Philadelphia Eagles Embarrass Themselves in Home Opener Against Dallas Cowboys

Eagles Cowboys

The Philadelphia Eagles entered week two needing a pivotal win over NFC East division rival Dallas Cowboys to avoid dropping to 0-2 on the season. Coming off a disappointing week one loss at Atlanta where they dominated the second half, it was expected the Eagles would continue their momentum and bounce back in their home opener against the Cowboys. Not only did the Eagles lose 20-10, they did so to a Cowboys team without Dez Bryant, and without Tony Romo for a majority of the second half. Brandon Weeden filled in for Romo, who went down with a broken left clavicle midway through the third quarter after being stripped sacked by Jordan Hicks, and kept the ball moving for Dallas. The Eagles on the other hand, could not get anything going offensively, and it ultimately led to the end result.

Dallas kicked off the scoring with a 20-yard Dan Bailey field goal to take an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter. Bailey’s field goal would be the only points scored in the first, as Dallas took a three point lead into the second. Dallas would find the scoreboard again as time expired in the second quarter, when Bailey connected on a 28-yard field goal to put Dallas up six. Both teams struggled mightily on offense in the first half, but the Cowboys managed to put together two scoring drives that gave them six points, which is all they needed to be up at halftime. The biggest hit in the first half occurred to the Eagles, as linebacker Kiko Alonso exited the game with a left knee injury. Early reports are not positive for the newly acquired Eagle. Philadelphia also lost linebacker Mychal Kendricks with a left hamstring injury.

The Eagles received to start off the second half, and their first possession of the third quarter did not go as planned. Following a three-and-out, Donnie Jones came on the field to punt, and his punt was blocked by the Cowboys, scooped up by Kyle Wilber, and returned for a Cowboys touchdown. Dallas added to their lead and went up 13-0 with 12:35 remaining in the third quarter. On the next Cowboys possession, Tony Romo fumbled after being sacked by Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks, causing Romo to break his left clavicle on the play. There appeared to be a shift in momentum that favored the Eagles, which came to a halt when quarterback Sam Bradford was picked off by Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee in the endzone on the next drive.

Brandon Weeden took over for the injured Romo with 5:24 left in the third, and the Cowboys offense struggled in Weeden’s first few drives. This allowed the Eagles to put some points up on the board in the beginning of the fourth quarter, when Cody Parkey nailed a 46-yard field goal to cut the Cowboys lead to ten. It looked like the Eagles would be able to overcome the Cowboys 13-3 lead when Byron Maxwell stripped tight end Gavin Escobar, and safety Malcolm Jenkins recovered the fumble and ran it into Cowboys’ territory. However, on the very next play, there was a miscommunication between Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford and center Jason Kelce, as Bradford fumbled Kelce’s snap, leading to a Cowboys recovery.

Later in the fourth, Bradford was picked off for the second time by J.J. Wilcox, followed by a Weeden 42-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams, putting the Cowboys up 20-3 to seal the deal in Philadelphia. The Eagles scored a touchdown in garbage time when Bradford found Jordan Matthews on a six-yard pass with 1:21 left in the game, but the score was irrelevant for the Eagles. Dallas would end up winning the game 20-10, dropping the Eagles to 0-2 in the early 2015 NFL season.

Eagles Notes:
– Eagles offense looked absolutely atrocious throughout the course of the entire, from establishing the running game to putting together any type of offensive drive
– Chip Kelly releasing All-Pro offensive guard Evan Mathis back in June was a questionable move, and after two weeks where the Eagles interior offensive line got pummeled, the move is looking even more questionable
DeMarco Murray cannot be blamed for the Eagles failing to establish the inside zone run and the running game in general; more blame should be placed on offensive line and Chip Kelly
– Sam Bradford looked lost today. Checked down too often on third and long. Interceptions and miscommunication with Kelce on fumbled snap inexcusable.
– While the defense played well for the most part, the secondary still has massive flaws. Corners Maxwell and Nolan Carroll still getting beat badly.
– The flaws in the Chip Kelly are starting to show. When offense is not in a rhythm, defense spends too much time on field and gradually gets tired as game goes on.
– Chip Kelly has to find a way to get his running game going. No running game, no offense.

The Eagles have put themselves in a massive hole to start of the season. Right now, they look like the worst team in the NFC East. The turn around must start next week against the New York Jets, or it could be a long season for Eagles fans.

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