In some ways the Eagles actually came out winners in this tilt on the tundra. For some reason Jason Garrett stayed with his starters the entire game, but the Eagles JV squad hung right in there with them the whole way. We found out QB Nate Sudfeld, CB Sidney Jones, and LB Nate Gerry can play the game. Best of all, the Eagles go into the playoff bye week with no injuries sustained in this surreal game.
We also got to see the real Eagles fans turn out in full throat at the Linc. Apparently the wine and cheese crowd gave away their tickets to true-green blue-collar folk who filled the stadium on a 10 degrees F. afternoon which was fit for neither man or beast. For me, it was gratifying to see that. We’re gonna need all of the crowd support we can get in two weeks.
The bad news is that Nick Foles and the first-team offense struggled badly for the short time they were in.
Maybe Nick is just not comfortable enough in arctic temperatures to do what he does best? Maybe the team execution of the plays called was not sharp enough to offset the intensity with which the Cowboys defense came out to start the game?
I’m still surprised Jason Garrett left most of his starters in for the entire game on both sides of the ball. He smelled a victory to be had to pad his resume after Foles’ shaky start. Why not, I guess? But had the Eagles come out hot (no pun intended) on offense to take, say, a 10-0 lead at halftime, I’m sure Garrett would have called off his dogs.
Of course the headlines will read “Major Concerns Linger over Eagles about Nick Foles”… Foles finished 4-of-11 for 39 yards (3.5 yards per attempt) with an interception as the Eagles were shut out 6-0 by the Cowboys.
The Eagles finish the regular season at 13-3 — one win shy of a franchise record. The NFC playoffs still run through Philly. They have a first-round bye and get to rest and scheme up while their next opponent toils in the wild-card round.
Dak Prescott tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brice Butler early in the fourth quarter and the Dallas Cowboys beat playoff-bound Philadelphia 6-0 on Sunday, preventing the Eagles from a franchise-record 14th win.
The Eagles (13-3) rested several starters on a frigid day and played others briefly after securing the NFC’s No. 1 seed last week. They’ll host a playoff game on Jan. 13 or 14.
Second-year pro Nate Sudfeld replaced Foles in his first career game. He looked extremely competent for the extended time he was in the game. He was tackled inside the 5 after catching a lateral on a desperation play to end the game.
The Cowboys drove 99 yards for the first score. A holding penalty on Rasul Douglas on an incomplete pass on third down extended the drive and Prescott connected with Butler on a slant on third-and-7. Dan Bailey hooked the extra point wide left, only his second career miss in 278 tries.
Bailey also missed a 23-yard field goal wide left with 13 seconds remaining.
Ezekiel Elliott ran for 103 yards, falling 17 short of 1,000 in only 10 games. He was the first player to reach 100 against the Eagles since Washington’s Matt Jones ran for 135 yards in Week 6 last year.
The teams were 0 for 12 on third and fourth down before the Cowboys converted on third down late in the second quarter. The Eagles got their first third-down conversion midway through the third quarter. Sudfeld then ran 22 yards on another third down and the crowd roared.
Philadelphia’s best drive with Foles was the game opener. The Eagles drove to the Cowboys 39 before Torrey Smith dropped a pass on third-and-7. Foles was hurried and threw an incomplete pass on fourth down.
On the ensuing possession, Dannell Ellerbe stopped Elliott on fourth-and-1 at the 42.
Foles underthrew Alshon Jeffery and was picked by Chidobe Awuzie at the Cowboys 48 on Philadelphia’s third possession. It was Awuzie’s first career interception. The offense went three-and-out on the first unit’s fourth and final series.
SCORELESS HALF: This was the first NFL game to be 0-0 at halftime since the Bears-Broncos in Week 14 of 2011. It was the first time in a Cowboys-Eagles game since the series began in 1960.
LAYERING UP: Eagles P Donnie Jones ran onto the field for a punt with his warmup pants still on and had to rip them off before the snap. He pinned the Cowboys inside the 5 with his punt and later placed one at the 1. Jones had about as good an overall game as a punter can have, despite the frozen environment.
Five of Philadelphia’s defensive starters — LB Nigel Bradham, DE Brandon Graham, DT Tim Jernigan, S Rodney McLeod, CB Jalen Mills — and one regular — DE Derek Barnett — were inactive. DT Fletcher Cox and S Malcolm Jenkins played one series. RB Jay Ajayi also was inactive.
So kudos to the JV squad for making a game of it.
|Passing 1st downs||9||5|
|Rushing 1st downs||6||6|
|1st downs from penalties||1||1|
|3rd down efficiency||5-15||2-11|
|4th down efficiency||0-1||0-2|
|Yards per Play||4.8||4.0|
|Yards per pass||5.5||4.0|
|Yards per rush||4.0||3.9|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||0-1||0-0|