The Eagles first eight game losing streak since 1968 guarantees the third losing record in Andy Reid’s 14-year tenure in Philadelphia.
There were some positives for the Eagles last night, more than we’ve seen throughout a majority of this disheartening and disenchanting season.
Nick Foles showed glimpses that make you believe the third round draft choice out of Arizona could ultimately hold the reigns as this team’s franchise quarterback. Meanwhile, Bryce Brown ran with the kind of authority letting you, if only for a moment, imagine the possibilities a LeSean McCoy/Bryce Brown two headed backfield could present in 2013 and beyond.
In the end, though, Sunday night in Arlington ended like each of the previous seven Eagles games. By night’s end, the Eagles had fallen to the Cowboys 38-33, yet another come from ahead defeat, this time resulting in Philadelphia’s eighth consecutive loss marking the longest streak in the last 44 years of the franchise.
Not only does the loss assure the team’s first eight game losing streak since gas was .34 per gallon, but also Andy Reid’s third losing season in 14 years.
Philadelphia is now 3-9, there won’t be a 15th season for Reid.
“I can’t stand here and tell you I’m proud of it,” Reid said. “Right? We lost the game, so no matter hwo you cut it, we lost the game. I take it personal. It’s my responsibility, so i can’t tell you that i’m proud of it.”
At 3-9, the Eagles would hold the fourth pick in the NFL draft after the Cleveland Browns beat the Oakland Raiders earlier Sunday.
The Eagles 27 points marks the highest offensive output this season.
Brown continued to turn heads, finishing with (numbers), becoming the first Eagles running back since Steve Van Buren in 1949 to rush for more than 327 rushing yards in two weeks. But for the second week in a row, a costly late game fumble undid all of Brown’s bright spots.
With 3:50 remaining in the game, Brown put the ball on the Cowboys Stadium carpet and it was returned 50 yards by Morris Claiborne for a Cowboys touchdown, extending their lead to 38-27.
“He’s gotta keep the ball high and tight,” Reid said. “When you’re tired, you’ve gotta focus on that. Bryce was trying to get every yard he could”
Even with a violent downhill running style to compliment his 4.3 speed, unless Brown rectifies his fumbling problem, after losing three fumbles in two games, it will be difficult for the Eagles 7th round drat choice to see the field moving forward.
Brown fumbled twice in the second half against the Panthers last week, and then put the ball on the ground in the fourth quarter against the Cowboys on Sunday night.
One encouraging sight from an otherwise consistently disappointing evening for the Eagles was Foles’ performance. The rookie looked poised in the pocket and made some nice throws after going through his progressions, and delivered the ball accurately for the most part.
This was clearly Foles’ best game of his career and looks to have improved over his previous two starts.
The rookie out of Arizona finished 22-34 for 251 yards and a touchdown.
“I felt really comfortable,” Foles said afterwards. “I just have to keep working hard, getting better every day. I’ll go back and look at the game film, take some notes and go back to work on what I need to improve on, which is a lot”
Meanwhile, the Eagles struggles on defense continued. Tony Romo threw three touchdowns, breaking Troy Aikman’s career franchise record. The Cowboys signal caller led a drive late in the game that culminated on a touchdown pass to Dez Bryant with 5:40 remaining, giving the Cowboys a 31-27 lead.
It’s now six straight games that an Eagles opposing quarterback has posted a quarterback rating of 140 or better, after Romo finished with a 150 rating. It’s the first time that has happened in NFL history.
The coverage breakdowns that have plagued this team all season were still an issue against the Cowboys. On several key plays down the field Kurt Coleman was out of position and he missed tackles on others. On Bryant’s fourth quarter touchdown, Dominique Rodgers-Chromartie badly missed a tackle allowing the Cowboys receiver to walk into the end zone.
“I thought the effort was great,” Reid said. “You have to give credit to the Cowboys for the second half, putting together four long drives. We have to get better at keeping the momentum late in games.”
Brandon Graham, one of the young players to likely see an expanded role down the stretch following Jason Babin’s midweek release last week had a stellar performance. The defensive end notched one and a half sacks, raising his total to two this season.
Despite the positives from Foles, Brown and Graham, this team’s fundamental flaws continue to show themselves week after week. There are now only four games remaining in the disappointing 2012 season so to expect them to be rectified at this point is unreasonable.