Avant's injury left Eagles even thinner at quarterback

Mychal Kendricks (second from left) celebrates his first career sack, as he dropped the Cowboys' Tony Romo in the second quarter. Fletcher Cox then sacked Romo on the following play.
Mychal Kendricks (second from left) celebrates his first career sack, as he dropped the Cowboys' Tony Romo in the second quarter. Fletcher Cox then sacked Romo on the following play.
Posted: November 12, 2012

Here are some observations and ruminations about the Eagles-Cowboys game:

Nick Foles' first chance for a completion came on a third-down dart he threw in the direction of Jason Avant. The ball deflected off Avant and fell incomplete.

Avant is usually sure-handed, but he suffered a hamstring injury on the play. If Avant made the catch, the Eagles would have converted a first down, and Foles might have generated momentum on his opening drive.

The play was also noteworthy because Avant is supposed to be the Eagles' emergency quarterback, but his absence left the Eagles even thinner if Foles were to suffer an injury.

The seriousness of Avant's strained hamstring was not known immediately after the game.

 

- Zach Berman

 

Cowboys run wild

The Cowboys, a pass-happy team masquerading as a rushing squad rammed the ball down the esophagus of the Eagles defense in the first half. They ran 14 times for 80 yards, with 51 of those yards coming on their opening drive.

Dallas entered the game averaging only 83.4 yards a game and 3.6 yards a carry, second-worst in the NFL.

The Eagles run defense has gotten progressively worse each week. In the first four games, the Eagles held opposing offenses to an average of just 3.8 yards a rush. In the next four, they allowed an average of 4.6 yards.

The Cowboys took advantage of the Eagles' leaky wide-nine scheme and poor tackling.

 

- Jeff McLane

 

Eagles offense clicks

Before Michael Vick suffered his concussion, the Eagles revealed an offense that was effective with a depleted offensive line. The Eagles focused on quick strikes and showed somewhat of a balance. On the opening drive, when the Eagles went 81 yards on 10 plays, they ran the ball four times. Vick did not take deep drops, and the big plays came with a run after the catch.

Tight end Brent Celek turned a short pass into 18 yards, while DeSean Jackson turned a wide receiver screen into a 31-yard gain.

 

- Z.B.

 

Bell holds up

Tackle Demetress Bell negated a first-down pass from Foles to Celek in the second quarter. But, as costly as they play was, Bell, despite some other lapses, held up rather well against DeMarcus Ware and the Dallas pass rush.

 

- J.M.

 

Missed chance

A clear missed opportunity was Vick's final pass of the game, a third-and-2 incompletion to LeSean McCoy.

The Cowboys sent an aggressive blitz. Vick read his hot receiver, and McCoy had open field in front of him. But the pass sailed over McCoy's hands, too high for the running back to pull it down.

It was a tough pass to make under pressure, but it is a throw Vick needs to make to be successful.

 

- Z.B.

 

Rookies spur defense

The Eagles defensive line finally generated some first-half pressure and delivered sacks on back-to-back plays in the second quarter.

It was the rookies who came up big this time. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks recorded his first career sack and was followed by defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

After going three games without a sack, the Eagles have notched at least two in their last three games.

 

- J.M.

 


Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @ZBerm.

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