Photo courtesy of AP/Matt Rourke
To say that game was ugly is probably an understatement. Sam Bradford and the Eagles offense struggled mightily in a 20-10 loss against bitter rival Dallas. This in fact, could be one of the worst offensive performances for the Eagles in recent memory. Bradford finished the day 23 of 37 for 224 yards, 2 picks and a garbage time TD late in the 4th quarter. The running game, was a non factor. The team could only muster 7 yards on just 17 attempts. In fact Sam Bradford led the team in rushing yards with 9 yards.
The Dallas offense wasn’t much better as they too struggled not finding the end zone until mid-way through the 4th quarter when Terrance Williams cleanly beat Byron Maxwell en route to a 42 yard TD, which all but sealed the victory for the Cowboys. After settling for just field goals in the first half the Cowboys broke through when Kyle Wilbur returned a blocked punt for a touchdown, increasing their lead to 13-0.
Overall there are very few positives for the Eagles to take away from this game. The offensive line looked completely out of sorts and failed to open up any holes for Murray and the other Eagle running backs. Receivers were dropping passes and Sam Bradford couldn’t find any sort of rhythm, making terrible decisions, missing throws. It is clear the Eagles need to improve their communication. The offensive has no continuity, and Sam Bradford did not seem to be on the same page as his receivers. Demarco Murray was clearly frustrated, several times being seen trying to pump up his teammates on the sideline. The only time Murray, or any of the running backs, were effective was in the screen game.
The Eagles defense may be a slight positive to take away. They did the best they could for most of the game making big stops, including two goal line stands and kept the Cowboys offense out of the end zone until the fourth quarter. Byron Maxwell seemed to look a little better, but still clearly struggled at times.
The struggles both teams dealt with offensively are not even the biggest story from the game, the injuries are. Eagles LB’s Kiko Alonso (knee) and Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) both left the game in the first half and did not return. The Alonso injury is obviously a huge concern for the Eagles as he missed all of last season with a torn ACL in the same knee. The biggest injury suffered in the game, however, was that to Tony Romo. The Dallas star QB left the game in the third quarter after being driven hard into the ground by linebacker Jordan Hicks on a sack fumble. It was later determined that he suffered a fractured clavicle. He joins Dez Bryant on the list of key long term injuries to Dallas players.
The Eagles travel to the Meadowlands next week where they will face off against the Jets stout defense. The Eagles will have to find away to get their offense going or we may be in for a long season.