Eagles 17, Cowboys 9

Cowboys vs Eagles: Good, bad and ugly

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After an impressive victory over the Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys came into Sunday ready to claim their division championship over their hated rivals Philadelphia Eagles. Fate would have other plans, as the Cowboys forgot how to play football for the entirety of the game, and let the Eagles take the lead in the NFC East.

The Good

- Kai Forbath looks to have secured his job as the Cowboys' kicker. The journeyman was picked up by the Cowboys last week, and has been nothing short of spectacular. He made all three field goal attempts Sunday bringing his total up to a perfect 6/6 with the Cowboys. A far cry for the wildly inconsistent Brett Maher, Forbath looks to be kicking for the Cowboys long after this season is over.

- In an otherwise putrid offensive game, there was one bright spot, and for once it wasn't Ezekiel Elliott. Instead, it was Michael Gallup. His chemistry with Dak Prescott has grown exponentially since the start of the 2019 season. In only his second year in the league, Gallup has transitioned from a solid wide receiver to a potential number one option. With Amari Cooper's future with the Cowboys in question Gallup would be a great replacement as the Cowboys' new go-to receiver if in fact Cooper leaves via free-agency.

- The final bright spot of the game is that this season is almost over. The 2019 campaign for the Cowboys has been heart-breaking, underwhelming, disappointing, and most of all inconsistent. Luckily, we only have one more game to endure this trauma. Unless of course the Giants win and the Cowboys beat the Redskins, then we have two more games of pain. In the end I really couldn't think of another positive thing to say about Sunday's loss to the Eagles. The Cowboys just fell flat on all aspects of Sunday's game offensively and defensively.

The bad

- Speaking of defense, they could not stop the run to save their lives Sunday night against the Eagles. With a banged up Eagles offense that was without guys like Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery, the Cowboys' defense should have had the upper hand in this matchup. Carson Wentz and running back Miles Sanders had other plans. Sanders seemed to get first downs at a moment's notice and was able to run on the Cowboys defense all day. Wentz converted many key third-down conversions to his back up receivers with ease. One key play in the game was a deep pass to the former University of Houston Quarterback Greg Ward Jr which untimely set up Sanders for his lone score. The Eagles went up 17-6 at this point and any momentum the Cowboys had left vanished.

- I would like to file a missing person report. Ezekiel Elliott did not have a good game, and his numbers show. With only a total of 47 yards on the ground, the Cowboys could not get the run game going with both Elliott and Tony Pollard. Last week both running backs were able to feast on the Rams supposedly superior defense, but Sunday was the exact opposite. Both running backs had the worst game of the 2019 season, and because the Cowboys couldn't get the run game going, the offense stalled. The Cowboys have predicated their game as a run first offense, but if that is not working it seems as though they can't figure things out before it's too late or its garbage time. Whether this is a coaching issue or Dak Prescott's inability to lead an offense without a Pro-Bowl caliber running back remains to be seen, and should be a key question Jerry Jones should answer this offseason.

- If the opponent's defensive game plan is stop the run and force Dak Prescott to beat you, it has worked for multiple teams this season. In what is supposed to be a contract year for the 4th year quarterback, he has been underwhelming to say the least. For a guy looking for a long-term deal and to be made one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the draft, Prescott's case looks worse than other potential avaible quarterbacks such as Cam Newton or Ryan Tannehill. Sure his first three games of the season were specular against the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins, but since then the Cowboys have a losing record. They are 5-8 after Week 3 and have only had one impressive victory over the Rams. I'm not saying Prescott won't be the quarterback next year, but its plain to see he will not be getting his contract extension. If anything, he will be franchised tagged instead.

The Ugly

- The Cowboys have become an enigma. One week they are manhandling the defending NFC champions, and the next week they are unable to score a single touchdown. Their inconsistently has finally caught up to them and it might be too late to overcome. Whether it is Quarterback play or coaching mistakes, the Cowboys seemingly couldn't beat anyone with a decent plan to stop Ezekiel Elliott. With such a talented roster, this team should be contending for the Super Bowl not trying to strive to make the playoffs with an 8-8 record. Changes are defintily coming before next year for the entire coaching staff. Jason Garrett will not, I repeat will not be the head coach for the Cowboys next year nor will most of his staff.

- As previously mentioned, Dak Prescott is a free-agent next season and he probably will not get his big money extension he wants this offseason. I do think he will stay with the Cowboys, albeit on a shorter high-dollar deal. There is one player who could be on his way out though and last night was apparent he wasn't happy. According to multiple reports, Amari Cooper left the game before the final play of regulation in which the Cowboys went for a last ditch effort to win the game. Instead Cooper was watching from the sidelines as the Cowboys failed on offense one last time. Cooper has been an oddity this season. He has been a model of inconsistency parallel to that of the Cowboys 2019 season. Cooper is a free-agent next year and could be a candidate to receive the franchise tag as well. The Cowboys could have a tough decision to make next year by deciding to keep either Prescott or Cooper.

- If it wasn't bad enough the Cowboys got utterly destroyed by the Eagles on Sunday night, they couldn't even leave Philadelphia due to plane issues. According to reports, their plane was deemed "not viable" to fly home to the DFW airport. They were eventually able to find a new plane to fly home on, but this just adds insult to injury to the worst game of the Cowboys' 2019 season.

The Cowboys had plenty of chances and opportunities to win against the Eagles, clinch the division, and rest guys against the Redskins but couldn't. Their only chances at making the playoffs now are if the Giants beat the Eagles and the Cowboys beat the Redskins on Sunday December 29th. At this point would it even be worth it? Would you rather see the Cowboy's season mercifully end, or would making the playoffs to face a NFC powerhouse team like the Seahawks or 49ers be worth it in the end?


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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans no match for the Ravens

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Texans fell to the Ravens 33-16 in a game they had a shot at winning. Most of you reading this will probably think I'm crazy for saying that. I assure you, I meant what I said. One of the reasons they didn't was because Bill O'Brien made a few questionable decisions that cost this team.

The first was the 4th & 1 decision. Deciding to go for it was bad enough. They were down 3-0 near the end of the first quarter with the ball on their own 34-yard line. This is not a situation that calls for a gamble or statement play. The play call itself was okay I guess: a play action bootleg with two short options. It was read and played perfectly by the Ravens defense. Deshaun Watson had nowhere to go with the ball and had to throw it at Darren Fells' back before getting sacked. That led to a quick Ravens touchdown and an early 10-0 deficit. I seriously think he has PTSD after that playoff loss to the Chiefs when it comes to fourth down calls. Bumbling Bill strikes again!

When they got the ball back, they scored a touchdown thanks to more play action passes and pre-snap motion. It was as if Bumbling Bill realized his offensive line was outmatched by the front seven they're opposing. Sure Watson is mobile and looks like a magician escaping sacks, but misdirection helps throw the defense off and keeps Watson from breaking into 177,000,000 pieces. Oh, and the quick reads were a good idea as well. Too bad Bumbling Bill went away from that and opted for longer developing routes. Or will he blame it on Timid Tim Kelly? Or was Waiting Watson holding onto the ball too long? I blame all three.

Also, can we stop starting drives with the predictable run, run, pass combo please? First down should be play action rollout with Watson having the ability to choose to run if it's there. More run/pass/option plays need to be called as well. Incorporate more things that we saw when Watson was on his way to winning rookie of the year before his knee was sacrificed for the Astros.

Credit where it's due: the end of the first half to get a field goal with a minute and change left was good to see. Typically, these situations tend to make Bumbling Bill come out. I liked the quick slant to Cobb with no timeouts. They were able to spike the ball and get the field goal up.

The game was still within reach at 23-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a 4th & 1, they gave up a 30 yard touchdown run on a direct snap to Mark Ingram. I saw gaps on both sides of the defensive line pre-snap. Sure enough, Ingram got a lead block from the Ravens human plough of a fullback and that effectively put the nail in the coffin at 30-13. I know the tendency is to quarterback sneak or run up the middle, but don't leave gaps along the defensive line trying to stack the middle. First time defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will take the L on this one.

Overall, I'll give O'Brien and his coaching staff a C- this game. Mistakes were made that could've cost them a legit shot at winning, but the Keke Coutee fumble return for a touchdown wasn't their fault. The play calling menu was brought to us this week by Craft Pita via the "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Tune in next week for another "Not my job!"

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