Lurie wrote this script and began plotting the course of the meteor when he said that a repeat of last season's 8-8 record would bring about a coaching change. That's actually too narrow a description of what he said. There was some equivocation and some throat-clearing after the fact, but he definitely said he needed to see significant improvement.
In all probability, Lurie thought it was an unnecessary threat, a way to rattle a sword he would never have to draw. Because, seriously, how in the world could the team stink that badly again?
Lurie looked back at 2011 and Reid was given poor marks, but only because he was too aggressive and too confident that the wild remake of his offensive and defensive schemes could be accomplished without that small nicety known as an offseason. Throw in a raft of preventable turnovers, add three injuries to the quarterback, and, yeah, that was a freak of a season that wouldn't be repeated.
Give Reid, the ultimate preparer, a full offseason to tighten the bolts, and give him a healthy quarterback, and this team would win 10 games in a breeze, maybe more. That's probably how it looked to the owner - that's how it looked to the rest of us - but it isn't how it looks now.
What went wrong? For that matter, what went right? And how bad would things be if the team hadn't dedicated the season to Reid?
All good questions, and Lurie is no doubt trying to answer them. The next examination period begins at 4:25 p.m. Sunday against a team owned by a man who has done everything wrong for his franchise as consistently as Lurie has tried to do right by his.
Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys serves as his team's general manager, and despite having blueprinted the franchise to only one playoff win since 1997, despite the current disarray of his team, he said he likes his job security as the GM.
While Lurie has stood aside for the most part, stepping into the spotlight only to support Reid or tearfully agree to add a felon to the roster, Jones has made an ass of himself. In the long time that Lurie has stuck with Reid, Jones has gone through five coaches, always hinting at a replacement, always making life miserable for the incumbent. And the result has been that Lurie and Jones have the same number of Super Bowl wins in that 14-year span. (Yes, Jones won three prior to that, but let's move on.)
Both men have become fabulously rich as they traveled their separate paths - both also had the advantage of pretty much starting that way - and their organizations are models of financial health if not competitive success. (Jones is the leader there, by the way. The Cowboys, purchased by Jones in 1989 for $140 million, are now worth over $2 billion, and he built a stadium so outsize and tacky it looks like what Versailles would be if Haystacks Calhoun designed it.)
It appears that, for the first time, Jones and Lurie are likely to change coaches in the same offseason. It would be Jones' style to put Jason Garrett's headset on a pike before the schedule ends, but Lurie will not act in similar, unseemly haste. He will let the mess play out and then make his moves in the proper order, like starting with the outer fork at the dinner table.
As the Eagles and Cowboys line up in Lincoln Financial Field for this game between teams with a combined 6-10 record, can anything still change the course of the meteor? It doesn't seem likely. NFL teams tend to stay in the same orbits they traveled the first half of the season. It's a law of football physics: Objects in motion remain in motion, and teams that can't score and can't defend spiral downward.
In the previous versions of the movie, the hero found the detonator just in time and disaster was averted. This time, the second reel isn't as promising. The clock is ticking down, the siren is blasting, the monitor is blinking red, the townspeople are fleeing, and it really looks as if there's going to be a big hole in the ground when this thing is all over.
Contact columnist Bob Ford at email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @bobfordsports.