All-22: Defensive Failures Against Dallas

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In the days leading up to the Eagles’ rematch with the Cowboys, Billy Davis made it clear that he was expecting to see a different Tony Romo.

On Thanksgiving, the Birds’ defense applied consistent pressure on Romo, and the Cowboys’ quarterback struggled to connect with open receivers when he did have opportunities.

Sunday night was a different story, and Davis ended up being right. Despite a mostly ineffective run game, Romo picked the Eagles apart, completing 22 of 31 passes for 265 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

“I think the biggest difference in the two games that we had… was the play of Tony Romo and the throws,” Davis said this week. “The throws on Thanksgiving were under-thrown and bad, and we were coming back and making plays. The throws the other night were on the money, and they were right where they needed to be.”

Romo certainly deserves credit for playing well in a big spot. But Dez Bryant scored three touchdowns one-on-one against Bradley Fletcher. Was the Eagles’ game plan sound? Was it just a matter of the more talented unit winning? We explore those issues with the All-22. Read more »

Chip: Foles Is Not Healed

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Nick Foles‘ checkup did not produce the news many were hoping for.

“Nick is not healed. He is out this week. The bone is not healed,” said Chip Kelly at his day-after press conference. “We will move forward without him. He is going to start throwing a little bit more but he is out right now.” Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Cowboys, the Day After

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Billy Davis usually sets up shop at the exact same spot in the middle of the Eagles locker room after home games.

He always speaks in the same calm, measured tone. You can never tell by his face whether his defense just played well or played poorly, whether the Eagles won or lost.

Players seem to appreciate that about him. And so does Chip Kelly. Davis believes in the process, and having coached in the NFL for more than 20 years, he’s been on the wrong side of plenty of bad losses, contests where the game plan left room for second-guessing and where the coaches didn’t put the players in positions to succeed.

Sunday’s 38-27 loss to the Cowboys was one of those games. Read more »

Three And Out: Eagles-Cowboys Predictions

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

Player I’ll Be Watching

McManus: Bradley Fletcher

Dez Bryant was kept in check for the most part in the first Eagles-Cowboys matchup, finishing with four catches for 78 yards. Outside of a 38-yarder over the top of Fletcher in the first quarter, Dallas did not have any pass plays over 20 yards until its final drive in garbage time.

Credit goes to the pass rush (four sacks, five QB hits) for making life tough on Tony Romo, who seemed hampered by his bad back on Thanksgiving. But Fletcher and Cary Williams held their own, combining for five passes defensed and an interception. Bryant left that game flustered and claimed that the Eagles were being “kinda cheap.”
Read more »

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 »

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