After thumping Dallas, Eagles' dream could be turning into reality

by | National NFL Insider

PHILADELPHIA -- One of the first times an Eagles receiver made a catch there wasn't a Dallas player within 10 yards. Fluke, you figured. Then it happened again. And again. Eventually, so many Eagles players were so wide open for the entire stunning evening that in their nightmares, the Cowboys now see Andy Reid himself running a skinny post, wide open, secondary a quarter-mile behind in pursuit.

There have been many humiliating Cowboys losses since Jimmy Johnson took his skill and hairpiece to television but this was one of the worst. Running lanes -- wide open. Michael Vick scrambles -- open. Passing lanes -- damn wide open. Reid fixed the offensive line problems during the bye week, and when Vick has as much time to throw the football as he did -- he was patient in the pocket -- the Philadelphia offense is almost unstoppable.

NBC cameras kept showing defensive coordinator Rob Ryan on the screen so much I began to wonder if he was starring in a new sitcom. Reid took a surgical tool to Ryan's defense -- dissected, pricked and plastered. By the time Reid was done with Ryan, the only thing left were blonde highlights and a can of Slim Fast.

And the Cowboys just missed another tackle.

Reid is now 13-0 after bye weeks but this was not your typical post-bye Reid dominance. The Cowboys have athletes on that defense and they were made to look silly by Reid's scheming, Vick's accuracy and LeSean McCoy's cutbacks. This was bad for Dallas. This was really, really bad and an indictment of the Jason Garrett era.

This was 34-7 and one has to wonder how many more of these Jerry Jones can digest before heads are led to the guillotine. This has to be intolerable for Jones, who said this was a statement game for the Cowboys. It was and the statement is this: the Cowboys are a wreck.

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And they just missed another tackle.

Yes, ugly for Dallas, but this story is more about Philadelphia. The Eagles organization despises the "Dream Team" moniker so much it causes aches in their bones. They think it's an unfair nickname put on them by a player who wasn't really an Eagle in Vince Young. All fair.

But this is the truth. We're finally seeing elements of a Dream ... er ... whatever the hell you want to call them. All-Star, dreamy, teammy, yummy -- whatever. This Eagles group looks like it's about to make a run over the next month or so, despite a brutal schedule.

There is something else about this Philadelphia team and it's McCoy. He's always been good but this was his best game as a pro and it was against a Cowboys defense that was ranked first against the run.

If you missed this lovely game because you had better things to do -- like stab yourself in the forehead with a trident -- you missed what great coaching combined with a good runner's instincts can do. It was clear the Eagles decided to attack the aggressive pursuing tendencies of the Dallas front seven with McCoy heading strong in one direction and then cutting back against the grain in another.

Dallas didn't adjust to this until the second half but by then it was too late. McCoy already had 95 yards on 13 carries and a score in the first half alone. By the time Dallas adjusted and the defensive line was showing more patience, McCoy was already on a roll. Reid was also throwing in plenty of draws and screens. He finished with a career-high 185 yards on 30 carries and two touchdowns.

"They're very good running the football," Garrett said. "There's a reason they're the number one rush team in the [NFL]. They do a very good job from the scheme standpoint."

Um, yeah. They certainly do.

Ryan himself might deserve a game ball. This offseason he called Philadelphia the "all-hype team" and predicted the Cowboys would "beat their asses." Reid and the Eagles took the Cowboys' seventh-ranked defense for almost 500 total yards. It was incredible to watch.

Jones is hard to predict but it's difficult to believe some assistant coach isn't getting fired or some starting player benched over this debacle.

And it's equally hard to believe this isn't the beginning of something for the Eagles.


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