Inside Slant, Notes, Quotes, Report Cards

The Eagles will travel to Dallas this weekend with a depleted defensive tackle corps. Starting right tackle Darwin Walker is expected to miss his third straight game with a thigh injury. Backup tackle Paul Grasmanis is lost for the season after rupturing his Achilles tendon in Sunday's 37-31 come-from-behind win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

That leaves the Eagles with three healthy tackles -- Hollis Thomas, Sam Rayburn and rookie first-round pick Mike Patterson.

Once they put Grasmanis on injured reserve, they likely will sign Keyonta Marshall off their practice squad. The 6-1, 325-pound Marshall was one of the club's seventh-round picks in the April draft.

With the Eagles' bye week coming up right after the Cowboys game, the Eagles would prefer to keep Walker out one more week so that he'll be completely healthy for the team's October 23 game against the San Diego Chargers.

"We'll see how it goes with Darwin," Reid said. "It's a coin flip (whether he'll play this week) right now. He's making improvement. He's doing everything possible to get back."

With warm temperatures expected in Dallas for the game, defensive coordinator Jim Johnson is concerned about going with a three-man tackle rotation. Marshall likely would get about a half-dozen snaps.

One thing that has helped has been the impressive play of rookie Mike Patterson. He had another solid game Sunday against the Chiefs and notched his second sack of the season.


--The Chiefs' top defensive priority Sunday was shutting down running back Brian Westbrook, and they succeeded. Westbrook rushed for just 15 yards on nine carries and had just 33 yards on six receptions. It was the first time in 13 games that Westbrook was held under 100 rushing and receiving yards. "They were going to try and double-team him as much as they could," Reid said. The Chiefs' attention to Westbrook opened things up elsewhere in the passing game. Terrell Owens had 11 catches for 171 yards and 1 touchdown. Tight end L.J. Smith had his second nine-catch game in three weeks and notched his second touchdown reception of the season. At the moment, Owens, Smith and Westbrook all are on pace to catch at least 88 passes this season.

--Kicker Todd France's NFL career got off to an inauspicious start in the first half Sunday. France, subbing for injured David Akers, had a 40-yard field goal attempt blocked, then wasn't able to get an extra-point attempt off due to a low snap by Mike Bartrum. He also had a kickoff returned 96 yards for a touchdown by Chiefs return ace Dante Hall. France had a much better second half, booting three field goals in the 37-31 win. "If I hadn't gotten the opportunity after the first half, it would have been disastrous," said France, who kicked in NFL Europe this past spring. It didn't start great, but it ended up good."


--QB Donovan McNabb came out of Sunday's win over the Chiefs without further aggravating his lower abdomen injury. McNabb moved around surprisingly well and notched his third straight 300-yard passing game.

--FS Brian Dawkins had an MRI on the ankle he sprained late in Sunday's game against the Chiefs. He returned to the game after injuring it and was limping around the team's practice facility Monday without crutches. He'll probably play this week against the Cowboys.

--K David Akers went for a second opinion on his torn hamstring Monday, though it's not clear why. Akers is expected to be out for several weeks. He's been replaced by Todd France.

--DT Darwin Walker likely will miss his third straight game this week. He's nursing a thigh bruise that he suffered in practice. Rookie Mike Patterson has been starting in his place.

--DT Paul Grasmanis' career probably is over. The 31-year-old Grasmanis ruptured his Achilles tendon for the second time in three years Sunday and will be lost for the season.



PASS OFFENSE: A-minus -- Donovan McNabb again proved that he doesn't have to run to be effective. Restricted by a sports hernia, McNabb notched his third straight 300-yard passing game and threw 3 TDs against the Chiefs' overmatched secondary. He was sacked just once on 53 pass plays.

RUN OFFENSE: F -- The run has become little more than a diversion for the Eagles, who are throwing the ball 70 percent of the time. And when they do run, they don't do it very well. They gained just 28 yards on 17 carries against the Chiefs.

PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- The Eagles gave up 109 receiving yards to Eddie Kennison, but intercepted Trent Green twice (including one that Sheldon Brown returned for a touchdown) and muzzled All-Pro tight end Tony Gonzalez, who had just two receptions for five yards.

RUN DEFENSE: B -- The Eagles couldn't stop Priest Holmes early on. He had 60 rushing yards on the Chiefs' first two possessions. But once defensive boss Jim Johnson cut down on the blitzes, the Eagles neutralized Holmes and backfield mate Larry Johnson.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- The first-half was a nightmare that included a blocked field goal, a botched extra-point attempt and a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by the Chiefs' Dante Hall. The second half went much smoother, with kicker Todd France booting three field goals.

COACHING: A-minus -- Andy Reid and defensive chief Jim Johnson kept their troops cool after the Chiefs jumped to a 24-6 lead. They ended up rattling off 31 unanswered points and held the Chiefs to seven second-half first downs.

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