I know McNabb has been getting blamed a lot, as he should, but there's way more too it. There weren't many passes where you looked at a McNabb throw and went "wow, I can't believe he missed that guy." There were a few times I felt he could have took off running. He had some of the worst pass blocking from his line even when Celek stayed back to block. When he was given time, receivers weren't getting open. Anybody thinking McNabb won't be back don't kid yourself. 1) Reid isn't going to let him go anywhere, 2) Nobody is going to give any kind of decent draft pick for a 1 year loan on an over the hill QB.
I was calling for them to run screen plays from the first quarter on. The first one they tried was to Westbrook when Ware sniffed it out. And after that? They didn't try it again until the 4th quarter where it was successful but way past too late. Why didn't they try to do it to idk...the other side? The one offensive touchdown that wasn't by Vick was on...surprises!...a screen pass.
The DeSean/Mike Jenkins matchup
From what I saw it didn't exist except maybe once?
Terrence Newman was on DeSean the whole game and Maclin had Jenkins on him. The closest I saw DeSean/Jenkins come to each other was when Jenkins picked it off and then DeSean stripped him. Newman shut it down though, that's the best I've seen him play in 2 years.
The defensive playcalling
The very first drive of the game, though helped out from penalties, was a success to me. The Eagles worked a strong side blitz very effectively with Gocong and Clemons and got plenty of pressure on Romo. But then you stop that and start blitzing up the middle with Jeremiah freakin' Trotter? Romo could survey the field a 100 times over by the time your slowest linebacker reaches him. Why were the strong side blitzes stopped? Dallas has 3 plays that they use with great success: the delayed handoff/draw, the screen to the receiver or running back, and slants. If you can't figure that out in 2 previous games and a whole week to gameplan before the 3rd, you didn't do your job. In defense of the D, the 'Boys were starting on their 50 damn near every time they got the ball because the offense couldn't move, but poor showing.
The biggest play that never happened
The Sean Jones interception. That INT stands and the Eagles have the ball in the red zone after the run back, with a 10-7 lead being worst case scenario. It doesn't happen and turns into 14-7 Cowboys. Biggest play of the game, 2nd was the Sheldon Brown pass interference.
3 plays that stand out to me
- The Maclin push to Hamlin's face (the penalty was offset because of Hamlin's headbutt back)
- Nick Cole bouncing it off his ass on a snap (McNabb recovered, but had to throw it out of bands, a wasted down)
- Asante's unsportsmanlike conduct right before halftime that gave Dallas field position for another 3 points
Overall I wasn't that upset by this year's loss as I've been in years past. And that's weird because this was vs. a rival. Maybe it's because I've expected more in years past and didn't see it with this team? I never had a feeling like this team was going to do anything special, questioned their "leaders" without Dawkins before the season started (and that showed in my point about "immaturity") and felt we were too young at too many positions. There was also that feeling that if we got past the Boys we wouldn't go anywhere else.
Congrats to the Dallas fans. Hope DeMarcus Ware takes off Favre's head JFK style and then Tarvaris leads Minny into the NFC championship game.