DeSean Jackson sat out Thursday's practice with a foot injury, signaling that he is likely to be among several starters who will miss the Eagles game Sunday against Dallas, since it has no impact on playoff seeding.

Jackson had just two catches Tuesday and seemed to show frustration.

"I think we can do some things a little bit better there, both as an offense and as individuals," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said when asked about Jackson's play. "Listen, it was across the board. We all left some details on the field there."

Jackson did not talk to reporters Thursday.

Fellow Pro Bowler Asante Samuel (knee) also missed practice and likely will be out Sunday.

Defense "not up to par"

Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said his defense is "not up to par."

"It starts with me, and we need to get that fixed," McDermott said. "Number one, we've got to play with more intensity and fire. And then number two, we've got to come out and play smart football and stop shooting ourselves in the foot.

"Defensive technique also needs work," he said.

"We've got a lot of work to do to get ourselves ready not only for this weekend, but for the playoffs here, too."

McDermott has continued to tinker with his lineup, trying to find answers.

Joselio Hanson finished Tuesday's game at right cornerback, but McDermott said he has not decided who will start there.

"We're still evaluating that," he said Thursday.

He had pulled Dimitri Patterson from Tuesday's game in the third quarter.

Opponents have taken advantage of Patterson's aggressiveness lately. He has been called for seven penalties in the last four weeks, including two right before he was benched.

Patterson, however, said he remains confident. He said he isn't worried about his starting job.

"You can't really be concerned about things you can't control. That was never in my control," Patterson said. "All I can control is, 'Your number's called, go be productive.' "

Hanson has longed for a chance to start. "I think of myself as a starting-caliber corner," he said.

"The more I'm on the field, the more chances I've got to make plays," Hanson said.

Even if he does start, Hanson said he will remain the team's slot cover man in nickel packages.

Sims still starting

McDermott said Ernie Sims remains the Eagles' starting weakside linebacker, though Akeem Jordan replaced him in nickel packages Tuesday.

McDermott's philosophy on lineup shifts, even late in the year?

"It has always been and always will be to put our players in the position to succeed and have the best players out there in those situations," McDermott said. "If I feel like one defender's a better run defender, then I'll have that run defender on the field when I think they're going to run the football, and the same goes for the passing game."

Blitz worries

McDermott still is calling a variety of blitzes, but the Eagles have not been getting to the quarterback as regularly as they had in the past.

"We've got to get to the quarterback on a consistent basis, whether it's from blitzing or a four-man front," McDermott said.

Extra points

Defensive tackle Trevor Laws (shoulder/chest) and center Mike McGlynn (illness) also sat out Thursday's practice. . . . NFL appeals officer Ted Cottrell reduced the fine on Atlanta cornerback Dunta Robinson for his hit on Jackson on Oct. 17. The fine was cut to $25,000, from $50,000. Cottrell said Robinson and two other players whose fines were reduced "understood the rules and have made efforts to adjust their techniques." . . . Recently signed kick returner Gerard Lawson has "a good chance" to be active Sunday, according to special-teams coordinator Bobby April, likely signaling the end of Chad Hall's time there. . . . The Eagles signed defensive end Bobby McCray on Thursday and released Derrick Burgess. McCray was cut by New Orleans at the end of the preseason. He had 11/2 sacks for the Saints last year. McCray said he has to shake off some "cobwebs" after sitting out the season. "It's a completely different defense coming from New Orleans," McCray said. Burgess signed Dec. 14 and was used sparingly Tuesday night. . . . The team also signed defensive tackle Jeremy Clark, who played earlier this year with Dallas and Washington. He will replace defensive tackle Jeff Owens, who went on the injured reserve list with a torn knee tendon.