The Eagles entered the day very much alive for a playoff spot. Of course they needed help, because the Washington Football team would clinch the NFC East with a win over Carolina. So Eagles fans had one eye on former Temple coach Matt Rhule guiding the Panthers.
Carolina did its part, beating Washington 2013. But the Eagles didn’t do theirs, losing to the host Dallas Cowboys, 37-17.
Here’s a look at how Twitter reacted to everything that happened Sunday afternoon.
This was the Eagles’ playoff scenario at kickoff:
A not so nice holiday greeting:
Some pre-game encouragement:
On the first drive, a 3-yard touchdown run by Jalen Hurts was overturned because he stepped out of bounds.
But the Eagles didn’t wait long to score. Miles Sanders found the end zone on the next play, his 4-yard run capping an 11-play, 75-yard drive.
Dallas, which had not scored a touchdown on its opening drive all season, settled for a field goal on its first drive, making it 7-3 with 6:08 left in the first quarter.
The Eagles then struck when Hurts hit DeSean Jackson with an 81-yard scoring pass, making it 14-3.
The score drew a favorable response from this injured Eagle:
More from another injured teammate:
The story ideas came fast from our writers:
Putting this Eagles first quarter into perspective:
Meanwhile the Panthers were helping the Eagles, leading 13-0 sof the second quarter.
Fox’s microphones caught Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton making some amusing audible calls. That led to plenty of amusing takes:
The Cowboys cut the lead to 14-10 when Dalton hit Michael Gallup on a 21-yard touchdown pass with 13:09 left in the first half.
On third-and-goal from the 1, after two strong runs, Dallas called a pass. Nobody was open and Dalton ended up losing a yard on the scramble. Dallas settled for a field goal, making it 14-13 with 5:53 left in the first half.
Washington, meanwhile, continued doing its part.
The Eagles extended the lead to 17-13 with 2:09 left in the first half. There was some pot-stirring from a former NFL punter, and a reponse from a former Eagle:
Gallup’s second touchdown catch of the day, this one for 7 yards, gave the Cowboys a 20-17 lead with 12 seconds left in the first half. It was a rough first half for Eagles cornerback Michael Jacquet.
A little bragging:
On the first possession of the second half, Dalton hit CeeDee Lamb on a 52-yard scoring pass, extending the Cowboys’ lead to 27-17.
Some analysis of the play:
After Amari Cooper dropped a sure touchdown pass, the Cowboys had to settle for a 21-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein for a 30-17 lead with 8:31 left in the third quarter.
While the Eagles defense struggled in the quarter, there was a gloomy future prognosis.
Meanwhile, it still was not going well for the Washington Football Team.
Think the Eagles missed Fletcher Cox, who was out after suffering a stinger earlier in the game?
Trailing 30-17 and with a fourth-and-3 from the Dallas 46, the Eagles looked like they were going to go for the first down with just over two minutes left in the third quarter. Instead, the play clock ran out, the Eagles were called for a delay of game penalty, and they ended up punting. If they were trying to get the Cowboys to jump offsides, it didn’t work.
The Eagles stopped the Dallas momentum on an interception and 26-yard return to the Cowboys’ 28 by Darius Slay with 50 seconds left in the third quarter.
A big run by Miles Sanders was called back due to a holding penalty on Matt Pryor. He didn’t endear himself to the Eagles’ faithful in this game... or in this season.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles faced fourth-and-15 from the Dallas 33. Hurts hit Zach Ertz with a pass, but the play went for just eight yards and the Cowboys took over.
If the Eagles had gone for the field goal, it would have been a 51-yarder.
Meanwhile, Carolina gave Eagles fans a holiday gift by beating Washington, 20-13.
With the Eagles marching, Hurts was picked off by Anthony Brown in the end zone with 6:33 left.
After forcing a punt, the Eagles quickly got in scoring position when Alshon Jeffery drew a 43-yard pass interference penalty to the Cowboys’ 18-yard line. On the next play, Hurt fumbled after a 4-yard gain. It was ruled a fumble, but TV replays seemed to show that Hurts was down before he fumbled. Surprisingly, the ruling stood. Dallas took over.
That call even got our hockey writer outraged.
Lamb then added to the Eagles misery by scoring on a 19-yard sweep, making it 37-17 with 1:53 left.
Hurts would throw one final interception before this one mercifully ended. With one game to go, the Eagles are officially eliminated from the playoffs. Some final thoughts: