Dallas Cowboys

T.O. unplugged on Twitter

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T.O. unplugged on Twitter

Terrell Owens is never one to hold his tongue. Or in this case, his fingers.

Answering fans’ Twitter questions on Friday night, the former Eagles wide receiver and Hall of Fame finalist opened up about several topics.

Things started off relatively tame, as T.O. was asked about playing for Andy Reid and the coach’s inability to win the big game.

Things took a turn when Owens’ Philadelphia exit — and the person he felt was behind it, who went unnamed, (Donovan McNabb) — was brought up.

… And his feelings on Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

However, Owens’ former San Francisco 49ers head coach, Steve Mariucci, got it the worst. Or maybe he’s just the worst.

At least Owens made it clear that despite playing for five teams during his NFL career, he will always bleed green.

Eagles' starting O colder than the temperature

Eagles' starting O colder than the temperature


Frigid temperatures at the Linc on Sunday were in the teens. The wind chill dipped into single digits.

The Eagles' starting offense was colder.

Nick Foles didn't inspire much confidence as he and the starters put together a lackluster four drives in the first quarter as the Eagles eventually went on to lose the meaningless regular-season finale to the Cowboys by a score of 6-0 in an absolute snooze-fest (see Roob's observations).  

Before Sunday, the last time the Eagles were shut out was the last game of the 2009 season. The last time they were shut out at home was in 2005 against the Seahawks.

The good news is, the Eagles' defense played well for most of the afternoon and the entire team escaped without any real injuries.

The bad news is, confidence in Foles might be at an all-time low with a playoff game just two weeks away (see report card).

With the loss, the Eagles finished the regular season with a 13-3 record and failed to win the meaningless game that would have given them their first 14-win season in franchise history.

The Cowboys won and finished their season with a 9-7 record, which doesn't look terrible, but they missed the playoffs and had an extremely disappointing season a year after they were the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Sunday's game was the first scoreless game through three quarters in the NFL since December 2007.

The first half was brutal too. It was 0-0 after 30 minutes. The highlight of the first half was when punter Donnie Jones forgot to take off his warmup pants and had to do it in a hurry before booting a ball to the Dallas 4-yard line.

This was the first time an Eagles-Cowboys game had ever been scoreless at halftime, according to ESPN. It was the first scoreless half in Philadelphia since 1993.

It was the first scoreless game at halftime in the entire NFL since December 2011.

Turning point
The Cowboys put together a 99-yard touchdown drive after Jones pinned them at the centimeter mark. It put them up 6-0 after Dan Bailey's missed extra point. That's all they needed. 

Key stat
Foles was 4 for 11 for 39 yards and an interception. He had a passer rating of 9.3.

He became the first Eagles quarterback to have a passer rating under 10 with at least 10 passing attempts in a game since Donovan McNabb in 2007. He's the second player in the NFL to do it this season, joining Matt Cassel.

Offensive stud
No, he wasn't great, but Nate Sudfeld made a few good plays, including a 22-yard scramble. Sports talk radio will be fun in Philly for the next two weeks.

Offensive dud
Foles was pretty terrible in his four first-quarter drives. Maybe the offense could have put up points if Torrey Smith doesn't drop a pass on third down on the first drive, but it's hard to say. Foles didn't gain any confidence Sunday afternoon.

Defensive stud
Vinny Curry was forced to play a lot Sunday because Brandon Graham was out. He played really well. He was a force against the run, even after most of the other starters were out.

Defensive dud
Rasul Douglas didn't have a great game (see rookie report). He had a particularly bad series on the Cowboys' scoring drive early in the fourth quarter. He was beaten on a 20-yard slant for the touchdown.

Sidney Jones watch
Jones played some significant time in his NFL debut and had an up and down day. He showed he can play tight coverage at times. He did let Ezekiel Elliott get wide on him for a first-down run and later was beaten by Terrence Williams on a sluggo route, but the pass fell incomplete.

Jones left briefly in the third quarter after cramping and didn't return, although he was listed as probable to return.

Key plays
• Dak Prescott hit Brice Butler for a 20-yard touchdown pass to break the scoreless tie in the fourth quarter. Douglas was beaten on the play. That capped a 99-yard touchdown drive. It was the only score of the game.

• Sudfeld scrambled for 22 yards on third down in the third quarter, but the Eagles' offense stalled. Then Jones drilled a perfect punt that went out inside the Cowboys' 1-yard line.

• On Sudfeld's second drive, the Eagles started in Dallas territory, but Mack Hollins dropped a pass on first down. Then came a short run and a sack. That was the Eagles' best chance to score in the first half.

• Foles threw a terrible interception about 2/3s through the first quarter. He just underthrew the pass terribly.

• The Eagles stuffed Elliott on fourth down on the Cowboys' first drive.

• On a key third down in the first quarter, Smith dropped a pass on third down when he was wide open. The fourth-down pass fell incomplete.

Graham (ankle) sat out Sunday's game. He should be good to go for the playoffs. Same with Jalen Mills (ankle).

Up next
It's playoff time at the Linc in two weeks.

Eagles' offense only scores poor grades

Eagles' offense only scores poor grades

Grading the Eagles' 6-0 loss Sunday afternoon over the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field (see breakdown):

Nick Foles: 4/11, 39 YDS, 1 INT

Foles wasn't quite as bad as the numbers suggest. His incompletions include a drop, being hit as he threw, a throwaway and a receiver falling down, none of which were the quarterback's fault. That being said, Foles fled a clean pocket then woefully underthrew his target on the pick and even fundamental actions like catching a shotgun snap cleanly continue to give the sixth-year veteran trouble. Not the confidence-builder the Eagles had hoped for. Nate Sudfeld actually outperformed Foles — though not by much — completing 19 of 23 for 134 yards, a 22-yard scramble and three sacks. It was nothing that will warrant inevitable talk of a quarterback controversy.

Grade: C

LeGarrette Blount: 9 ATT, 37 YDS

It's true what they say about volume backs — they get better as the game wears on. Blount got off to a slow start, as he has in recent weeks. Yet as the carries piled up, so too did his effectiveness. After carrying five times for 11 yards in the first quarter, he finished with 26 yards on his next four carries, plus an 11-yard reception. Wendell Smallwood carried four times for six yards and had three receptions for 24 yards in his first action since November.

Grade: B

Nelson Agholor: 3 TAR, 3 REC, 11 YDS

One might wonder how Foles' day might've turned out had Torrey Smith made a simple catch to convert on 3rd-and-7 on the Eagles' opening possession. Smith's drop caused a good-looking drive to stall at the Cowboys' 39-yard line, and the first-team offense never regained its rhythm. The good news is Alshon Jeffery caught a pass this week, going for eight yards. Mack Hollins and Marcus Johnson saw the bulk of the action after Jeffery and Co. exited, each catching three passes for 48 yards.

Grade: C+

Zach Ertz: 2 TAR, 2 REC, 24 YDS

At least Foles can reliably find Ertz, and the Pro Bowl tight end generally hangs on to the football. Brent Celek was targeted four times, finishing with three receptions for 13 yards.

Grade: B

Can't blame the guys up front for the offense's inability to consistently move the football (see Roob's observations). Whether it was the starters or the backups, there were running lanes, and there was protection. Eagles running backs averaged 2.7 yards per carry, though that is a bit deceiving, and at least three of the seven hits on the quarterbacks were a product of holding on to the football too long. An illegal block by Jason Kelce and a holding penalty against Halapoulivaati Vaitai were drive killers, but solid-albeit-unspectacular work otherwise from this unit.

Grade: B

Steven Means: 1 TKL, 1.0 SK, 2 QBH

Tons of credit to the defense, beginning with the guys up front. Brandon Graham, Tim Jernigan and Derek Barnett were all inactive, and Fletcher Cox only played the first series. Despite being without four regulars, the Eagles limited Ezekiel Elliott to 3.8 yards per carry. That begins up front. Chris Long led the charge with six tackles, as he and Vinny Curry played pretty much the entire game along with Means. This was very impressive under the circumstances.

Grade: A-

Najee Goode: 5 TKL, 2 TFL

Nice job by the linebackers, particularly Goode, who was all over the place. Dannell Ellerbe and Kamu Grugier-Hill each had four tackles as well, and rookie Nate Gerry nearly came up with an interception. Nothing particularly impactful, but with Nigel Bradham left inactive and Mychal Kendricks playing only sparingly, the unit got the job done.

Grade: A-

Sidney Jones: 2 TKL

Rough day for Rasul Douglas. The Cowboys really went after Douglas in the second half, finally beating the rookie corner for a 20-yard touchdown pass after he let the offense go down the field. Ronald Darby and Patrick Robinson each broke up a pass, and Jaylen Watkins racked up seven tackles. As for Jones' debut, he was OK. The second-round draft pick lost contain on a first-down run by Elliott and should've been burned for a long touchdown on a double move, but was bailed out by an overthrow. Otherwise, he did not look out of place at all in his first NFL game. As a unit, the secondary limited the Cowboys to a 56.7 completion percentage and 5.5 yards per attempt.

Grade: A-

Donnie Jones: 7 PUNTS, 42.7 AVG, 3 IN20

If you like punts, this game featured plenty of them. Jones was the Eagles' most valuable player. In what could not have been easy kicking conditions, he repeatedly kept the Cowboys in modest field position. Coverage units played were strong as well, and tested often on a cold day when Jake Elliott wasn't booming touchbacks. The lone issue was a muffed punt by Kenjon Barner, which he recovered, but at his own 3-yard line.

Grade: A-

Eagles' record: 13-3

A bit curious Doug Pederson would insist on playing the first-team offense, only to pull them after one quarter of bad football. Then again, one would imagine there wasn't a whole lot of preparation for a meaningless Week 17 game, so maybe there was no point in letting Foles and Co. keep banging their heads against the wall. Anyway, since this basically amounted to a preseason game for the Eagles, there really isn't anything to grade the coaching staff on. The key players all emerged from the contest healthy, which is all that matters.

Grade: N/A