By Kevin McGuire
The Eagles were roughed up by the Dallas Cowboys in yet another home loss in Lincoln Financial Field Sunday. The Cowboys handed the Eagles a 17-3 defeat that saw the passing game really struggle to find anything positive to build on and the team wasted a decent outing by the defense.
Here is how the grades for this week’s performance look:
Quarterback Grade: D
Nick Foles played three quarters for the Eagles before leaving the game with a head injury. In his time on the field the offense struggled against the Cowboys defense. Foles ended his day completing just 11 of 29 pass attempts for a total of 80 yards and no touchdowns to show for it. With Mike Vick not being used the Eagles turned to rookie Matt Barkley for relief in the fourth quarter, trailing 10-0. Barkley struggled in his one quarter of play, tossing three interceptions while completing 11 of 20 passes for 129 yards.
The Cowboys game was the chance for Foles to play himself in to the starting job in Philadelphia but after that performance against one of the NFL’s worst passing defenses, the possibility of Vick returning to the starting job next week looks much more promising.
Offense Grade: F
The Eagles averaged 3.7 yards per play, more than a few yards less than what Dallas was putting together on the same exact number of plays, and that includes the Cowboys sitting on the final couple of plays of the game to run out the clock.
The passing game really struggled of course. DeSean Jackson only managed to pick up 21 yards on his three catches and Jason Avant caught just three passes out of 12 sent in his direction. Brent Celek had just one catch on four targeted passes his way but rookie Zach Ertz caught three of the five passes in his direction for 33 yards. LeSean McCoy did not get much out of the running game, rushing for 55 yards on 18 carries, but he also added 26 receiving yards on six out of seven passes intended for him. The Eagles were just 4-for-18 on third down attempts and the team managed just three points.
Defense Grade: B-
The Eagles defense did a decent job against Dallas, picking up a pair of interceptions off Tony Romo, but the Cowboys quarterback threw for 317 yards and threw a fourth quarter touchdown to push the lead into double digits. The Cowboys were also 2-for-2 inside the red zone. When the defense gives up just 17 points in a game, that should be enough for the Eagles offense to take advantage and put points on the board to win the game. That was not the case today.
Special Teams Grade: B
Alex Henery missed one of his two field goal attempts in the game, but nobody should fault him for missing on a 60-yard field goal just before halftime. Punter Donnie Jones averaged 46.6 yards per punt and dropped one inside the 20-yard line. He was a busy player Sunday afternoon, punting nine times for a total of 419 yards, or 141 more yards than the Eagles had on offense.
Overall Evaluation: C
This one stings. The Eagles offense folded against a Cowboys defense that was vulnerable and incapable of taking advantage of a nice game put in by the defense. If nothing else, it looks as though Vick should be coming back to lead the offense, with the hope that he can provide a spark once he returns and start leading the kind of offense the Eagles had in the beginning of the season.
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Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.