Nick Foles left the Eagles' 17-3 loss on Sunday before the start of the fourth quarter. (AP)
If he truly had a chance to wrestle away the starting quarterback job, Nick Foles probably just threw it away.
Coming off arguably his best game as a pro, Foles delivered the worst showcase of his career Sunday at the Linc, passing for just 80 yards before leaving with an apparent concussion late in the third quarter of a 17-3 loss to Dallas at the Linc (see story).
Foles missed receivers all game and Chip Kelly’s offense, which had produced 425-yard efforts in each of its first six games, managed just 278.
The Eagles (3-4) watched their winning streak snap at two as Dallas (4-3) climbed into sole possession of first place in the NFC East, and their Linc drought reached nine games going back to 2012, the NFL’s longest-active home losing streak. They haven’t won at the Linc since beating the Giants 19-17 on Sept. 30 of last season.
Kelly had averaged around 50 points per game in college as head coach of Oregon against Monte Kiffin, who was USC’s defensive coordinator before being hired by Dallas this year.
History didn’t repeat. Managing only an Alex Henery field goal against a Dallas defense missing Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Ware and depleted up front, the Eagles’ three points are their fewest in a regular-season game since they were blanked by the Cowboys on the road in the 2009 season finale.
Whatever Foles had last Sunday against Tampa, he lacked against Dallas: Timing, precision, touch, everything. He missed a wide-open Brent Celek and threw behind Jason Avant in the first half, leading to Eagles punts. In the third quarter, down 10-0, DeMeco Ryans returned an interception to the Dallas 30-yard line. Foles then missed a wide-open Avant in the end zone for an easy touchdown. A few plays later, he got sacked, left the game and never returned.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo shook off a slow start to complete 28 of 47 passes for 317 yards, although he was picked off twice. He threw a nine-yard touchdown to Terrance Williams in the fourth that cemented the game and helped the Cowboys win consecutive games for the first time this season.
Cowboys receivers Dez Bryant and Williams did major damage through the air, combining for 14 receptions, 181 yards and a touchdown.
Well, Foles gets this distinction easily. Aside from Foles, running back LeSean McCoy, who historically torches the Cowboys, had just 55 rushing yards on 18 carries.
Split it between Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher and rookie safety J.J. Wilcox. Hatcher had a sack and a big third-down hurry on Foles, along with anchoring a stout run defense. Rookie safety J.J. Wilcox broke up a pass in the end zone from Foles to DeSean Jackson that could have changed the complexion of the game had Jackson caught it.
Eagles corners weren’t at their best. Cary Williams had no response for Bryant, and Fletcher allowed the Williams TD catch that iced the game for Dallas.
More information on Foles’ concussion should be available Monday. He took a pretty hard hit.
Rookie safety Earl Wolff went to the locker room in the third quarter after a hard collision with Bryant after a catch across the middle and was replaced by Kurt Coleman. Wolff never returned.
Jackson limped off the field late in the third after getting his ankle twisted on a 10-yard McCoy run. He was examined on the field, came out of the game but returned soon after. Isaac Sopoaga left in the first quarter with a shoulder injury but returned.
CB Shaun Prater, OT Matt Tobin, OT Dennis Kelly, DE Damion Square, TE Emil Igwenagu, TE James Casey.
The Eagles (3-4) wrap up their season series against the Giants on Sunday at the Linc, a 1 p.m. kickoff. The Giants, who play Minnesota on Monday night, are still seeking their first win. The Eagles beat them 36-21 on Oct. 6 at MetLife Stadium.