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What happened to the Eagles' big plays?
Nick Foles' third-quarter pass to Jason Avant in the end zone nearly wound up in an Eagles' touchdown, and a Cowboys' interception, and then ultimately neither. (USA Today Images)
It was the closest the Eagles came to scoring a touchdown all day.
Third quarter, 2:14 left, Eagles down 10-0.
Jason Avant was wide open on the left side of the end zone. Nick Foles threw it to him, but it was -- not surprisingly the way things went for Foles (see story) -- underthrown.
Still, we've seen Avant make crazy catches before, and this one, while certainly tough, looked like a routine sliding catch. Avant slid his hands under the ball, which landed in them -- and then suddenly popped five or so feet in the air and into the hands of Cowboys safety J.J. Wilcox.
From a TD to an INT in a second.
Fortunately for the Eagles, the ball also made contact with the ground, and after further review the pass was ruled incomplete.
"I ran a move and got free from my man, and when I saw the ball come out, I saw that it was low, and my first reaction was to try to get to it the best I can before it hit the ground," Avant said. "So I was trying to place my hand under it so I can pop the ball up to myself and secure the catch.
"I'm always trying to make that play to get my hands underneath. I got the back of it, but I didn't get the front of it. Maybe if I'd got the front of the ball, I could have scooped it up."
Avant had a feeling it would be reversed.
"Usually it doesn't pop up that high without hitting the ground, so I had a pretty good idea," he said. "I'm grateful that it did."
The play epitomized the offense's performance. The drive ended with the Eagles' only points of the day, a 31-yard field goal that came one play after Nick Foles was knocked out of the game.
They scraped together only 278 total yards after having averaged 449.8 the previous six games, third in the league behind Green Bay and Denver.
How bad was it? They had more penalties (five) than third-down conversions (four).
"[To] be so flat and to be so sporadic -- just inconsistent the whole day," Avant said. "Usually inconsistency happens for a half or a quarter or something like that, and to just have it happen the whole game is very bizarre. It was definitely frustrating for us."
And definitely unexpected. This game was supposed to be a shootout. Two teams with good offenses and bad defenses. The Eagles and Cowboys entered the day fourth and second in points per game, respectively, and 32nd and 30th in yards allowed per game.
"It's about going out and executing all the time. The past doesn't do anything for you in this league," Avant said. "It's trying to make the best of your opportunities when you have them. We didn't do it today, and hopefully we can this upcoming week. We have some time to seethe, in this, and hopefully we can get right."