What happened to the Eagles' big plays?
Hot and cold. That was Chip Kelly’s response when asked how he thought DeSean Jackson played against the Cowboys. The coach was being kind. It was more of the latter and not so much of the former.
The same could be said of LeSean McCoy. The same could be said of all the Eagles after they lost to the Cowboys, 17-3, at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday (see Instant Replay). The Birds were mostly cold and rarely, if ever, hot.
“There wasn’t anybody on offense that stood out,” Kelly admitted. “You score three points and there are not many guys that you can say, ‘Hey, they played a really good game.’”
The Eagles needed McCoy and Jackson, their best offensive players, to have great games. Or if not great games, then solid games. Or if not solid games, then games where they made some important plays. None of that happened. McCoy and Jackson -- like the rest of the Eagles’ offense -- were ineffective for much of the afternoon (see 10 observations).
"We just didn't finish any drives,” McCoy said. “We didn't execute at all. We just didn't play well. Myself, this is one of my worst performances since being a rookie.”
He was being a bit hyperbolic. A bit. It wasn’t his worst game since his rookie year, but it was his worst game in a while.
McCoy carried the ball 18 times for 55 yards (3.1 yards per carry). He added six catches for 26 yards. His 81 total yards were his fewest since last season when he gained 67 combined yards on 19 touches against the Falcons.
Jackson wasn’t any better. He didn’t get a single target in the first quarter. He rolled his ankle in the third quarter but eventually returned to the game. And he finished with just three catches on eight targets for 21 yards. It was Jackson’s fewest receptions since Week 4 against Denver and his fewest yards since injuring himself last November against Carolina.
“Similar to what everybody else has been doing: Man coverage,” Jackson said when asked what Dallas did to slow him down. “We’re seeing the same stuff. I don’t have an answer for you. I’ve got to see the film. See what it is. See what we’re doing wrong.
“They did a little Cover-2. It wasn't a lot. We thought we were able to go out there and get some looks and be able to make some things happen.
“Dallas did a good job. They came out and played a good game. But as far as us on the offensive side, we weren’t able to get things going. It’s very frustrating.”
The loss dropped the Eagles to 3-4 and put the Cowboys in sole ownership of first place in the NFC East. It also extended the Eagles’ home losing streak to nine games -- the longest active stretch in the NFL and the worst in team history (see story).
"There was so much to gain from this game,” McCoy said. “Just to be the leaders of the division, and we didn't get that done today.”