After roughly 10 minutes of fielding questions about the now-infamous missed deep ball against the Cowboys, Nelson Agholor let his frustration finally come out.
The Eagles receiver had calmly responded when asked about the scrutiny he’s received after the team’s blowout loss, but eventually he had something to say to those questioning his effort.
“I don’t want to keep on trying to defend myself with the talk," Agholor said. “Go out there and run it. Go out there [against] live bullets. I left that Dallas game thinking I played my [butt] off. I love you all, but it’s crazy to me sometimes, man.”
Down 20 points in the fourth quarter, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz threw a 60-yard pass to Agholor, who had beaten the Cowboys safety with a double move. Agholor got within reach of the pass, but not close enough, as he watched the ball bounce off the turf a few yards from his feet.
Agholor said he had trouble tracking the ball in the air. After the game Sunday, he said the ball might have come out a bit earlier than expected, but on Tuesday, he said the timing was just off with his route and Wentz’s throw.
“If I could do it again, I probably would have sold the corner [route] a little less so that I could get out of it and be able to track the ball a little earlier,” Agholor said. “I think I was running away, creating separation running, and I looked up a little late to be able to follow it the way I’d like to.”
The play drew criticism from fans, who accused Agholor of short-arming the pass and questioning why he didn’t dive for the ball. Agholor has heard the criticism, and he knows that his explanation won’t matter.
“I’m a professional. I know I work hard. At the end of the day, no one feels sorry for me, and they don’t need to,” Agholor said. “I’m in this position because I’m a tough player, and a tough person. I’m just going to keep on fighting. ... I do not feel like I was in position, with the way my stride was, to leave my feet. For those that think that they would have done that, I think that’s credit to them."
The Eagles’ receivers struggled mightily to make an impact against the Cowboys. Alshon Jeffery had two catches for 38 yards, and Agholor had two receptions for 24 yards. No other wide receiver made a catch, with tight end Dallas Goedert having the only receiving touchdown.
Missing deep-threat DeSean Jackson, the Eagles haven’t found a way to connect consistently in the vertical passing game. According to Pro Football Focus, Agholor ranks last among receivers with eight or more targets of more than 20 yards in deep-ball receiving accuracy, managing only two catches on 10 targets. Jeffery has one catch on five deep passes.
“You never want to have an excuse, but there’s a reason for everything,” Agholor said. “But, me saying all that. I also want to say, ‘No one cares.’ "
Agholor said he called Jackson on Monday and talked again during meetings, and Jackson offered some advice on what he could do to improve in situations similar to the missed pass on Sunday.
Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh offered his critiques during the team’s film sessions.
“I just talked to him [Jackson] about the different situations,” Agholor said. "He said, ‘If you see it, you’ll get under it better.’ And then Mike Groh’s talking about my footwork at the top. He says, ‘This is a textbook route, the way we drew it up,’ but sometimes, you have to have an internal clock. ... But at the end of the day, you have to connect. Nothing else matters. The rest of the world sees one thing and one thing only.”