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A (deep) dissenting voice

Merrill Reese disagrees. He read my column in today's (12-9) paper and had a different take on the Eagles' worst-ever loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

In case it slipped your mind, I ranked the playoff loss after the 1992 season as the worst. It marked the end of Reggie White's tenure with the Eagles. It ruined the Jerome Brown Tribute season, which had seen the Buddy Ryan-built Eagles win their only playoff game a week earlier in New Orleans. And the Cowboys went on from that to win their first of three Super Bowls in the Troy Aikman/Emmitt Smith dynasty.

"I have to take issue," said Merrill, the iconic radio voice of the team through many wins and losses against the Cowboys.

Merrill's pick? The Monday night game in Dallas in 1997. Trailing 21-20, the Eagles were lining up to kick a 22-yard field goal at the end of regulation. Punter Tommy Hutton was the holder. He simply dropped the snap, looked terrified for a moment and then tried to roll out and throw a pass. Well, sort-of-a-pass. He was crushed by Cowboys who then celebrated a 21-20 victory.

"That was the worst I remember," Merrill said. "The plane home was a morgue."

Fair enough. It was certainly a gut-wrenching way to lose. But the Eagles won three of their next five games. The real decline under Ray Rhodes didn't start until the end of that season and, of course, the bottom fell out in 1998.

So I'll stick with the '92 season-ending blowout for its impact. Merrill is haunted by the '97 MNF shocker. Your thoughts?