Even though it didn’t matter, losing to the Cowboys never feels good. Without the use of most of the offensive and defensive starters, Andy Reid counted on Kevin Kolb, Jerome Harrison, Omar Gaither, and Trevard Lindley to beat Dallas. They were on top for about 75% of the game, but a typical Jason Witten drive at the end of the game pushed the Cowboys on top.
The player of the game was undoubtedly DeMarcus Ware. He scored the Cowboys first touchdown on a fumble recovery when Kevin Kolb coughed it up in his own red zone, then sacked him three times and bothered him countless more times throughout the game. Without Winston Justice and Jason Peters, the outside lanes were open for business for the Dallas defense, and Kolb was the victim of a number of hard hits. Anthony Spencer also added two sacks and a forced fumble.
Similar to recent weeks, the Eagles had a tough time finishing off tackles, allowing Stephen McGee to wriggle free too many times and only sacking him twice. He had a relatively effective game if you forget about all the dropped interceptions by the Eagles defense. He threw for 127 yards and ran for 55 doing much of what Joe Webb did to the starters on Tuesday. They’ll have to wrap up on even more agile Aaron Rodgers next week in order to advance to the next round.
Clay Harbor dropped a ton of passes and Jeremy Maclin didn’t catch a ball, but Chad Hall and Jerome Harrison made strong cases to get a few looks in the playoffs. They’re both quick and possess big play potential, which will come in useful against a dangerous team like Green Bay, who managed to stave off the Bears today.
Despite the loss, the game is a success for Andy Reid and company — Mike Vick, Asante Samuel, and everybody else who got a week off will be much fresher than the exhausted Packers team who had to fight tooth and nail against Chicago in order to secure the final spot. Should be an exciting week of prep — we’ll see what happens and if the extra rest for the starters help in the new season.
Eagles finish at 10-6 on the season, 3rd spot in the NFC.