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.

“I think he’s just getting more comfortable,” said Chip Kelly. “I said it earlier in the week: he missed an entire year of football. There’s no substitution for playing. He played well in the preseason but then sat until the Houston game, so I think he’s just starting to get more comfortable, starting to recognize the looks he’s getting and sometimes getting to a second receiver, a third receiver, keeping things alive.”

Sanchez improved to 3-1 as the starter. Since taking over, he has completed 63 percent of his throws and has tossed eight touchdowns to six interceptions. He never posted a higher completion rate than 57 percent during his four seasons as the starter in New York.

The 28-year-old signal caller seems to have a good outlook in respect to his time up north, even when it comes to his worst moments. It was on Thanksgiving just two years ago when the “butt fumble” occurred, so of course it was a topic of conversation this week.

“It sucked. I ran into some guy’s butt and dropped the ball on the turf and they scored. [Thanksgiving] is like my favorite holiday so that’s not cool. It’s really a bummer. But the game plan was to try and not to do that [today],” said Sanchez, drawing laughs, “and we accomplished it.”

That play has come to represent the beginning of the end of Sanchez’s time with the Jets. He threw 18 interceptions that year and fumbled nine times. A shoulder injury in the 2013 preseason cemented his fate. Eight months after being discarded by New York, Sanchez finds himself at the controls for a first-place team with championship aspirations.

“I mean, it’s just been an incredible journey. The whole thing – playing in this league, wearing a Jets logo, wearing an Eagles logo, this is an absolute dream come true,” he said. “The best of times, the worst of times…a lot of people would love to be in this position, you know? No matter what. I’m very thankful, I’m very blessed. A lot of family back home and just wanted to play well for them, and just thrilled about the opportunity.”


A look at what the win means to the Eagles from a playoff perspective.

Instant observations from the Eagles’ 33-10 win over the Cowboys, courtesy of Mr. Kapadia.


Reuben Frank on the re-emergence of LeSean McCoy. 

As for McCoy, it is so much fun to watch him run right now. He seems to be getting more confident, more patient and more explosive each week. Part of it is him, part of it is an offensive line that’s finally almost intact and part of it is Chip Kelly sticking with McCoy and feeding him the rock enough for him to really get into a rhythm. McCoy might not be the top back in the NFL this year, but he was the best back on the field Thursday. Last two games, Shady has run for 130 and 159. McCoy joined Walter Payton, Jim Brown and John Riggins — all Hall of Famers — as the fourth player with two career 150-yard rushing games against the Cowboys. You wanted the Shady of old, you sure got him. Flat-out beast.

Dez Bryant said the Eagles were “being kinda cheap” on Thursday. The Cowboys are already talking rematch. From ESPN.com.

“I’m really not mad at all,” Bryant said after the Cowboys’ 33-10 loss on Thursday. “They beat us and I’m going to accept that, but [expletive] can’t wait, but not looking past Chicago [on Dec. 4], but I cannot wait to go up there and play [Philadelphia] again, cannot wait.”

Bryant finished with four catches for 73 yards and no touchdowns in the loss. He got into several confrontations with the Eagles’ defensive backs that led to him sporting a busted lip. Bryant also said he was elbowed in the hip.

“They were being kinda cheap, that’s another story,” Bryant said. “It is what it is, I’ll get it cleaned up and I’ll be fine.”…

“It will help us a lot,” Cowboys defensive end Jeremy Mincey said. “This loss lit a fire in this locker room. I still see the desire, passion and fire in every teammates eyes and I promise you we will be ready for the second go around. We got Round 2 and they got to see us again, and we will be another team, I can promise you that.”


Hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving. Sheil’s Zone Read, and more, coming your way.