003-Had a 2-3 start; won nine in a row; lost to San Francisco; then won at Washington.  The 12-4 finish gave the team the BYE week and the home field advantage in the playoffs.   The Eagles had to win the final game at Washington to  assure that perk;  the Eagles won 31 to 7;  but they lost  Brian Westbrook, which really hurt them in the NFC Championship game with Carolina;  an earlier victory would have made the result of final game meaningless.

2006-The Eagles were 5-6 with Donovan McNabb injured;  Jeff Garcia led the team to four consecutive victories; no one in the NFL played better in that period than Brian Dawkins; the Eagles beat Atlanta in a meaningless final game;  defeated the New York Giants 23 to 20 in Wild Card Week; a Red Zone failure and a 235 yard gashing from the Saints ended their hopes the next week.

2007-By winning their last three games, the Eagles raised their record from 5-8 to an even .500; the first win at Dallas was the most impressive;  all but three of the eight losses were very close.

2008-After a  horrible 36 to 7 loss at Baltimore, Philadelphia was a limp 5-5-1;   then the Eagles won four of the last five games; the only blip was a 10 to 3 loss at Washington; spectacular 44 to 6 win in the final game with Dallas put the Eagles in the playoffs;  the Eagles defeated the Vikings and Giants; the loss to the Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game was the biggest disappointment in my time as a Eagle fan; 56 years.

2009-A flat 5-4 record and then the team won six in a row; the wins were good but some should have been easier; the Eagles, despite the victories, were hurting themselves by not  taking advantage of every chance; three of the six needlessly went down to the finish; Dallas shut out the Philadelphia in the final game of the season 24 to 0; one week later the Cowboys beat the Eagles 34 to 14 in the Wild Card game.

2010-Once again, the Eagles were 4-3 and won six of the next seven; Minnesota upset them 24 to 14 eliminating the chance for the BYE week; the 14 to 13 loss in the final game was meaningless; but it was to Dallas and still hurt; bad special teams play and the last pass interception drove  Philadelphia’s loss in the  Wild Card  to Green Bay 21 to 16.