There was a moment late in the third quarter of the Eagles’ 37-9 demolition of the Dallas Cowboys that perfectly captured the essence of the game.
The camera panned to the owner’s box and found Jerry Jones. Seated next to Jones was America’s favorite part-time governor, Chris Christie, who had the look of a man who had just been told the stadium vendors had run out of hot dogs.
Chris Christie: At least we’re still best friends.
Jerry Jones: I’ll have you buried in the ditch next to Goodell pic.twitter.com/APL9svcXih
— John Gonzalez (@_JohnGonz) November 20, 2017
Christie, who enjoys bashing Philly fans when he’s not restricting access to bridges or catching some sun on a closed public beach, could only watch as the Eagles methodically sucked the air out of AT&T Stadium during a 30-0 second half surge.
The outcome was so obvious that even Cowboys superfan Skip Bayless got to work early offering up his sorry excuses for Dallas’ wretched performance:
As I said last week, congratulations, Eagles, you won the NFC East. The injury and suspension gods decreed it: Fly, Eagles, fly. This year should've belonged to Dallas. But now it's Philly's. Ring that Liberty Bell. Schedule that parade.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) November 20, 2017
Let Cowboys fans whine about their misfortune as they count their franchise’s Super Bowl trophies and weep into their Jay Novacek shirseys. The Eagles are 9-1, have a stranglehold on the NFC East, and appear primed to make a run at home field advantage throughout the playoffs. In the words of the great philosopher Richard Sherman, “a lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.”
Instead, let’s marvel at the progression of Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson. Pederson, who arrived in Philadelphia after the Chip Kelly saga, was so unheralded as a coaching candidate that no other organization interviewed him for the top job. He was perceived as a fall-back option for the Eagles after top coordinator candidates Ben McAdoo and Adam Gase went off the market and a quixotic pursuit of John Harbaugh failed. Pederson’s willingness to collaborate with Howie Roseman also was believed to play a role in the hiring decision.
Ultimately, the prevailing perception was that Pederson would be Andy Reid-lite. He was no offensive genius like Kelly or McAdoo. He would lack the assertiveness to rein in a strong personality like defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. He was in over his head. With the benefit of hindsight, we can scoff at NFL analyst Mike Lombardi’s vicious criticism of Pederson now, but he was not alone in expressing these sentiments: Continue Reading
OK so it’s a little past morning already. Whatever. Rigidity for days after that drubbing last night.
Here’s the takeaway: We expected this. Once Ezekiel Elliott went out and the Cowboys were certain to be without their starting left tackle, we expected the Eagles to dominate dem boyz. We expect them to win on Sunday. That would mean the Eagles will most likely be heading into that Seahawks game in two weeks having not played a truly contested game in four weeks. This is where the season will be decided. They’ve locked up the NFC East. Right now it’s all about seeding and homefield advantage. That Rams game looms large (though they play the Saints this week, which could either put two teams two games behind the Eagles, or the Rams three games behind). So while it was exhilarating to watch the Birds demoralize Jerry Jones and all those Cowboys jackasses last night, the Eagles are about where we expected them to be right now. They’re in that weird “expected to win, disappointing if they lose” mode. It won’t be until the Seahawks and Rams games that we can really feel like they’re climbing the ladder again.
These are good problems to have, to be sure. If they take 3 of the next 4, then you can just about lock up homefield advantage. 2-2? Then, I suspect we’re battling with the Saints for the number one seed in the conference.
Quick thing on the Saints: They’re good. Really fucking good. Maybe the best team in football right now. Everyone is under the impression that as long as you get homefield against them you’re fine. Not so. This team is built to win on the road. They have a dynamic running game – better than the Falcons’ last year – and a good defense, with a veteran coach and quarterback who know how to win. They scare me. Not gonna lie.
But that’s for later.
We have a win to celebrate.
Let’s Wood! Continue Reading
I NEEDED THIS. Right in the gullet from Crusher, emptying his isms into me:
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) November 20, 2017
It’s a solid 6. Could’ve used less words and more fist pumps, perhaps a stronger breakdown. But, Doug’s record trope – “we entered here [blank] and we’re leaving here [blank]” – is outstanding and I’m thinking of adopting it in my editorial duties. We entered the day with, well, 0 page views, and we’re leaving it with 60k! You earned it… even though it was basically the one click bait post that accounted for half and the rest were due to Kevin’s balls-forward effort. But, still… good job. Proud of you, men. I’m a bad leader.
The offense played an atrocious first half and the Eagles still beat Dallas by four touchdowns on the road.
It’s hard to fathom. It really is. This is one of those big games that the Birds would have totally blown in years past, finding a way to flame out and disappoint on a national stage.
But not this squad!
They seems to have a mental fortitude and knack for adjustment that past Eagles teams just didn’t have.
Down 9-7 at the half, they scored 30 unanswered points to close out the game. Dallas pulled their starters in the fourth. It went from a harrowing nail-biter to a boring blowout in about 45 real-time minutes.
And maybe the most impressive thing was the first half defensive performance. Say what you will about the Cowboys missing two key offensive players, but the Eagles defense really propped up the other two units when they were struggling. How much more manageable is it going into halftime down by two points vs. ten? I think that was probably the key to the game.
The Birds are 9-1 with the NFC East in the bag and home field advantage in sight.
Buckle up, boys and girls. Continue Reading
All cylinders. All fucking cylinders.
I’m sorry to be so vulgar to your virgin eye holes, but I’m just following in the footsteps of Alshon Jeffery, who, if I’m transcribing the reports correctly, opined with the following after the Eagles improved to 9-1:
“Shit, ain’t nobody fucking with us. We’re the best. We know we’re the best. That’s how we feel in this locker room.”
I, for one, love the modern adaptation of the 70s disco classic. Ain’t nobody fucking with us now, we’re on the move, huh!
Mychal Kendricks spun another favorite phrase into his own interpretation:
Are they still dem boyz if they’re without their star running back, left tackle, best linebacker and just got murderfucked by the Eagles at home?
The Dallas Cowboys have only lost three times at home by 28 points or more in the last 25 seasons.
— bet365 (@bet365) November 20, 2017
I guess they are.
On paper, everything lines up nicely.
The Eagles are 8-1, rested, and coming off a bye.
The Cowboys are missing their best offensive player, their best defensive player, and surely their starting left tackle.
Jerry Jones is locked in a nasty feud with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
What could possibly go wrong?
That’s what concerns me here. It almost feels like there’s too much shifting in the Birds’ favor right now.
But I don’t know if you can call this one a “trap game.” I highly doubt the Eagles are looking ahead on the schedule or taking Dallas lightly. This doesn’t seem like a team that loses focus or forgets the task at hand, and they’ve had two weeks to prepare anyway.
So it’s not a “trap game,” not to me, but I’m still.. I don’t think “nervous” is the right word, but “anxious” might be appropriate. I’m anxious because it’s a divisional road game and Eagles fans are smart enough to know that you can’t take these for granted.
According to NFL Network’s Jane Slater, Cowboys All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith will miss Sunday night’s game against the Eagles.
A person with knowledge of the situation tells me Cowboys LT Tyron Smith will not play Sunday (groin). Byron Bell will start instead.
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) November 16, 2017
The impending absence of Smith, who also sat out the Cowboys’ 27-7 blowout loss in Atlanta with groin and back injuries, is a huge blow to the Dallas offense. But if you were hoping to see Brandon Graham turn backup tackle Chaz Green into a human turnstile for a second-straight week, don’t get your hopes up. It appears seventh-year pro Byron Bell, who didn’t play football in 2016 after suffering a dislocated ankle during OTAs, will get the nod this week in place of Smith.
Do Graham and Bell have any history? Why yes. Yes, they do.