What can I say that hasn’t already been said? I think anyone who knows me well enough, knows how I feel about the Dallas Cowboys. If you don’t already know, then you should ask around. This entry will be angry enough without my bias, unfiltered hatred. But, I will say this: my hatred for the Cowboys is equal to the hatred that a Red Sox fan feels for the Yankees, without the respect. I hate their owner, I hate their city, I hate 98% of their fans. I hate them. The only thing I hate more than the Dallas Cowboys, is seeing my Philadelphia Eagles lose to the Dallas Cowboys. It upsets me. But, I digress.
The Eagles played as consistent as they have all year, which is to say not consistent at all. Aside from McNabb’s usual five or six balls in the dirt, the rest of his game was inconsistent. When he was good, he was still good, which is the only reason the Eagles stayed in the game. Philadelphia’s banged up, patchwork offensive line played poorly in some instances, but, was not good enough against a strong Dallas front seven. No. 5 didn’t have the time in the pocket that he needed. Mix that with his inability to hit open receivers at times and you have a recipe for a loss.
The skill players were decent, and the defense played well enough against a high caliber offense. Celek and McCoy played well, with Maclin and Jackson just not getting enough touches. Give McNabb enough time in the back field, and he’ll find Jackson, Maclin, Celek, and McCoy. But the time wasn’t there. FIXING THE OFFENSIVE LINE HAS TO BE A FOCAL POINT GOING FORWARD!
Aside from the Eagles sketchy play, there were also some very interesting calls by the referees on both sides of the ball. Flags were thrown when they didn’t need to be, and challenges were not over-turned. The taunting penalty called on Asante Samuel was clearly not accurate as both players were smiling during this instance. Samuel had even lent his hand and helped up Marion Barber, the player he was allegedly taunting.
As far as challenges, Andy Reid threw the challenge flag on two separate occasions and had lost both, with the second being more baffling than the first. Considering that spotting the ball should be one of the easier challenges to overturn, the 4th down ball spot challenge that Andy Reid had lost was very frustrating. Losing that challenge was doubly important because it gave Dallas the ball back and would eventually set up Austin’s game winning score. It is important to note that the referee of this game was rarely accurate, had a difficult time speaking without stuttering, and at one point was even facing the wrong direction when announcing a call. Was this referee the right man for the job? That questions HAS to be asked, especially after all of the grief that Ed Hoculli received after the game in Denver last year?
I’m not blaming this one on the referees, because the Eagles did plenty to lose this game themselves, but it certainly didn’t help. Phantom calls and bad ball spotting will kill any momentum a team gains. But, The Eagles ultimately lost this game due to injuries, inconsistent play, too many penalties (just or unjust) and not enough push up-front from the offensive line.
Where do the Eagles go from here? Regroup. That’s all they can do. Fortunately, The Eagles are one of the best teams in the league when responding after a loss. But, their schedule doesn’t get easier after this game and they will have to play better than they did tonight in order to stay in the playoff race. They still have a great shot at a wild-card even if they don’t win The NFC East, which they still have a very good shot of winning. I still believe The Eagles to be a top tier team in The NFC and are much, much better than they played tonight. The only thing standing in the way of Philadelphia is Philadelphia. They can beat the Cowboys and they CAN win all of their upcoming games. At this point, it’s only if they want to.
I don’t have much more to say other than I’m pissed, as well as a lot of other adjectives that are synonyms of angry. I’ve been taking shit from punk ass Cowboys fans since I’ve been in 4th grade, and the only thing that changes is that I get older… To be honest, I’m really tired of it. One day, those people are going to get what they deserve and it’s going to come in the form of a Lombardi trophy being waved in their faces. I just hope I’m around to see it.