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Just a few brief notes on that disaster in Philly...

Tim's picture

For the second time this season, Dallas flipped the previous week's score around. They also managed to turn in another inexplicable loss. It's not the mere fact that they lost which is inexplicable, but the way that they lost. Philly was coming off a bye, playing at home and had their backs to the wall much more so than Dallas. But how was this game not closer than 34-7?
 

POSITIVES:

Let's make this quick: Demarcus Ware and Demarco Murray. Maybe Laurent Robinson. That's about it on the positive side. 
 
ADDING INJURY TO INSULT:
McBriar, Lee and Jenkins. 
 
The defense looked inept before Lee's injury, but Brooking and James showed why they needed to be replaced. I'm not sure why Bruce Carter didn't get some time out there. Surely he's had time to study the playbook by now. Could he have been any worse?
 
Dan Bailey was serviceable as a back-up punter. Thankfully, the punting was not the difference in the game.
 
Hopefully Jenkins is not out for too long. He's been pretty good this year.
 
ADDING INSULT TO INSULT:
Yes, that was pass interference in the end zone, five feet in front of the unobstructed view of the official. No, that TD would not have won the game for Dallas, but yes, it still matters. To my eye, Philly got away with a number of defensive and offensive penalties that were not flagged. Is that the story of the game? You can't seriously argue that missed calls account for a four score thrashing. On the other hand, if a couple of 3d and 2s on Philly's early drives correctly get flagged back to 3d and 12 instead of 1st downs, who knows? It's a somewhat different game. The Eagles didn't seem terribly challenged by converting third and long last night, but maybe their offense would have gotten tired or something. Anyway, I hate bad officiating, whether it decides the game or not, and when we see this every week, and Dallas' opponents are the least penalized in the league this year, you almost begin to wonder if some memo went out.
 
NEGATIVES:
Don't worry, this is not going to be a comprehensive list.
 
I know Romo was under a great deal of duress, and I think we can all agree that the INT was in no way his fault. Still, it seemed like his eyes never even looked downfield for long stretches of the game. You've got guys who can play – sometimes you have to force the issue. Was it overly cautious play because of the criticism he's gotten earlier this year? Just eager to dump it off because  the ribs are still bothering him? I just find it kind of hard to believe there were never any windows at all that he could have dropped a ball in the area where Austin or Bryant could have made a play on it, you know?
 
Why is Martellus Bennett still on the team? And does anybody think he will still be in the NFL next year? I have to be honest – I still don't see what he ever gave us that Anthony Fasano didn't.
 
We can talk all day about mistakes players made – poor tackling, front seven couldn't get off blocks, LBs lost in coverage, etc. - but there was something fundamentally flawed in Ryan's defensive gameplan, and he didn't seem to make any adjustments to it all night. Clearly, he intended to take away the deep passing routes, and he succeeded. For some reason, there didn't seem to be any plan to stop Michael Vick from running the ball. Maybe he doesn't read my comments. Michael Vick's rushing yardage is what puts the Eagles at the top of the league, but it was like Dallas seemed surprised when he took off running.
 
What about the offensive gameplan? Well, it looks like Demarco Murray can run the ball well, and it looks like that might've worked in a close game. Two unlucky bounces killed two early drives and after that, the plan was out the window and the Eagle had their ears pinned back. On a deep ball to Bennett, the Eagles coverage was beat by the mismatch, but Bennett, instead of catching it, or even just dropping it, batted the ball forward to Nnamdi Asomugha. On the other sideline, Laurent Robinson made a valiant effort to get a back should throw while tangled with a DB, but his foot touched the chalk and it was 4th down. Proabably the X & O guys here can explain what was wrong with Robinson's route running to get pinned that close to the sideline. To my amateur eye, it was an unlucky break.
 
SILVER LINING:
Sure, there is one.
 
At 3-4, Dallas is in a three way tie for second place in this lousy division. The Giants have a tough stretch coming up, while Dallas appears to have a much easier stretch coming. Washington is going nowhere but down. Philly also has an easier stretch coming up, but right now they seem every bit as inconsistent as Dallas, so who knows how this season plays out? Watching New Orleans blow out Indy 62-7 one week, then get blown out by the Rams the next; 5-2 Baltimore get utterly shut down by 2-6 Jacksonville after dominating first place Houston; Phillip Rivers throw more INTs that TDs for the year and still hold onto first place; this is a crazy season – just like they tell us every season is. So, yes, I still think anything could happen.