April said he blames himself for the touchdown return and the field-goal timeout.
"[The return] was as critical a play as we've had all year," said April, who said he must have done a bad job getting the importance of lane integrity "ingrained" in the minds of his coverage personnel. April said that the season has been a disappointment, that in several games, dominant special teams could have turned a loss into a win.
Linebacker Jamar Chaney, one of the coverage-unit players who couldn't tackle Dallas returner Dwyane Harris, said the Cowboys had run the same scheme previously, rushing Mat McBriar, then swinging back to form a wall along one sideline. He said safety Nate Allen made a strong play to stop that prior return.
"On this one - we have lanes we have to get into, then merge to the ball, and on the right side, we didn't get into our lanes," said Chaney, who was covering toward the other side. Replays show Chaney coming across, then slowing as Harris nears McBriar, who fails to take away the sideline. Harris gets past McBriar, and Chaney is too far behind by then to catch him.
Chaney said that when he saw the punter in front of the returner, he figured McBriar's presence would make Harris cut back, and Chaney didn't want to overrun the play.
"I think initially we started out bad, and then it became a footrace, and obviously, that's a little more genes and chromosomes at that point," said April, who shied away from directly criticizing the group's talent level.
On the missed extra point, April said: "That should never happen. Alex [Henery, the kicker] said when his plant foot hit [the ground], his foot slid . . . his body got torqued. He really came around. That's ridiculous, but that's what happened. That was not good. You should never miss an extra point. He knows it."
On the field-goal timeout, tackle King Dunlap had taken a penalty and was so angry at either the officials or himself, he went to the bench instead of lining up to block for Henery. April said he had turned to seek a better vantage point for the attempt and didn't immediately see tight end Brent Celek frantically waving to the sideline for another lineman.
April said that when you have to call timeout on a special-teams play, "you really let the head coach down, because those timeouts are like gold for a head coach."
April, who insisted the mixup was his fault, was questioned extensively about how much responsibility should fall on the player in that situation. Eagles coach Andy Reid said he had spoken with Dunlap about the lapse.
"I don't know," April said. "I just know I have to get it done for us. I've got to help us. I've got to be sharper, I've got to be more tuned, and I'll speak to a player when a situation happens, but we'll try to correct it and make sure it doesn't happen again. It's all, at this point, we can do."
"There's nothing new," Andy Reid said. "He comes in, he gets a little treatment, as much treatment as we can do on him, he gets, and then we get him out of here."
Reid said Vick, who suffered what Reid called a "fairly significant" concussion against Dallas, is "feeling a little bit better, day-to-day."
Vick hasn't been ruled out for this week, but it's clear he isn't playing. Trent Edwards is the only backup to rookie Nick Foles. Emergency QB Jason Avant (hamstring) also is out; Reid said DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin have taken a few snaps in practice. Asked why he didn't try to bring in a QB - such as Mike Kafka - Reid said, "I think we're OK."
Would that mean Reid doesn't expect Vick to be sidelined long-term?
"I guess," he said. "I don't know."
The Eagles are expected to make head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder available to explain Vick's situation on Friday.
The return of Danny Watkins at right guard moved Dennis Kelly out to right tackle, King Dunlap back to left tackle and Demetress Bell to the bench.
"Being the competitor I am, not being in the starting rotation is disappointing as hell," Bell said "There's nothing I can do about it."