Grayson’s Grades: Eagles vs. Cowboys
The Eagles turned it over four times and spotted the Cowboys a 21-0 lead before ultimately coming back and making it interesting. The Eagles lost consecutive games for the first time since October of 2013 when they lost back-to-back games to the Cowboys and Giants.
Parent-teacher conferences will need to be scheduled with some of the players following this latest round of Grayson's Grades:
Jeremy Maclin - Maclin took advantage of opportunities when they came his way. He made a big catch in the third quarter that went for 72 yards down the sideline and came one yard short of turning it into a touchdown. The Eagles eventually got it across the goal line to bring the birds within 21-17. Maclin finished with 4 receptions for 98 yards.
Fletcher Cox - Cox continued to make his presence known in the middle of the line. He racked up a big tackle for a loss and recovered a fumble in the third quarter. He finished with a total of three tackles. Part of his job involves taking up blockers so his teammates can make plays and he continues to do that well.
Chris Polk - Polk constantly does his job when given the chance. He has caught on as a short yardage back that scored both of his touchdowns in goal to go situations. He is a reliable choice in those situations and does not turn it over. He only got 2 carries for a total of 6 yards, but scored on both of those carries.
Cody Parkey - You just can't say enough about the reliability of kicker Cody Parkey. He booted a pair of field goals in this game from 43 and 47 yards out. He is fighting a groin injury which appears to be affecting his kickoffs more than his field goal attempts. Parkey is not logging quite as many touchbacks as he did earlier in the season.
Zach Ertz - I continue to wonder why the Eagles don't go to Ertz more often. He made a couple of big plays including one where he hurdled a defender and got a first down. Ertz did have a pass go off his hands and turn into an interception by the Cowboys, but it was a poorly thrown ball behind him that he just could not handle. Ertz finished with 3 receptions for 32 yards.
Malcolm Jenkins - Jenkins made some big tackles, especially in run support and dropped DeMarco Murray for a big loss in the third quarter. He finished the game with 8 tackles.
Vinny Curry - Helped create a pass rush including a big sack and forced fumble in the third quarter. He got into the backfield, but had a tough time getting to Romo when he would move up in the pocket.
LeSean McCoy - McCoy averaged 4 yards per carry. That is not bad and did it with his longest run of the game going for just 14 yards. That means he had a consistent 4 to 6 yards on the ground for the most part, which is enough to make this offense successful. McCoy racked up 64 yards on 16 carries. He also provided a key block to allow Darren Sproles to get into the endzone and give the Eagles a brief 24-21 lead.
Connor Barwin - Barwin continues to provide a reliable effort game in and game out. He got another sack in this game taking his total for the season to 14.5 which is fourth most in the NFL. Barwin made 9 tackles in the game including a sack, a tackle for a loss and a quarterback hurry.
Cedric Thornton - Thornton was very active in the opposing backfield and helped keep DeMarco Murray from going off on the Eagles. He made a total of 7 tackled including a sack and a quarterback hurry.
Brent Celek - Celek is a reliable receiver and takes big hits almost every time he catches a pass. He made a big reception in the fourth quarter that would have moved the chains. However; after landing on top of a Cowboy, he fumbled and the Cowboys recovered. Celek caught 4 passes for 52 yards in the game.
Brandon Boykin - Boykin is typically a reliable nickel, but he appeared to give way too much cushion, especially in coverage over the middle of the field with no help underneath and as a result the Cowboys moved the chains. Boykin is not a big physical defensive back, but he has to play closer to receivers to have a chance to knock the ball away with his solid ball skills.
Cary Williams - Williams was a victim of what appeared to be questionable penalties against him. He was called for a pair of illegal contact penalties in the first half that led to automatic first downs for the Cowboys and kept drives alive. He was also called for a 40 yard pass interference penalty in the second half. Both corners, Fletcher and Williams, are hurting this team right now.
Mark Sanchez - Sanchez made some poor decisions once again and missed open receivers. His completions were not as accurate as they could have been. More accurate passes would have led to potentially bigger gains without guys jumping or lunging to make the catch. Sanchez took too many sacks and turned it over twice. He finished with a 60.4 passer rating. Sanchez completed 17 of 28 passes for 252 yards and 2 interceptions.
Bradley Fletcher - Fletcher played arguably his worst game of the season. Cowboys WR Dez Bryant had a field day on him and scored all three of his touchdowns against Fletcher. Fletcher does not look like an adequate starting corner in this league. Week after week opponents are seeing his glaring defects on film and exploiting them.
Josh Huff - Huff put the Eagles in a hole right from the beginning. He did not get to a short kickoff to open the game and it was recovered by the Cowboys on the Eagles own 18 yard line. He also was called for a penalty running out of bounds when he was covering a punt. Huff did make one big play in the game when he caught a pass and took it 44 yards with a 15 yard personal foul on top of it in the second quarter.