Cowboys 29, Eagles 23: Doug Pederson, officials trending down; Dallas Goedert trending up despite loss
Thumbs up and thumbs down for Eagles in their 29-23 overtime loss to the Cowboys.
The Eagles lost to the Cowboys, 29-23, in overtime on Sunday in Dallas.
Jeff McLane has the highlights and lowlights:
DOWN — He battled to the end, but it was too little, too late. Wentz was hesitant and all over the map through the first three quarters. He rebounded in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles ultimately fell short and their season is now on life support.
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DOWN — For 13 games, Pederson has failed to figure out why his offense looks dreadful in the first quarter. In Dallas, the Eagles offense doubled its incompetence and was shut out by the half. Pederson had some solid calls as the Eagles came back several times, but overall, the coach has had a subpar season.
DOWN — Whatever the rule, the decision to deny the Eagles a forced fumble on the opening kickoff was stupefying. Malcolm Jenkins knocked the ball loose, which referee Clete Blakeman’s crew should have seen initially. And LaRoy Renyolds or whichever Eagle — there were four around the ball — recovered it. But somehow, after Pederson’s challenge, it was announced that the recovery wasn’t “clear” enough. Huh? And what was up with the offensive pass-interference call on Dallas Goedert? Talk about not being clear.
DOWN — Jones left early and didn’t return until the second half. Maybe he should have stayed on the sideline. The Cowboys picked on the cornerback on their go-ahead touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, lastly with a 28-yard touchdown connection between Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper. And when Jones was pulled, his replacement, De’Vante Bausby, was toasted by Cooper for the game-winning 75-yard score.
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DOWN — The Eagles have had some bad luck when it comes to injuries. They likely lost at least another player for the season when Corey Clement left Sunday’s game with a knee injury. But the recurrence of soft-tissue injuries — Jones strained his hamstring yet again — has been abnormal. And the peculiar handling of Jalen Mills' foot — he was placed on injured reserve Saturday even though he injured it over a month ago — called the Eagles' medical staff into question yet again.
DOWN — He missed an extra point in the third quarter and we can all count -- the Eagles would have won, 24-23, if he hadn’t.
SIDEWAYS — Douglas has had some rough games since taking over one of the starting outside cornerback spots. His cover skills remain suspect, but he tried to single-handedly keep the Eagles in the game in the first half. He led the team in tackles — several came when he snuffed out screens — and made a goal-line interception. His performance in the second half, particularly on the Cowboys' game-winning score in OT, was less inspired.
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UP — He was quiet for 3 1/2 quarters, mostly because Wentz hardly ever threw in his direction. But with the Cowboys shading coverage to Zach Ertz, the tight end came up with two huge grabs — the last a 3-yard catch in the end zone — to knot the score at 16. He would have had another touchdown had it not been for the controversial pass-interference call.
UP — Sproles came back for one last year because he wanted to taste the Super Bowl. But a hamstring strain derailed most of his season. But he scored his second touchdown since returning — this one a 6-yard touchdown catch — that evened the score at 23.
UP — No one can say that Cox didn’t leave it all out on the field. The defensive tackle, despite getting double-teamed with regularity, clogged the middle, pushed the pocket, and made play after play.
The NFC East
DOWN — Some team has to win this wretched division. It looks like it will be Dallas.