PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — It was the kind of overcast, freezing Sunday afternoon that screamed no one wanted to be there. Not the fans, certainly not the players, nor the coaches. The game had the feel of a frigid pre-season game where winning and losing didn’t matter.
The Eagles and Cowboys played for the clock and to get out unscathed in one of the most utterly forgettable Eagles games in the last 10 years. For two Eagles, however, the pathetic 6-0 loss at Lincoln Financial Field meant a little more.
Second-round draft pick Sidney Jones was making his NFL debut and back-up quarterback Nate Sudfeld was making his NFL debut, too.
Both Jones, aside from trying to tackle Ezekiel Elliott on a 16-yard run in the second quarter, and Sudfeld actually played well. Sudfeld completed 19-for-23 for 136 yards.
Sudfeld came in with 14:00 left in the half with the rest of the Eagles back-ups in a game that moved at an interminable pace.
This was also a game in which the real star was Eagles’ punter Donnie Jones. He had three punts that pinned Dallas at its 12, 4 and 1-yard line. He was both the best defensive and offensive weapon the Eagles had.
Each time one of the teams moved the ball, it was quickly erased by the next play, which went for negative yardage, but it was nullified by a penalty. Dallas was once flagged twice for holding near end of the third quarter, which moved the ball from the Cowboys’ 19 to their nine.
There has to be some concern on how dreadful the Eagles offense looked again led by Nick Foles. He completed 4-of-11 for 39 yards and his lackluster performance instilled very little confidence in the Eagles surviving one playoff game, let along reaching the NFC championship.
Foles’ showing, coupled with how decent Sudfeld looked, will no doubt stir talk of Sudfeld getting a chance to run the offense in the playoffs. Sudfeld, though he resembles Foles physically, is better athlete than Foles. He moves better, moves better in the pocket, appears to throw a better ball than Foles—though lacks one very important key and that’s experience.
Foles still can read a defense better than Sudfeld. He still remains poised in the pocket.
Regardless of who the Eagles play in the divisional round, they’re going to be in trouble. Foles’ elbow may still be bothering him. He underthrew some passes on Sunday and his decision-making in the pocket doesn’t appear to be that sharp as it was during his previous incarnation as the Eagles starting quarterback.
Unless the Eagles have been holding back offensively these last two weeks, it’s a team that will have problems moving the ball against a decent NFC defense, which they will surely face in the playoffs.