A favorite complaint of Eagles fans is that the team does not have a big, bruising back. They're wrong, of course.
Now, if you want to say the Eagles don't use their big, bruising back enough, then that is a valid argument. Coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg did use Correll Buckhalter on Sunday in the 44-6 blowout of the Dallas Cowboys, and he did what he always does - he produced.
Buckhalter, thanks to nice blocks from tight end Brent Celek and wide receiver DeSean Jackson – picked up 9 yards and a first down on his first carry, and by the end of the game he had averaged 6.3 yards on 10 carries to go along with three catches for 59 yards and a touchdown.
His longest play was the 59-yard catch and it was proof of what Donovan McNabb's mobility can do. After Buckhalter chipped Greg Ellis at the line of scrimmage, Dallas linebacker Bradie James had to decide whether to cover Buckhalter or go after a scrambling McNabb. Once James decided to go after McNabb, the quarterback flicked the football to Buckhalter, who eluded cornerbacks Terrence Newman and Adam Jones by cutting to his left at the Cowboys' 46-yard line on his way to picking up 51 yards after the catch.
Buckhalter's second touchdown - a 2-yard reception - was just a nicely designed play. The veteran running back said after the game that he thought the Cowboys were concentrating more on Brian Westbrook, who was split wide to the left. That was indeed the case. When Westbrook ran a slant, he also essentially ran safety Ken Hamlin out of the play. Cornerback Anthony Henry, who was lined up in the middle of the field, was late breaking toward Buckhalter coming out of the backfield. Once Buckhalter caught the football, he powered his way into the end zone.
A ball of energy. Here's hoping that NFL Films had an isolated camera on Eagles safety Brian Dawkins during this game. From start to finish, Dawkins was the most entertaining player on the field.
He had more energy than the sun, playing to the crowd as soon as it was clear that the Eagles' playoff hopes were alive and joining in the "Fly Eagles Fly" fight song after each and every Philadelphia touchdown.
Of course, Dawkins also set the tempo on the field and we're not just talking about the two second-half plays in which he forced fumbles that were returned for touchdowns. Dawkins was flying to the football even on the plays he wasn't making.
When owner Jeffrey Lurie went down to the field at the end of the game, he should have carried a new contract for Dawkins with him.
High-five analysis. Yes, Lurie did high-five his wife Christina right in the nose after Celek's touchdown just before halftime, but it would have to be categorized as an innocent gaffe. Christina was exchanging high fives elsewhere and not looking as her husband approached her with his open palm.
Advice to Jeffrey: Always high-five your wife first.
Extra points. The Eagles played three home games after McNabb was benched in Baltimore, and Kevin Kolb was on the field to finish all three of them. . . . Credit guard Nick Cole with his push of linebacker Zach Thomas for giving McNabb the space he needed to get into the end zone on his 1-yard sneak for the Eagles' first touchdown. . . . Reserve safety Sean Considine set the tone for the second half by taking down kick returner Miles Austin short of the 20-yard line.