Corner Tandem Steps Up Against Dallas

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

ARLINGTON, Texas — Tony Romo didn’t look right, and that needs to be part of the conversation.

Since fracturing two transverse processes in his back last month, the Cowboys quarterback typically doesn’t begin practicing until Thursday in a normal week. This, of course, was no normal week, and it looked like the lack of recovery time affected his play.

“There are no excuses,” said Romo. “They made things a little bit tougher. I missed a couple throws that I normally won’t miss. I will be better at that the rest of the year, I know that for sure.”

That’s probably true assuming the wear and tear doesn’t get the better of him over the final quarter of the season.

While the Dallas passing game wasn’t at its optimum, credit needs to be given to starting cornerbacks Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher. This was not an easy matchup and many thought it would go the way of Green Bay, only this time with Dez Bryant tearing it up on the outside rather than Jordy Nelson. Bryant did pull down a 38-yard reception over Fletcher late in the first quarter and finished with four catches for 73 yards. But that was just one of two Dallas pass plays that went for over 20 yards, and the second came in garbage time on the Cowboys’ final drive.

In a roller coaster season for the corner tandem, this performance was right around the top of the lift hill. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Big Moment For Sanchez

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

ARLINGTON, Texas — Mark Sanchez was the last Eagles player to leave the field Thursday. His teammates came streaming through the tunnel and into the locker room in waves. Fresh off a man-handling of the Cowboys for all the world to see, there were plenty of smiles and handshakes and Ric Flair-like “Wooo!”s bouncing off the walls in the bowels of JerryWorld.

Sanchez eventually came jogging up, an Eagles ski cap on his head and the game ball tucked securely in his arm. As he turned into the locker room, the waiting players let out a celebratory “Heyyyyyyy!”to welcome in their quarterback.

He  had a good night in a big spot for the Eagles, going 20-of-29 for 217 yards with two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) and no turnovers. This is the second time in four starts that he has posted a clean stat sheet. Read more »

What The Win Means For the Eagles

Photo courtesy of USA Today)

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

The Eagles opened the most critical stretch of the season in fine fashion, pulling off an impressive 33-10 road win over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Here’s what it means in respect to the playoff picture: Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Thursday Factor

NFL: NFC Wildcard Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles traveled to Seattle for a Thursday night game back in December of 2011. Trevor Laws predicted that his team was poised to “blow out” the Seahawks but it went the other way on him, as Seattle cruised to an easy 31-14 win at CenturyLink Field.

Recognizing the difficulty of playing all the way across the country on a short week,  the NFL established new guidelines for scheduling Thursday night games following that season. With the exception of an occasional divisional matchup, teams are no longer asked to travel more than one time zone to play a Thursday road game.

Dallas is just a time zone away but the Eagles still have to hop a nearly four-hour flight for their Thanksgiving showdown with the Cowboys this week. The fact that Dallas played in New York on Sunday night should help balance the travel factor out some, but it’s a challenge nonetheless.

The Eagles hope that they are designed to deal well with the quick turnaround, particularly as it applies to physical recovery and game-plan installation. Read more »

Maclin Parts Ways With Agent

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Jeremy Maclin has terminated his contract with agents Ben Dogra and Jim Steiner, a representative of the NFL Players Association told Birds 24/7 Tuesday.

He is currently without representation. The move became official on November 20. By rule, a player must wait five days to hire a new agent. That means Maclin is clear to sign with another agent on Wednesday. Read more »

Wolff Has ‘Mini-Microfracture’ Surgery

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Earl Wolff underwent what he described as “mini-microfracture” surgery to help repair damaged cartilage in his right knee.

The operation was performed by Dr. James Andrews. He will be on crutches for the next four weeks, he said, and the hope is that he is back to full-speed by the end of April or beginning of May. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Welcome To Dallas Week

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Eagles fans kickstarted Dallas week a little early.

With the game against Tennessee pretty well in hand in the second half, “Beat Dallas” chants began to ring out at Lincoln Financial Field.

“There were a few drunk fans yelling more than that,” said Lane Johnson.
Read more »

Eagles-Titans Notes: McCoy Breaks Loose

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles                                                                                   (photo courtesy of USA Today)

LeSean McCoy sized up the lectern quizzically and began fidgeting with the microphone as his postgame press conference began.

“Damn this feels big, tall,” said McCoy as he tried to settle in behind the podium, which is generally reserved for quarterbacks and players that have a big game.

“You haven’t been there in a while,” a reporter cracked, drawing laughs.

“He ain’t lying, though,” said McCoy, taking the jab in stride.
Read more »

Inside Voices: Kelly And the Balance Of Power

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

Jeffrey Lurie designed the power structure so that the proper checks and balances were built in.

When he hired Chip Kelly, he set it up so that both the head coach and general manager Howie Roseman would report directly to him. He decided to give Kelly final say on the 53-man roster to even the scales, he said, which would suggest Roseman had heavy influence over the draft and free agency.

“It made sense to balance the player personnel and head coaching, and empower them both, and force a complete collaboration,” Lurie told the Inquirer last September. “That was the strategy behind it. You didn’t have to force it. Happened naturally.”

Kelly seemed on board with that concept. At his introductory press conference, he said that he wasn’t looking for full control and had little interest in owning various titles.

“I just want to coach football,” he said.

His reach has extended well beyond the x’s and o’s, of course. Kelly watches college film on Saturdays during the season and hits the road (often with vice president of player personnel Tom Gamble) in the offseason. By all accounts, he attends more Pro Days than any other head coach in the league.

Roseman spearheads the draft process and there is a host of quality personnel men searching for talent year-round, but it’s impossible to ignore the Kelly influence over the past two drafts.

“We haven’t really gotten there,” Kelly said, when asked who has final say over draft choices. “I think everybody wants to know that, like really what happens in there. But it never gets to that point. I think we look at it, analyze it and kind of come to the same conclusion. But I haven’t yet sat there and I want him and he wants him and then, you know, are we going to box for it?”

Up until recently, the Eagles’ higher-ups had presented a unified front when it came to the personnel process. But when one of his players came under fire a couple weeks back, Kelly put on the gloves for the first time publicly. Read more »

Eagles-Titans Injury Report

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Here’s the injury report for Sunday’s home game against the Titans:

OUT

QB Nick Foles (collarbone)

PROBABLE

DE Brandon Bair (elbow), CB Brandon Boykin (hamstring), C Jason Kelce (thumb), LB Mychal Kendricks (calf, hamstring), WR Jeff Maehl (foot), S Chris Maragos (groin), WR Jordan Matthews (knee), T Matt Tobin (concussion) Read more »

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