The Dallas Cowboys got a sneak preview of playoff football, and it was a horror movie. The Cowboys were simply whipped by the Philadelphia Eagles in every way imaginable and lost a blowout, at home, 23-7. In the process, they let the NFC East title slip from their grasp, and now face the prospect of going on the road for the entire playoffs. The Cowboys are struggling at the wrong time, and a lot of the problems can be traced to a defense that is suddenly the equivalent of tissue. The Eagles physically dominated both sides of the line, and the inevitability of the defeat started setting in early in the 2nd half. In this horror movie, the Eagles were Freddy and Jason combined, and the Cowboys were the beautiful blonde who gets decapitated in the second act.
On offense, the Cowboys played some of their worst football of the year. Tony Romo had a flat day and contributed two interceptions that were emblematic of the offense's futility. The offensive line had trouble with the pass rush, the run game never got untracked, the Eagles simply man-handled the Dallas offense.
Even more problematic for the Cowboys is a defense that no longer can be counted on. The Eagles were equally adept at running the ball and passing the ball. The defense is not capable of getting a sustained pass rush, and the secondary is still giving up big plays. What was most disturbing was the seeming lack of heart by the defense. They came out flat and had no answer to the Eagles weapons. It was complete domination.
In this case, stats accurately portray the game. Total yards: Philly 426 - Dallas 201. Rushing yards: Philly 204 - Dallas 83. Time of possession: Philly 36 mins. - Dallas 23 mins.
The Cowboys let this game turn when they couldn't convert a 1st and goal. Four plays, zero points, one, big, fat loss.
Dallas must once again try to regroup and restart their season. The playoffs are in the future, no matter how bad they looked today. The Cowboys have one final game in the regular season to get back some semblance of confidence.
Today, on Christmas, the Cowboys even made Carrie Underwood sad.