Cowboys @ Eagles 1st Half Live Blog

Cowboys @ Eagles 1st Half Live Blog

Earlier today I get a text message from friend and long time Level reader Sid who was tailgating all day.  It included this picture of none other than the Andy Reid impersonator, Stevey A.  Not gonna lie, it made us entirely jealous that we weren't down in the lots all day with our fellow Eagles fans.  Instead, we're going to sit back and watch this one from the couch and post some thoughts as they happen.

Kick off in about 30 minutes.  Follow along after the jump.

Pregame: The Eagles wear green.  Apparently, NBC cares about the environment.

So I guess turning the lights out means you're being nice to the environment???   And when you're operating like normal -- you know, with the lights on -- your just killing baby seals.

Here's my drinking game for the night.  Take a shot every time you hear one of Andy's kids mentioned, ever time you see the Liberty Bell or a shot of the skyline, or one of the announcers talk about Owens/McNabb BS.  Double shot if T.O. does a good TD dance.

Yes! Jim Johnson uses Rocky to inspire the Eagles defense.

Loyal commenter Gootman writes in with our first breaking news, "Tony Romo is queer.  More thoughts to come..."

1st Quarter

Alright, first play from scrimage... let's see if the Eagles can get Bri... Jesus! Donovan McNabb fumble.  Great start Eagles!

Tony Romo finds T.O. right in the middle of the field.  Terrell Owens proceeds to stroll down to the 10 yard line on a speedy RAC.  Thunderlips brings up a good point in the comments, can't the Eagles come up with a different movie to use to motivate themselves, like maybe The Mighty Ducks or something?

And just like that it's 7-0 Dallas.  When does Curb Your Enthusiasm start?

Some football commentary: could the Eagles return game do any less?  I think Reno Mahe may have had one return this season that was like, "oooh, not bad."  Other than that our return game provides zero.  Nada.

Reggie Brown gets the Eagles a first on a nice route, Brian Westbrook runs for another... and the Eagles cheerleaders are there, showing off their, uh, their pink pom-poms for breast cancer awareness.

Reggie Brown with another nice route and a great RAC down to about the two yard line.  Madden seems to think this Jacques Reeves guy couldn't play in your flag football league.  TOUCHDOWN BWEST!  7-7

Commercial analysis: Ha!  In a new commercial, Samsung says it's new JUKE phone is "leading the music phone revolution." LOL! Ha!  And then an iPhone iPod touch commercial that kicks ass is aired about a minute later.  The iPhone ad was actually created by a fan.

Okay, back to football: Terrell Owens is pretty good and Tony Romo -- on a broken play -- dumps a ball to Barber that simply kills the Eagles.  Nice play by Romo there.  And damn, he dumps it to Barber again on the next play.  The D-Line is getting pressure, but Romo is simply making plays.

Romo hits Tony Curtis in the endzone to put Dallas up 14-7.  A couple tough bounces for the D on that drive, but Romo looked sharp.  Never heard of this Tony Curtis guy... Kevin's cousin?

START OF THE 2nd QUARTER: Dallas 14 Eagles 7

Phew, more Rocky music.  I don't know what I would do if the world didn't remind us that Rocky was from Philadelphia every time we play on national television.

Random thought: If Terrell Owens was a mute, he would have made an amazing Eagle for a number of years.

Madden paraphrased: "Donovan doesn't throw a lot of interceptions because he throws horrible passes in the dirt a lot." Not bad, John, not bad.  Eagles can't get much going on this drive and look pretty bad.  Rocca punts a nice one that puts the 'Girls inside their own 10.

Romo gets a first down to Owens and then another to Barber.  May have to send Gocong for Romo's knees or something at this point.  Damnit, on another 3rd and 6, Romo finds Owens again.  Ugh.

Thinking about naming my first child Flozell.  And the Eagles finally stop the 'Girls on a third down.  Bout time.

Eagles take over with 7:49 left on their own 19. 

BOOOOOOYAH!  Jim Cramer is there and is a big Eagles fan.

And the Eagles, with 2nd and 2, can't get a first down.  WTF.

Tony Romo, as my dad would say, has enough time to make a sandwich back there.  Lot's of protection.

YES! Eagles get a pick.  Lito Sheppard reads a Tony Romo pass and takes it right out of the Cowboys hands.  That could be a huge play, keeping the game at least within one score going into the half.  Especially since the 'Boys are getting the ball in the second half.

And Donovan gives the ball back to the Cowboys deep in the Birds territory.  Five hasn't looked impressive this evening.

Things are looking bleak for the Birds as the Cowboys punch in another TD on the shoulders of Marion Barber. 21-7 Dallas.

And that's how the first half ends.  Donovan McNabb and company trot to the locker room with their tail between their legs.

Click here for our thoughts on the second half.

Phillies respond to Mackanin's verbal spanking, beat Reds on Joseph's walk-off

Phillies respond to Mackanin's verbal spanking, beat Reds on Joseph's walk-off

BOX SCORE

It's too early to tell if the worm has turned for the Phillies, but this was certainly a step in the right direction.

The Phils, who entered the day with the worst record in the majors, pulled off a 4-3, walk-off win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday (see Instant Replay). The Phils won it on a hit by Tommy Joseph after Aaron Altherr made a heads-up baserunning play to advance to second on a wild pitch that bounced just a few feet away from Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart.

The win was just the Phillies' sixth in the last 27 games — inching them out baseball's basement — but it was their second in the last three and both of them have been walk-off specials with Joseph delivering the winning run with a single up the middle.

"Works for me," Joseph said of his recent penchant for walk-off hits.

Works for manager Pete Mackanin, too.

On Saturday night, the Phils were beaten, 5-2, by the Reds. The Phils were held to one hit and no runs over the first eight innings by a pitcher (Tim Adleman) with an ERA of over 6.00 and after the game, Mackanin called a team meeting. The skipper was tight-lipped about the meeting, but sources say he gave the lads a verbal spanking that belied his mild-mannered personality.

Time will tell if the meeting creates lasting impact and the intensity Mackanin would like to see, but he saw a response Saturday.

"I'd like to think it did (have an impact)," Mackanin said. "I was hoping they would. They played well. They put together a few hits. The home runs were nice to see, but I would like to see us bunch four or five base hits."

For the record, Joseph did not think the meeting had a huge impact on the team. He believes the Phils are better than they have shown and did not need a manager's scolding to play better.

"No, no," he said when asked if the meeting led to more intensity. "We know what we're capable of. We have a great team in here. It's a matter of playing great as a team. We were able to show that today."

There were a lot of contributors in this win.

Cesar Hernandez, Michael Saunders and Joseph all smacked solo homers off 40-year old Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo.

Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff was not at his best, but he did manage to stop the bleeding after allowing a two-run homer in the first. He pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up only one more run before handing a tie game off to the bullpen.

That bullpen was outstanding, running its scoreless streak to 19 2/3 innings. Edubray Ramos, Pat Neshek, Joaquin Benoit and Hector Neris combined on 3 2/3 scoreless innings to keep the game tied until Joseph could work his walk-off magic in the ninth.

But that magic started when Aaron Altherr led off the bottom of the ninth with a single off Michael Lorenzen and alertly took second on an 0-2 wild pitch that didn't bounce very far away from Barnhart. Altherr's getting into scoring position for Joseph was huge.

"Tommy Joseph has been coming up big in big situations and coming through for us," Mackanin said. "That wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Altherr coming up and advancing on that ball in the dirt. So it's a good day.

"Maybe I should have a meeting every night."

After batting just .179 with one homer and seven RBIs in April, Joseph has hit .321 (25 for 78) with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 24 games this month. He is the first Phillie with two walk-off hits in a three-game span since Juan Samuel in June 1985 and first in the majors since Starlin Castro, then of the Cubs, did it in June 2015.

"If he continues like this, he’s going to have a heck of a good year and help us win a lot of games," Mackanin said.

Joseph nearly had his career ended by a series of concussions. A month-long slump was nothing he couldn't handle.

"At the beginning of April, I didn't think I'd have an April like I did," he said. "So it was just a matter of making adjustments with (hitting coach) Matt Stairs, making sure that we stay a little more consistent with what's going on, and it's all about really sticking to the adjustments that we make."

The Phillies have not won two games in a row in exactly a month — since April 26-27.

Can they do it Sunday?

Is the worm turning for this team?

Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Reds 3

Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Reds 3

BOX SCORE

The Phillies rallied for a 4-3 walk-off win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

Tommy Joseph won it with a single up the middle with no outs in the bottom of the ninth. The hit scored Aaron Altherr, who had singled and moved to second on a wild pitch.

The Phils have won just six of their last 27 games. Joseph has had a walk-off, game-winning hit in the last two wins.

In addition to Joseph, who also homered, the star of the game was the Phillies' bullpen. Four Phils' relievers combined on 3 2/3 scoreless innings after starter Jerad Eickhoff exited. The Phillies' bullpen is riding a 19 2/3-innings scoreless streak.

Starting pitching report
Eickhoff allowed eight hits and three runs over 5 1/3 innings. He gave up a bunt hit and a two-run homer to the first two batters of the game but took a 3-2 lead into the sixth inning. He allowed a leadoff single and a one-out RBI double in that inning as the Reds tied the game at 3-3.

Veteran Bronson Arroyo, back in action at age 40 after recovering from surgery the last two seasons, gave up three runs — all on solo homers — over five innings.

Bullpen report
Good work by Edubray Ramos to get two outs in the sixth to strand a runner in scoring position and preserve a 3-3 tie. Pat Neshek, Joaquin Benoit and Hector Neris each followed with a scoreless inning. Neris struck out dangerous Joey Votto on a splitter with a man on base to end the top of the ninth. He got the win.

Austin Brice pitched two scoreless innings for the Reds. Michael Lorenzen took the loss. He gave up two hits in the ninth. Joseph's game-winning hit came on a 97 mph heater.

At the plate
Cesar Hernandez, Michael Saunders and Joseph all clouted solo homers for the Phillies. Joseph has six homers in his last 21 games.

Zack Cozart smacked a two-run homer against Eickhoff in the first inning. The Reds tied the game on a one-out double by Scooter Gennett in the sixth.

Remembering Bunning
Jim Bunning died Friday night. Larry Bowa recalled the impact that the Hall of Famer had on his career (see story).

Up next
The series concludes Sunday afternoon. Zach Eflin (0-2, 5.36) and Scott Feldman (3-4, 3.99) are the pitchers.