Amari Cooper put together an all-time great performance against the Eagles on Sunday and has helped transform the Dallas Cowboys’ offense.
Golden Tate could barely get on the field.
In the biggest game of the season, more than a month after he joined the team, Tate played just 38 percent of the Eagles’ offensive snaps.
That’s unacceptable for a lot of reasons.
In the wake of the Eagles’ 29-23 crushing loss in overtime at AT&T Stadium, it’s almost impossible to avoid the comparison. At the time, when the Cowboys traded a first-round pick for Cooper, a lot of us laughed at them. And then many of us in Philly were seemingly on board when the Eagles shipped a third-round pick for eight games of Tate.
Look at Cooper’s stats from Sunday: He played 90 snaps and had 10 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns.
Tate played just 20 snaps. He had one catch for seven yards. He was targeted just three times.
Cooper had more yards and touchdowns Sunday afternoon than Tate has in five games (189 yards, 1 touchdown) since he joined the Eagles at the trade deadline on Oct. 30.
Really, the inability for Tate to get involved in the Eagles’ offense falls directly on their offensive coaching staff. Howie Roseman handed them one of the most productive receivers over the last half decade and they haven’t been able to use him properly. In Dallas, they got Cooper and he has already had two monster games and looks like a Pro Bowl player, even in a new offense.
The hardest part to swallow about Tate’s ineffectiveness and misuse Sunday was that he finally had a big impact the previous week. Against Washington, he had seven catches for 85 yards and a touchdown. It looked like the Eagles had finally figured out how to use him, they were turning a corner. It looked like they were finally going to at least make that trade a little more worth it.
And then one catch for seven yards. His worst game since October 2016 when he had one catch for one yard. During the last few seasons, Tate consistently produced every Sunday. And now the Eagles have no idea how to use him. The Eagles on Sunday prioritized using 12 personnel to get Dallas Goedert on the field and that worked, but keeping Tate on the bench is just unacceptable.
Maybe you can look at Tate and think at 30 years old maybe he just isn’t the same player anymore. But exactly a month before the Eagles traded for him, he had a game with eight catches, 132 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions obviously knew how to use him.
Roseman had to be pulling his hair out watching this Sunday. He parted with a third-round pick to get Tate and to show the front office still had faith in the Eagles when they were 4-4. Well, the trade looks awful now and the Eagles’ playoff hopes are dwindling.
I was on board with the trade when Roseman pulled the trigger in late October, but back then I had faith that the Eagles’ coaches were going to be able to figure out how to make it work. They haven’t. And because of that, this trade looks worse by the minute.
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