Eagles vs. Cowboys Week 17 Observations and Reaction with Videos

Michael Bryant | PHILLY.COM

Despite already locking up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson elected to play his offensive starters through the first quarter in Sunday’s regular season finale.

It was a chance for Nick Foles to regain some confidence. Instead, he struggled for a second straight week.

Foles was just 4-of-11 for 39 yards with an interception during the Eagles’ 6-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon.

Foles, who finished 19-of-38 for 163 yards with a touchdown and interception against Oakland on Christmas night, played into the second quarter and left with a 9.3 quarterback rating. His accuracy was inconsistent again and was slow going through his progressions.

I thought Foles should’ve played at least a half or until he strung a nice drive together so he could exit with some confidence. He left the game after the Eagles went three-and-out and that was the series immediately following the interception. Foles did begin the contest by completing his first two throws, but Torrey Smith dropped a critical 3rd-and-7 and Foles never looked the same after that.

The Eagles have converted just one of their last 18 third downs with Foles at quarterback.

Nate Sudfeld made his NFL debut and didn’t disappoint. He was 19-of-23 for 134 yards. His encouraging outing has already led some to speculate whether he should start over Foles in a postseason game and while he played better today, I don’t think it’s the right call. It’s not like he went down the field and led the Eagles on a touchdown drive. We saw some good things, but I also didn’t see too many deep or intermediate passes. There was an occasion when he took a sack with a wide open Trey Burton crossing over the middle of the field. His best throw was one that didn’t count. He showed off his pocket presence by sliding to his left and firing this completion to Marcus Johnson on a comeback along the left sideline. A hold was called on Halapoulivaati Vaitai, but that ball placement is spot-on.

Sudfeld did show off some of his athleticism with this nifty scramble.

Second-round rookie Sidney Jones also made his NFL debut on Sunday after missing the first 15 games of the season with an Achilles injury. He made some nice tackles, but like most Eagles cornerbacks in recent weeks, he bit on a double move. Dak Prescott, however, was unable to hit Terrance Williams on the play.

Overall, it was great to see him out there.

Rasul Douglas had a rough afternoon. He had problems locating the ball and didn’t tackle well. It reached a point in the fourth quarter when the Cowboys seemingly started to target him on every play and Brice Butler’s 20-yard slant for a touchdown at the 12:19 mark of the fourth was the lone score of the game.

I thought out of the backups on the defense, Steven Means and Nate Gerry played well. Means had this sack on Prescott when he cut across La’el Collins’ face before splitting the gap and getting into the backfield.

Gerry had a beautiful tackle for loss on Ezekiel Elliott when he took on a Collins block before making a tackle on Zeke for a 1-yard loss.

It’s going to be a long two weeks before the Divisional playoffs start. Pederson has some work to do.


You can follow Adrian Fedkiw on Twitter (@AdrianFedkiw) and e-mail him at amfedkiw@yahoo.com. Subscribe to The Bitter Birds on YouTube here. Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.

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