Slow Starts, Late Wins 2006-2011 Why?


2006-After 11 games, the Eagles were 5-6;  counting playoffs the Eagles then won six in a row;  defeated the New York Giants twice in a four game span;  lost to the New Orleans Saints 27 to 24 in the second round of the playoffs;  lost earlier in the season to the Saints by the same score.

2007-Floundering through 13 games with a record of 5-8;  the team should have won five of the eight but simply could not turn the page for a happy ending;  Eagles won their final three games to reach .500; the first of these three was a 10 to 6 win over the Cowboys at Texas Stadium;  with Dallas winning 13 games,  this was no small feat.

2008-What Eagle fan forget this  sensational comeback winning six of seven after going 5-5-1 ?  This included two wins over the New York Giants, 20 to 14 and 23 to 11, with both games at the Meadow Lands.  The loss to the Cardinals in the NFC Title Game 32 to 25 was to me the  biggest disappointment  in over 60 years of rooting for Philadelphia.

2009-In Week 9, the Eagles  gave away a 20 to 16 game to the Dallas Cowboys in Philadelphia.  After that the Eagles won six in a row.  In three of these games,  the team was passing up scoring opportunities, muffing pass interceptions,  and not always making third down stops.  They were close rather than easy wins.  Before playing at Dallas in the final game, I had doubts about how good the team  really was.

Dallas white washed the Eagles 24 to 0.  Instead of a BYE and the home field advantage, the Eagles went to Dallas on the Wild Card Week.  Playing in Dallas on successive weeks is cruel and unusual punishment.  Cowboys won 34 to 14. 

2011-After  12 weeks, the Philadelphia Eagles were 4-8. They caught fire and won their last four games by  comfortable margins.The biggest win was a 20 to 7 affair with at the Dallas Cowboys.

A  footnote- the Eagles won both games with the Dallas Cowboys.  They came very near a double shut out.   In Philadelphia  the Eagles were leading 34 to 0 with about four minutes left in the game.  Tony Romo threw a 56 yard touchdown pass to Laurent Robertson bringing the score to 34 to 7.  In Dallas it looked like a sure shout out.   The Eagles were leading 20 to 0 with only 25 seconds left.   Our guys  were  punting from their own goal line.  After Russ Carter blocked a punt,  Stephen McGee threw a four yard touchdown pass to Miles Austin.    Final again Eagles 20 Dallas 7.

Here were the four games.

@ Miami won 26 to 10;

@ home defeated the New York Jets 45 to 19;

@ Dallas won 20 to 7;

@ home  defeated the Washington Redskins 34 to 10.      



1972 Roger Staubach First Comeback

The Dallas Cowboys had defeated the San Francisco  the NFC title in both 1970 and 1971.    1970 at San Francisco 17 to 10;  1971 at Dallas 14 to 3.  In 1972 it looked like it would be different.   On Thanksgiving Day, San Francisco demolished Dallas 31 to 10.  The 49ers lead 14 to 10 at halftime and Dallas did nothing in the second half.  Ted Kwalick, the Penn State All American, caught four  passes for 68 yards.

The defense and linebacker Skip Vanderbunt were the real st0ry.  The 49ers sacked  Craig Morton and Roger Staubach nine times for 66 yards in loses.  Skip Vanderbunt had a day that defensive players wish for.  In the first quarter, Vanderbunt recovered a fumble and returned it 73 yards for a touchdown.  With less than three minutes remaining, he sealed the game with an interception and return 21 yards for another score.   Dallas finished 10-4  to 8-5-1 for the 49ers;  but this day the 49ers were clearly better. 

One month later, the Cowboys went to San Francisco in the first round of the playoffs.  Despite the better record the 49ers were first in the NFC West while Dallas was second to the Redskins in the NFC East.  This game had some novel twists. After three quarters, the 49ers lead  28 to 13.  

Keeping the game close for Dallas was Craig Morton throwing yard 27 yard touchdown pass to Lance Alworth.  Then game a 27 yard field goal from Tony Frisch.  For San Francisco, Vic Washington  returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown.  Larry Scieber  capped three  touchdown drives with 1 yard plunches.  Dallas recorded five sacks for 33 yards.

Behind 28 to 30, Tom Landry inserted Roger Staubach at quarterback in the fourth quarter.  There was allot of second guessing when the Cowboys kicked a field goal making the score 28 to 16.   Fans thought it was too late for that  The next two drives Staubach threw  for touchdowns- 20 yards to Bill Parks and 10 yards to Ron Sellers.   The Cowboys were really ecstatic jumping all over the  bench.  The crowd was quite; Dallas had beaten the Forty Niners in the playoffs  for three consecutive years.  Twice in the NFC Title game and now at the first round.

Often teams with great come behind victories fall flat the following week.   And so with the Dallas Cowboys  in the NFC Title game that year.  They were like jelly fish going to DC.  The Redskins beat them 26 to 3.  

This was Roger Staubach’s first come from behind victory.