Last week, the Eagles got burned for a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Kansas City's Dante Hall. They managed to overcome that and beat the Chiefs, 37-31. But they weren't so lucky against the Cowboys.
Both of the Cowboys return specialists -- kickoff returner Tyson Thompson and punt returner Patrick Crayton -- had big days that
consistently gave Dallas excellent field position. Thompson opened the
game with a 40-yard kickoff return and averaged 29.0 yards on three
returns. Crayton, averaged 12 yards per return, including 16- and
25-yard returns that helped set up Cowboy scores.
Reid said he is not ready to panic.
"We are getting down in position (to make the play)," he said. "We
just have to take care of business when we get down there and do a
little better job of tackling when we get the opportunity. Those are
things we can work on and get better at. We will go through and evaluate
if we are putting the right personnel in the position to do that."
--The Eagles have given up seven touchdown passes in the last three
games, including three in Sunday's 33-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
It's the first time in 35 regular-season games that the Eagles have
given up three TD passes in a game. Last year, they allowed just 16 the
--Wide receiver Terrell Owens, who last week on his radio show said
that if he had it to do over again, he wouldn't have signed with the
Eagles last year, emerged from the locker room after Sunday's game
wearing a Michael Irvin Cowboys jersey, which is sure to endear him even
more to Eagles fans. Owens had five catches for 50 yards against the
Cowboys. Asked whether he felt Owens wearing an Irvin/Cowboys jersey was
inappropriate after a 23-point loss to the Cowboys, coach Andy Reid
said, "I didn't think so. He's a big Michael Irvin fan. On the way home,
I give these guys an opportunity to wear comfortable clothes. I have
done that since I have been here and he's very close with Michael. I
don't think it's that big of a deal."
PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES
--QB Mike McMahon, the club's No. 3 quarterback, will have
exploratory arthroscopic surgery on his knee. With Donovan McNabb
playing with a sports hernia, it isn't likely the Eagles will just go
with two quarterbacks. They'll probably sign someone else before their
next game in two weeks.
--LB Jason Short, a key member of the Eagles' special teams, suffered
a high ankle sprain and likely will miss several weeks.
--K David Akers is making enough improvement from his torn hamstring
that Andy Reid isn't ready to say he won't play in two weeks against San
Diego. Todd France has been handling the kicking duties since Akers'
injury, but Akers has remained on the club's 53-man roster.
--DT Darwin Walker, who has missed the last three games with a deep
thigh contusion, is expected to be able to play in two weeks against San
Diego. His absence was felt Sunday against the Cowboys. The Eagles got
no inside push on the quarterback from their tackles.
--RB Brian Westbrook will not be returning punts anytime soon,
according to head coach Andy Reid. The Eagles have gotten little out of
their return game this season. Westbrook was one of the league's top
punt returners two years ago before the club stopped having him handle
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
REPORT CARD VS. COWBOYS
PASS OFFENSE: F -- Texas Stadium seems to bring out the worst in
Donovan McNabb. He was off-target all day and completed just 13-of-26
RUSH OFFENSE: F -- Andy Reid doesn't run the ball much when the game
is close. In a game in which his team fell behind early, 17-0, his
running backs carried the ball a grand total of seven times.
PASS DEFENSE: F -- The Eagles' star-studded secondary turned in its
worst performance in a long time. Lito Sheppard was undressed by Cowboys
wide receiver Terry Glenn several times, including on a 38-yard
RUN DEFENSE: F -- The Cowboys successfully attacked the Eagles on the
edges, getting 72 yards from Julius Jones and 75 in garbage time from
Tyson Thompson. Eagles outside 'backers Dhani Jones and Keith Adams did
not do a good job of containment.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F -- Nothing good happened Sunday. They got nothing
from the return game and their coverage units were continually gashed by
Dallas' return men. Kicker Todd France made his only field goal attempt,
but it was a chip shot from 23 yards.
COACHING: F -- Andy Reid's team was flat from the opening kick. The
Cowboys and quarterback Drew Bledsoe had an answer for everything
defensive chief Jim Johnson threw at them.
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