LeSEAN McCOY said after Sunday's loss to Seattle that he might have played his worst game as an Eagle, and that he'd had trouble focusing. Later it emerged that McCoy had lost a cousin in a Friday auto accident death in Philadelphia.
Yesterday, McCoy met with reporters for the first time since that game, in which he was held to 50 yards on 17 carries.
"I feel better," McCoy said, as the Eagles prepared for Sunday's rematch with the Dallas Cowboys. "Had some time to just think and be with my family. It's tough. I gotta find a way to get past it. My teammates and friends have been real supportive."
Asked how he'd felt playing in the wake of the accident, McCoy said: "That game's over with. I didn't play well. There's no excuses why. I just didn't play well. This week, I'm a lot more into it. I'm more focused. My preparation has been excellent.
"I know my cousin would like to see me move on, to how I am as a player and a person - the smiling, go-lucky, happy teammate I've always been and am now. I just gotta move on. I'm sure a big game would make him happy."
McCoy gained a season-high 159 yards on 25 carries when the Eagles visited the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
The Eagles filled the roster spot opened when they cut corner Roc Carmichael again by signing safety Jerome Couplin off Detroit's practice squad.
This would seem to be another passing over of fifth-round rookie Ed Reynolds, who has languished on the Eagles' practice squad all season, most notably not getting the nod when Earl Wolff went on IR. The team has signed safety and special-teams vet Chris Prosinski, Carmichael and now Couplin instead of promoting Reynolds.
However, teams usually sign guys off practice squads late in the season to stash them for the future.
"He was with the Detroit Lions, was active for eight games. Big, tall safety [6-2, 215]. We think he's got potential, and the only way you can get a guy like that is you have to add him to your active roster, you can't take someone from practice squad to practice squad," Chip Kelly said of Couplin.
Kelly said the signing of Couplin, an undrafted rookie from William & Mary, "means absolutely nothing" with regard to Reynolds.
Couplin said Kelly told him he knew of Couplin through his New Hampshire connections - New Hampshire and William & Mary are both in the Colonial Athletic Association. Couplin called the signing "an honor to me, a blessing from God, and I'm going to take full advantage of it."
Reynolds said he thinks he has gotten better "every week."
"My man technique has gotten leaps and bounds better. Little intricacies of our system here, and then running the scout team stuff, offensively and defensively, I feel like I'm in the best shape that I've been in . . . learning little stuff about how wide receivers run routes and stuff like that, has been great," he said.
Chip Kelly expanded on earlier comments that defenses are playing more zone coverages against the Eagles now.
"Last year, we saw 60 percent man, 40 percent zone. Right now, we see 58 percent zone, 42 percent man, so you've got to be able to defeat both," Kelly said. "Most of the time, we see single high safety. We've seen that 79 percent of the time last year, 78 percent of the time this year."
Dallas is 6-0 on the road, 3-4 at home. "I don't really care," Chip Kelly said, when asked about the disparity . . . Dallas quarterback Tony Romo said Eagles defensive end Fletcher Cox "deserves to go to the Pro Bowl this year. I think he's really made that football team - as good as they are on offense, he's really elevated that unit on defense. You can just see it week-in and week-out on tape" . . . Before the previous meeting, the Cowboys had a Sunday night game at the Giants, flew home early Monday, before playing on Thursday. The Eagles played visiting Tennessee Sunday afternoon, flew Wednesday. For whatever reason, the Eagles looked much fresher. "Really [prep time was] not a factor," Dallas coach Jason Garrett said on a conference call yesterday. "We played a game on Thanksgiving. We play it every year. Philadelphia did a nice job in that game and they won it . . . we put that behind us a long, long time ago." . . . Josh Huff (hip) was a limited practice participant. He said he felt about the same as he felt Tuesday.