The Philadelphia Eagles came out of the gates like they never left the Meadowlands
last week and just sleep-walked through the first 40 or so minutes. The defense then
started to make some big plays and the offense led by McNabb finally awoke from it's
dormant state for the better part of the last 3 games. Brandon Whiting had a huge game
making 8 tackles and adding 2 sacks as he played end for most part as Mike Mamula has been
playing injured lately. Hugh Douglas had another sack to add to his now 13 NFL leading
total. Dallas came out stuffing the ball down the Eagles throat just like old times.
But Randall and the 'Boys could not put away the lifeless Birds. He led a nice drive
down the field during the first quarter only to be intercepted by Brian Dawkins in the
endzone. The Eagles defense pummeled Randall more often than not. They sacked him 3 times
and got many more hits in on him. One in particular almost knocked him out of the game
during play in the 4th quarter when Carlos Emmons unloaded a hit dead on. The smack knocked
Randall back 5 feet in the air. Emmitt and company though gained over 200 yards on the ground.
In the past, this would have doomed the Birds. Not this time. Not this season. No no more!
Randall Cunningham played in his first game in Philly since leaving the team in 1995.
His last game at the Vet, featured Randall mopping up for the team in a 59-37 rout in
a wildcard game versus the Lions. The fans of the Vet booed and cheered Randall as he
was announced before a 65,000+ sellout crowd. Signman also posted a big sign shown to
America which read, "Randall, The False Hope". I personally don't think he deserves
the rap for why the Eagles did not win a playoff game until Rich Kotite took over.
But Randall is not the same old Randall anymore in Dallas. He only completed 14 passes
on 22 attempts for a measley 109 yards and 1 INT. Not a very productive day and he seemed
confused and scared throughout the afternoon as the Eagles D constantly pressured him
to throw the ball before he was set. On the other side of the ball, Donovan McNabb seemed
to be trying too hard early on as he threw 3 INT's on the day. When it mattered most,
Donovan made the big play. He finished the day 23 of 41 and 228 yards and rushing for 58
yards. He led the team on two late 4th quarter drives to set up a game-tying TD and FG.
After the game, Randall said it was like seeing double-vision as McNabb ran down the
field just like he did when he was an Eagle. He also went up to him to praise his play and
gave Donovan some comforting thoughts as Donovan took in everything Randall said. It was
afterall, Donovan growing up idolizing Cunningham as he led the Eagles in the 80s and 90s.
The wideouts were not much of a factor all day as McNabb completed 4 total passes to the receivers.
Chad Lewis who leads the NFL in recptions for a TE was not a factor until OT when he caught
3 passes, 2 on 3rd down. The big offensive weapon was Darnell Autry as he caught a 23 yard pass
for a TD and caught the 22 yard pass in OT to setup the game winning FG. In the end, the
Eagles outgained the Cowboys 357 to 295 with time of possession virtually deadlocked.
The Eagles special teams prove to be the biggest difference as David Akers kicked 3 FG's
on the day. Sean Ladetta also had a big game as he averaged 44.3 yards on 6 punts. It should
be noted that the Cowboys shot themselves in the foot as they committed 12 penalties for
97 yards with many of the penalties coming in crucial situations. But beyond all the stats,
the Eagles are in the playoff hunt and with the remaining schedule, should finish
no less than 9-7 on the year. They are currently tied for second with the 'Skins and also
tied for the last wildcard spot too. But they also are only a 1/2 game back behind the Saints
who they already beat and have the advantage of a last place schedule. The Saints still
play Denver, Oakland and the Rams twice. So if the Eagles beat Washington in a few weeks down
at Fed-Ex Field, they could be looking to host a wildcard game on New Year's Eve down at the Vet.
ONE FINAL NOTE: Dallas lost another receiver (3rd in two years) to the now infamous Vet turf.
Afterwards, Emmitt Smith said by far that Philly's turf is the worse in the whole NFL. He said
it was worse than playing in mud. In fact he said, he rather play in mud. The past week, the NFL
Players Association is going to sue Mayor Street and the City of Philadelphia for the condion
of the turf. Hey Mayor Street, get into the game and get the damn deal down to let the Eagles
build their new stadium. Enough is enough. WE NEED A NEW STADIUM!!! PERIOD!!! Way to go, Emmitt...