Eagles running back LeSean McCoy doesn't gripe about lack of carries

Posted: November 12, 2012

LeSean McCoy rushed the ball only 16 times in Sunday's 38-23 loss to the Cowboys even though the Cowboys entered the game ranked 15th in NFL rushing defense and fifth in passing defense.

McCoy totaled 82 yards, which amounted to an average of 5.1 yards per carry.

Five of McCoy's rushes came in the first quarter, and nine came in the first half.

"It was not as frustrating as not winning the game," McCoy said when he was asked if he was frustrated with his number of carries. "I felt as though we had opportunities to win the game, but we just didn't get it done."

McCoy had 20 or more carries in all three of the Eagles wins. He had 19 or fewer carries in all six of the Eagles losses. And this statistic is not skewed by the Eagles' running out the clock or passing from behind. They came from behind in all three wins and held fourth-quarter leads or were tied in the fourth quarter in three of the six losses.

"I don't think we lost the game because of the amount of carries I had," McCoy said.

Defense shows improvement

After struggling the last two weeks under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, the Eagles defense showed improvement on Sunday. Only two of Dallas five touchdowns came on offense, and the Eagles picked up three sacks. They did not force a turnover, though.

The Eagles defense rebounded after allowing the Cowboys to score on their opening drive and forced a punt on five of Dallas' next six drives.

"We were getting off the field, and it was a competitive ball game," Bowles said. "It was a tough game, and we made a lot of plays. But then they started making some plays."

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo finished 16 of 29 for 209 yards and two touchdowns. The offense scored only 17 points, while the Cowboys scored three non-offensive touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The score went from 17-17 to 31-17 without Romo stepping on the field.

The Eagles defense's breakdown in the third quarter came on a 30-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant when the Dallas receiver beat Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

"I think you love the one-on-one matchup with Dez," Romo said "That's a great thing, especially when you don't have even a single high safety in there."

Cooper scores touchdown

Wide receiver Riley Cooper caught his first touchdown pass of the season and the third of his career. It was a spectacular one-handed grab along the sideline on a pass from Michael Vick to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The call was a fade pattern, which the Eagles have seldom used this season.

"That play has always been in, but we finally called it today," Cooper said. "It couldn't have been anywhere else. He put it right where it needed to be, and I went up, used my size and jumping ability."

Extra points

Defensive end Phillip Hunt was inactive for the first time. But his absence did not open a spot for second-round pick Vinny Curry. He has not played this season. . . . Guard Danny Watkins missed his third consecutive game. The other inactive Eagles were quarterback Trent Edwards, wide receiver Mardy Gilyard, offensive lineman Nate Menkin, and running back Chris Polk.

Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @ZBerm.

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