Eagles

The complete timeline of Carson Wentz vs. Dak Prescott

The complete timeline of Carson Wentz vs. Dak Prescott

Dak or Wentz? Ask that question in these parts and It’ll be near-unanimous for the big kid from North Dakota, Carson Wentz. But down in Dallas? You’d simply get Dakota, as in Rayne Dakota “Dak” Prescott. Sunday marks the seventh time the two quarterbacks from the class of 2016 will square off against one another. Here’s a look back at each matchup. 

Oct. 30, 2016: Cowboys 29, Eagles 23 (OT)

Two rookie quarterbacks taking the league by storm squared off for the first time under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football. Carson and company led 23-13 early in the fourth quarter when Doug Pederson called on another rookie, Wendell Smallwood, to get his first (and only) carry of the game. Smallwood promptly fumbled and Dallas recovered, igniting the Cowboys' comeback. Dak threw a game-tying touchdown to Dez Bryant, then took the ball in overtime and marched Dallas down the field, finding Jason Witten for a 5-yard score to end it. The loss sent the Eagles’ season into a tailspin, as they lost six of their next seven games. 

Jan. 1, 2017: Eagles 27, Cowboys 13

The two teams closed out the regular season and rang in the New Year in South Philly. Wentz secured his first win over Dallas but Dak played just two series as the 13-win Cowboys rested their starters ahead of the playoffs. Dak was relieved by Tony Romo, who was then relieved by Mark Sanchez. Meanwhile, we got a look at just how special the Wentz-to-Zach Ertz connection would become, as the tight end hauled in 13 grabs for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Bonus points to anyone not named Reuben Frank who can name the Eagle that scored the final touchdown that day (answer later).

Nov. 19, 2017: Eagles 37, Cowboys 9

Judging by the final score, you wouldn’t know the Eagles actually trailed 9-7 at halftime before scoring 30 unanswered points in the second half. Without the suspended Ezekiel Elliott, Dak posted a 30.4 passer rating and turned the ball over three times in one of his worst career performances. The “Wentz Wagon” got rolling in the second half, leading touchdown drives on the Eagles' first three possessions. It moved the Birds to 9-1 on the season en route to a Super Bowl LII title.

Wentz, of course, missed the week 17 matchup, which the Cowboys won 7-0 in a game that deserves no further words. 

Nov. 11, 2018: Cowboys 27, Eagles 20

The Cowboys came to the Linc just about left for dead at 3-5 on the season. But the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles were unable to bury their rivals. An early interception by Wentz put the Birds in a hole before they rallied in the second half. Trailing by seven with under 5:00 to play, Wentz moved the ball into Dallas territory twice, but couldn’t come up with the tying score, turning the ball over on downs once and then seeing the game clock expire as they failed to lateral their way into the endzone.

Dak threw a pair of TDs, including one to Elliott, who totaled 187 yards from scrimmage and a pair of scores. It was just the second game Amari Cooper (75 yards receiving) played for the Cowboys and it was the Eagles debut of Golden Tate (19 yards receiving).

Dec. 9, 2018: Cowboys 29, Eagles 23 (OT)

The same exact score and the same exact overtime script as the first ever meeting between the two QBs. Wentz watched helplessly from the sidelines once again as Dallas won the coin toss (Dak knew to say “receive” back then) and drove down the field for the win in OT. Rasul Douglas nearly broke up the game-winning TD, but the ball deflected perfectly to Cooper, who walked into the endzone for his third score of the day. Dak racked up 455 yards through the air with 217 of those going to Cooper. As has become the norm for the Eagles of late, Wentz weathered a miserable first half to rally the Birds. His final pass of the game was a touchdown to Darren Sproles that tied the score at 23 with under two minutes to play. Wentz never touched the ball again that day or that season. He was shut down with a back fracture the following week. 

Oct. 20, 2019: Cowboys 37, Eagles 10

One of the most lopsided losses of Carson’s career. The Eagles did themselves no favors, fumbling on their first two possessions and falling behind 14-0 down in Big D. Wentz turned the ball over three times in total as the 'Boys took sole possession of first place. This game might be most remembered for Nelson Agholor’s effort on a deep ball in the second half. Wentz said afterwards he thought it was a touchdown when it left his hands, but Agholor never extended his arms to haul it in. Dak accounted for one touchdown through the air and one on the ground. Elliott once again ran roughshod over the Eagles' D, racking up 111 yards and a TD. That game is the reason the Cowboys currently hold the tiebreaker over the Eagles. 

Dak holds a 4-2 series edge, but a win Sunday would put Wentz in the driver’s seat for the division crown. 

By the way, it was Terrell Watson who scored the final TD on January 1, 2017 for the Eagles. It was the only game he ever played in midnight green.

Mike Mulhern is the producer of Eagles Pregame and Postgame Live.

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The top 10 worst performances ever by Eagles RBs

The top 10 worst performances ever by Eagles RBs

Even the best running backs have really bad days. So do the really bad ones!

Yesterday, we counted down the 10 greatest performances in Eagles history by running backs. Today, we celebrate the 10 worst!

Usual rule applies: No back can be listed more than once. Why? Nobody wants to read about 10 Michael Haddix games! 

1. Steve Van Buren, vs. Browns, Dec. 3, 1950 
The game:
Browns 13, Eagles 7, Cleveland Municipal Stadium
The stats: 10 carries, minus-2 yards
The story: Even Hall of Famers have bad games, and Van Buren had the worst game of his career against the Browns, who a few weeks later won the NFL Championship. Van Buren finished his career with a 4.4 rushing average. Without this game, he would have been at 4.5. The only game in Eagles history where a back had 10 or more carries and negative yards. And the 3rd-worst rushing performance ever by a Hall of Fame running back.

2. Ricky Watters, Sept. 3, 1995, vs. Buccaneers
The game:
Buccaneers 21, Eagles 6, Veterans Stadium
The stats: 17 carries, 37 yards, 2 fumbles
The story: The stats were bad enough, but what made this such a disaster for Ricky in his first game as an Eagle was his notorious explanation for a lack of effort on two late but catchable passes from Randall Cunningham: “Hey, I’m not going to trip up there and get knocked out. For who? For what?” Ricky apologized the next day and went on to have three straight Pro Bowl seasons. But he never did shake the “For Who, for What” tag.

3. Al Pollard, Oct. 19, 1952, vs. Browns
The game:
Browns 49, Eagles 7, Shibe Park
The stats: 5 carries, minus-11 yards
The story: Poor Al Pollard. It’s not easy to average negative 2.2 yards per carry. That’s the fewest yards in Eagles history on five or more carries and 11th-worst in NFL history by a non-quarterback. That one game drops Pollard’s career rushing average from 3.7 to 3.4.

4. Keith Byars, Oct. 26, 1986, vs. Chargers
The game: 
Eagles 23, Chargers 7, Veterans Stadium
The stats: 10 carries, 0 yards, 1 TD
The story: Here’s what Byars’ day looked like in order: +2, -3, -2, +7, +1, 0, -1, -3, -3, +2TD. He’s one of only three players in NFL history – and the only one in the last 65 years – with 10 or more carries, zero or fewer yards and a rushing TD. Byars’ 0 yards is the second-fewest in Eagles history on double-digit carries, two more than Van Buren against the Browns in 1952.

5. DeMarco Murray, Sept. 20, 2015, vs. Cowboys 
The game:
Cowboys 20, Eagles 10, Lincoln Financial Field
The stats: 13 carries, 2 yards
The story: A year earlier, Murray was a 1st-team all-pro and led the NFL in rushing for the Cowboys. But against his former team, he averaged 5.5 inches per carry (although he did catch 5 passes for 53 yards). His 2 yards are the fewest in franchise history on 13 or more carries and 9th-fewest in NFL history. It’s the worst rushing performance ever by a defending NFL rushing champion.

6. LeSean McCoy, Sept. 21, 2014, vs. Redskins
The game:
Eagles 37, Redskins 34, Lincoln Financial Field
The stats: 19 carries, 22 yards
The story: McCoy’s average of 1.16 yards is 5th-lowest in NFL history on 19 or more carries. In the second half, Shady had 14 carries for 11 yards, and in the 4th quarter he was 6-for-4 rushing. McCoy averaged 4.2 yards per carry that year. Without that game, it would have been 4.4. 

7. Michael Haddix, Sept. 22, 1985, vs. Redskins
The game:
Eagles 19, Redskins 6, RFK Stadium
The stats: 14-for-20 rushing, 1 catch, minus-3 yards
The story: Haddix had 38 career games with an average of 2.5 or worse. During his career – from 1983 through 1990 – only one running back (Tony Paige) had more (40). But his performance against the Redskins in 1985 was historic. His 1.4 rushing average is 3rd-worst in Eagles history on a minimum of 14 carries. But factor in his negative-3 receiving yards and you have 15 touches for 17 yards. That’s the 2nd-fewest scrimmage yards in Eagles history on at least 15 touches (read below for the only worse game). He’s one of only eight players in NFL history to average 1.4 yards per game or worse and have minus-3 receiving yards in the same game!

8. Bryce Brown, Dec. 9, 2012, vs. Buccaneers
The game:
Eagles 23, Buccaneers 21, Raymond James Stadium
The stats: 12 carries for 6 yards
The story: This is called coming back down to Earth. In the previous two games, filling in for injured LeSean McCoy, the rookie 7th-round pick rushed 43 times for 347 yards and four TDs. Needless to say it’s the worst performance in NFL history by a back coming off consecutive 165-yard performances. The 4th-lowest rushing average in Eagles history on 12 or more carries.

9. Heath Sherman, Oct. 6, 1991, vs. Buccaneers
The game:
Buccaneers 14, Eagles 13, Tampa Stadium
The stats: 35 carries, 89 yards
The story: When you have Brad Goebel at QB, you have to try to run the ball, and Rich Kotite tried and tried and tried and tried. The Bucs stacked the box, Heath Sherman kept pounding and he never got anywhere. Sherman’s 89 yards are 3rd-fewest in NFL history on 35 or more carries. Best part about it is that we blasted Kotite for giving Sherman 35 carries and Keith Byars and Robert Drummond a combined three carries. So the next week Heath goes 7-for-29 in a loss to the Saints and we ask Kotite why he didn’t get more carries, and Kotite flips out: “Last week it was too many carries, now it’s not enough carries! It’s ABSURD! It’s ABSURD!” 

10. Wilbert Montgomery, Dec. 24, 1978, vs. Falcons
The game:
Falcons 14, Eagles 13 [wild-card game]
The stats: 16 carries, 19 yards, 1 TD, 1 catch, minus-5 yards
The story: Two years later, Montgomery would have one of the greatest games in NFL postseason history. But in the grim loss to the Falcons – that’s the one Mike Michel’s missed PAT cost the Eagles at least overtime – Montgomery had one of the worst games in NFL playoff history. His 19 yards are 3rd-fewest in NFL postseason history on 15 or more carries and his 14 scrimmage yards are the fewest in NFL postseason history and 3rd-fewest in NFL history in any game on at least 17 touches. 

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Emmanuel Acho gives epic defense of Doug Pederson

Emmanuel Acho gives epic defense of Doug Pederson

In a recent CBS Sports’ ranking of the top 10 head coaches in the NFL, Doug Pederson came in ninth. Ninth!

He was behind guys like Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay and Eagles fans weren’t very happy about it. 

After all, this is a head coach who has led the Eagles to three consecutive playoff berths despite staggering injuries. And in 2017, he led them to the franchise’s first Super Bowl win despite injuries to several key players, including Carson Wentz, who was likely the league’s MVP. 

But he was still ninth on this list and former Eagle Emmanuel Acho was having none of that on FS1’s Speak for Yourself. 

Most of the things Acho says in the video are things Eagles fans already know about. But they are things that he wanted FS1’s national audience to realize. Pederson really is one of the best coaches in the NFL and he deserves to have his name closer to the top of the list. 

Acho played for the Eagles from 2013-15, so he never played under Pederson. He spent his entire Eagles career with Chip Kelly as his coach. 

But there are still many players on the Eagles’ roster who were his teammates back then, so he has probably heard plenty of great things about Pederson. One of the most impressive parts about Pederson’s time as head coach is the total buy-in he gets from his players. His guys fight for him. 

That’s a big reason why he has been able to rally teams that have been decimated by injuries. No one wants to let Pederson down. In that respect, he’s an awful lot like Andy Reid.

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