Eagles vs. Cowboys: Quick Reactions From Week 17 Loss

Written By Bob Cunningham On Sunday, January 02, 2011

Kevin Kolb likely played his last game as an Eagle.

-- Kevin Kolb looked lost and panicky. He should be given the benefit of the doubt since he was playing with backups, but they didn't cause him to throw three interceptions and literally fumble away the win. I don't foresee this performance hurting his trade stock too much, but it certainly won't help it.

-- Jerome Harrison carried the running game with 21 carries and finished just one yard shy of his second 100-yard rushing game of the year. I've been yelling for him to receive more carries, and he showed against the Cowboys that even behind a line full of backups he can get the job done. If Andy Reid will allow it, he could be a weapon in the playoffs.

-- Same thing can be said for Owen Schmitt every week. The guy is just a player who will do everything and anything it takes to win. Hard not to love him.

-- How about Chad Hall? He's a guy you can't help but root for, and seeing him haul in his first career touchdown was gratifying. The guy could very easily be the Eagles' version of Danny Woodhead and, like Harrison, could be a secret weapon in the playoffs.

-- Riley Cooper and Jason Avant combined for two receptions for 26 yards. Hard to tell if it was them or Kolb, but that's less than impressive.

-- Clay Harbor is going to be sick for a couple days. He dropped a wide open pass that would have netted the Eagles' offense a huge gain, and seemed to take a step back in pass protection. But with that said, he has clearly taken huge steps forward from being inactive for most of the first half of the season.

-- Austin Howard was just bad. I mean really, really bad. He was relying on his height all game to get a hand on DeMarcus Ware. He wasn't moving his feet, he was overextending himself, and he just looked lost. Not to jump the gun, but Howard's future might be at right tackle or even inside as a guard.

-- Overall, the interior of the line (Reggie Wells, Mike McGlynn, and Nick Cole) did a pretty decent job. Cole had his usual lazy plays where he stopped his feet and got Kolb knocked around a little bit, but I thought Wells and McGlynn did a good job on the inside blitz and of containing Jay Ratliff.

-- King Dunlap continues to prove he's a reliable backup. However, he must learn to stop dropping his hands to his sides and giving the defender that split-second advantage. He's good enough to make up for it, but he constantly puts himself at a disadvantage with poor technique.

-- Reid and Marty Mornhinweg called a safe game, but still passed way too much. Kolb dropped back more than 40 times as opposed to about 25 called run plays. Kolb is a guy who needs more support than that, especially after sitting the bench for about two months.

-- Although he failed to record a sack, Darryl Tapp had his best game of the season. He got a steady pass rush and did a good job of taking on blockers and making a play in run support. He has been a huge disappointment all season, but to see him take a big step in the regular season finale should bode well for the playoffs.

-- Likewise, Brodrick Bunkley was stout against the run. Even while getting double-teamed on a couple occasions he held his ground and forced the run plays to the outside.

-- Don't be surprised if Jeremy Clark is inactive next week. He had a couple shining moments, but he was getting knocked back into linebackers far too often. He wasn't terrible, but he's not going to see playing time over Antonio Dixon, Mike Patterson, Bunkley, or Trevor Laws.

-- Was it really worth cutting Derrick Burgess for Bobby McCray?

-- Third-round pick Daniel Te'o-Nesheim recorded his first NFL sack, but considering how non-existent he's been all season it's difficult to get excited for him.

-- I'm still having a hard time deciding if Keenan Clayton is truly linebacker material. He's very athletic, but just doesn't seem to have the aggressive attitude a linebacker needs. The team's best bet might be to work him as a safety and work on his hands so he doesn't drop another pick-six.

-- A solid 10 tackles for Omar Gaither says to me what I've been thinking all season; the guy has been underutilized. Word is he got in the Eagles' doghouse when he turned down a contract extension, but he's been solid since day one and should see more time than he has.

-- Moise Fokou and Akeem Jordan seem like the same player to me. I don't see the extra physicality out of Fokou that everyone talks about, and might even give a slight edge to Jordan because he seems to read plays better. But still, Fokou remains the favorite for reasons I'm simply not seeing.

-- Everyone was too hard on Dimitri Patterson. He came in and played well right away, so the bar was set too high for him. He struggled against the Giants and got benched against the Vikings for a stupid penalty, but the guy proved against the Cowboys that he's an instinctive player who belongs on the field.

-- Jamar Adams and Colt Anderson appear to be guys who are on the border of being legitimate backups. Anderson missed a couple tackles, but Adams always seemed to be hitting his guy right as the ball was arriving and looks like he's one of the few guys who knows how to play in a zone coverage. Adams is a guy I'd definitely like to see more of in the offseason.

-- I like Trevard Lindley. He's made rookie mistakes throughout the season, but he's a smart player and he's not afraid to get physical with receivers bigger than him. He's a very good option as the fourth corner right now, and could be a lot more than that as he progresses.

-- Brandon Hughes might be a player, as well. Stay tuned on that guy.

-- Why does Sean McDermott not attack like that with the starters? I'm a fan of the blitz so there still wasn't enough for my liking, but he was much more aggressive and it paid off. Now if he would just stop playing man coverage in the red zone maybe the defense could get somewhere.

-- Gerard Lawson did a decent job returning kicks as he averaged 24 yards per return. David Akers and Sav Rocca, as his been the norm this season, did a good job as well.

-- The Eagles finish the 2010-2011 regular season with a 10-6 record, an NFC East division crown, and the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. They will play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, January 9th in the Wild Card round at 4:30PMEST. If they win, they will play the Chicago Bears the following week.

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