Eagles vs. Cowboys: The live blog

In 2008 I did a live blog of an Eagles game.  And the game resulted in a horribly played tie against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Since I’m a huge fan of tie games, I decided to do it again!

I’ll post updates after every quarter.

Pregame

After a long day of Halloween festivities and dealing with an undernapped toddler, it’s time to watch the Eagles take on the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.

You know, I wasn’t really in the mood to watch football, but now that I’ve seen Faith Hill sing about it, I’m feeling pumped!

Al Michaels just called running back DeMarco Murray the Cowboys “secret weapon.”  I’m not sure how secret he is  considering he ran for over 200 yards last week. And once they talk about him on national TV, it’s really not much of a secret, is it?

Apparently Eagles backup running back Dion Lewis was in a car accident and will be deactivated. Am I nuts, or did a sideline reporter just deliver information which I didn’t already have and I actually found interesting?

First Quarter

15:00 – The Eagles get the kick and it is returned by Ronnie Brown. This is the same Ronnie Brown who the team tried to trade, only the trade was overturned because the guy they tried to trade for had a brain tumor. That’s not exactly a sign of confidence.

14:26 – Michael Vick holds the ball forever and gets sacked. You know how people criticize him for holding the ball too long? They’ve got a point.

13:35 – LeSean McCoy looks like he’s going to bust a big run…and falls down.

12:50 – On the next play, he does indeed break a big run for 21 yards. As I’ve said, the only man who can stop McCoy is Andy Reid.

12:04 – Deep attempt for DeSean Jackson. Much like every wide receiver on an incompletion, he lobbies for a flag. And he actually gets one, only it is for defensive holding not pass interference.

11:26 – Eagles have the ball inside the red zone. This has not been a strong point for the Eagles offense this season. Actually, this hasn’t been a strong point for them for a few seasons now.

10:47 – Chris Collinsworth points out that the Eagles haven’t scored on their opening drive all season. And Vick promptly bounces a pass to Jackson.

10:41 – And a nicely drawn up play to Jeremy Maclin results in a 12 yard touchdown! Wow, that was just about the best drive the Eagles have put together all season.

10:35 – The Eagles go offsides on the kickoff. Don’t see that penalty too often. The Cowboys opt to have the Eagles re-kick. This is one of those decisions that usually goes very wrong for one side.

And sure enough, it goes wrong for the Eagles as the kickoff goes out of bounds. On a related note, confidence in Eagles kicker Alex Henery is not especially high among fans.

10:29 – First play is to “secret weapon” DeMarco Murray.

9:55 – The announcers mention how Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo’s play can be a bit inconsistent. They’re not kidding. I don’t think a game goes by when people aren’t either calling him one of the best QBs in the league or an overrated choke artist.

8:55 – Romo gets sacked and gets a secondary shot to the helmet. That’s a good sign for the Eagles. Romo isn’t the type of QB who “mans up” when he gets hit. Usually, a pummeled Romo equals a mistake-prone Romo, or as the announcers call him “Bad Romo.”

7:11 – NBC goes to commercial with the song Werewolves of London. I love that song, but I’m sure anyone younger than me is wondering why they’re using a stripped-down version of Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long.”

6:23 – And the Eagles have to use a timeout in the first quarter as the play clock ticks down. The Eagles do this at least six times a season. I’m hoping that one day announcers start referring to this as an “Andy Reid.”

And after the timeout, the Eagles false start.

5:02 – Michael Vick shows why some people love him as he takes a missed handoff ten yards for a first down. Not too many guys in the league who would have managed that.

4:05 – Just as I was thinking “You know, McCoy reminds me of a poor man’s Barry Sanders at times, ” Chris Collinsworth makes the same comparison.

2:47 – Another long McCoy run and we’ve got another red zone possession. Let’s see if this one goes as well.

2:40 – Not much drama as McCoy powers his way in! Since they review all scoring plays,I’m sure we’ll have a lengthy delay.

The Eagles have looked great so far in this game. It looks like they’re on their way to a blowout. And I’d love it if this turned out to be a nice, easy game for the Eagles.

But I’ve seen the Eagles play too many times on Sunday night. This game will not be a blowout. The Cowboys are going to get within seven points if not take the lead at some point.

I don’t know why the Eagles can’t blow anyone out on Sunday night, but they’re just simply unable to do it. Just wait.

2:26 – And promptly, the “Secret Weapon” has a 21 yard run. I’m fairly confident that the Cowboys will score on this drive.

1:13 – Or not, as a tipped pass results in an interception by Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. And yes, I had to look up how to spell his name.

1:10 – Vick does his best to give the ball right back with a near interception.

End of first – Vick picks up a first down and then viciously tosses the ball away to get a delay of game penalty.

Not much to complain about, as the Eagles looked great in that quarter. But I’m still not too confident. This game is going to turn out to be close.

Second Quarter

13:30 – Ronnie Brown appears in the game, giving the announcers a chance to tell the brain tumor story. You just knew they were waiting for it.

12:26 – Squinty chips in with a text asking “Don’t they mean ‘Blue chip running back’ Ronnie Brown? I’d explain the story, but I don’t think anyone else would find it funny.  I’ll just say that we’re making fun of DC sports talk radio callers.

11:39 – The Eagles fumble the snap when the center “hits his own butt with the snap.” They fortunately recover.

10:13 – Touchdown pass to Brent Celek! Third catch for him in the game. He’s had a disappointing year so far, which has been especially disappointing for me since he’s one of my favorite players and I have his jersey.

Of course this is the first game when I haven’t worn his jersey, and naturally he’s having a big game. So should I make a permanent switch? No, of course not. That would be the action of some who is superstitious or cares about sports. And neither of those describes me anymore.

I went with the Harold Carmichael throwback in case you were curious. But that’s only because I have always worn the Carmichael during primetime the past few seasons.

Coming off commercial, Al Michaels has to mention the stupid “Dream Team” label. Eagles fans are really starting to hate Vince Young for coming up with that nickname. It also doesn’t help matters that he was injured, and in his one appearance, he threw an awful interception.

8:02 – Impressive circus catch along the sideline by Cowboys receiver Laurent Robinson. Only on replays, it clearly shows that he stepped out of bounds. Andy Reid promptly throws the challenge flag, and it looks like he’s going to win.

But because this is Andy Reid, there’s always a chance he’ll lose the challenge. I think the refs have it in their minds that Reid usually botches these challenges, so they’re more likely to rule against him.

Of course, I also hate challenging plays that aren’t either turnovers or scores. I’d rather save my challenges for those types of plays which are generally more crucial. I mean, this play was for 21 yards. Is that really a big enough deal to risk a timeout and use one of your challenges? Then again, now that the officials automatically review all scoring plays, maybe it isn’t as big of a deal. And since that was a third down play, I guess in a way it is kind of like a turnover.

And really, considering Reid botches these so often, maybe he just wants to feel good about winning one. So throw that flag, Andy! Throw it!

After a lengthy explanation, the ref overturns the call. Go Andy!

7:54 – DeSean Jackson really looks like his heart isn’t in punt returning this season as he loses about ten yards. On a related note, Jackson will be a free agent after the season and has repeatedly asked for a new contract.

6:42 – Another catch for Celek for a first down! At this rate, he might personally ask me not to wear his jersey anymore.

4:47 – They talk about Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Even though he’s on the Cowboys I can’t help but like the guy. Not only is he the son of former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan, but he also has the same hair as professional wrestler Kevin Nash.

3:05 – Eagles botched a screen pass that would have been a huge play. They haven’t missed many tonight, but that one may hurt.

2:58 – Apparently my pessimism has no place here as Vick hits a wide open Jason Avant for another first down.

And we’re back in the red zone. After going 3-for-3 so far the Eagles are due for some sort of breakdown here.

1:53 – Immediately after the two-minute warning, the Eagles run a play that doesn’t work, and the Cowboys call timeout. So we get another commercial. And momentum has officially died.

Is it wrong to be a fan of the Miller Lite commercials where they mock their friend for being “un-manly?” Not that people expect a great deal of progressive thinking from beer commercials, but I’m surprised they don’t get criticized for these.

1:49 – For some reason, on third down the Eagles try a pass to fullback Owen Schmitt. Unsurprisingly, it fails bringing up fourth down. Chris Collinsworth wisely points out that with all of the Eagles weapons, going to Schmitt might not be the best idea.

This is coming after an earlier game against the Giants when the Eagles kept trying to go to Schmitt in key situations. Not coincidentally, the Eagles lost that game.

Anyway, the Eagles kick a field goal to go up 24-0. And this brings up another commercial.

1:41 – It would be great if the Eagles could keep the Cowboys from scoring at the end of the half. Don’t give them any momentum heading into the second half.

1:04 – So far so good as the Eagles sack Romo to bring up 2nd and 24, and they call a timeout of their own in hopes of getting the ball back.

0:58 – The Cowboys are basically just trying to run down the clock as they run the ball. The Eagles call timeout, and they’ll likely get the ball back with about fifteen seconds left.

0:10 – The Cowboys lined up as if they were going to run a 4th down play, maybe hoping the Eagles would jump offsides.

Considering the Eagles lost a game earlier this season partially due to just such a play, it isn’t a horrible idea.  Thankfully, the Eagles were not fooled, and the Cowboys let the clock run down before calling timeout.

0:00 – On the ensuing punt return, Maclin almost breaks a long run. But he takes a shot, and looks to be injured. Considering that punt was almost meaningless, that would be a huge shame if he is seriously hurt.

Potential injury aside, the Eagles looked amazing that half. Maybe they really will coast to victory. But I still foresee this game getting close. It can’t be that easy, can it?

Third Quarter

13:13 – Because Chris Collinsworth wasn’t dumbing down his commentary enough, he is forced to explain what the Eagles “wide nine” pass rush technique is. But does he really have to? Hardcore football fans will probably already know what it means, and the casual fans probably won’t really care.

12:26 – I guess the announcers weren’t just creating drama earlier when they talked about the Cowboys’ punter’s injury issues, as their placekicker is now doing the punting. We could see some botched punts! Those are always fun!

Do you think if the Gramatica brothers went to a tailgate they would wear their jerseys? Then again, do you think anyone would know who they were if they weren’t wearing their jerseys? “You guys were in the NFL? No way!”

12:18 – I guess Maclin is OK as he just caught a pass.

11:35 – And Celek drops a pass. So maybe I won’t have to permanently retire his jersey.

10:00 – Vick runs to the sideline and past a police officer who glances back with a “What the hell was that?” look.

9:38 – If a coach is on crutches, is it really a good idea for him to stand on the sideline? Apparently offensive line coach Howard Mudd thinks it is. I just envision him getting creamed at some point.

8:01 – After the Eagles run the draw play for the tenth time, the Cowboys finally figure it out.

6:45 – After LeSean McCoy has been killing the Cowboys all game, naturally when the Eagles have first and goal, they take him out and sub in Ronnie Brown.

6:19 – Incomplete pass to DeSean Jackson which the refs inexplicably rule to be a backwards pass. By rule this is considered to be a fumble. Replays clearly show that the pass was forward, and it didn’t really appear to be that close. Thankfully Reid throws the red flag, and it looks like he might actually go 2-for-2 on the day!

And sure enough, the call is reversed. The ref announces that since the Eagles made two successful challenges, they are awarded another! Can Reid possibly go 3-for-3? Stay tuned!

6:15 – McCoy is back in the game and gets crushed in the backfield. So maybe Ronnie Brown wasn’t that bad of an option.

5:55 – And the Eagles can’t convert on 3rd down and have to settle for another field goal.

5:34 – Asomugha has Jason Witten lined up for a huge hit…and whiffs. Supposedly this guy was a good tackler, but aside from one big hit against the Redskins, he sure hasn’t shown it. Fortunately, the other Eagles pick him up and the Cowboys punt.

5:10 – Apparently, the earlier scare isn’t going to keep Maclin from returning punts. It might seem foolish to have the team’s starting wide receivers as the punt returners, but hey, I’m sure Andy Reid knows what he’s doing!

4:16 – The Eagles almost give the Cowboys a glimmer of hope as Vick gets sacked and fumbles. But he recovers, and then LeSean McCoy rips off a huge run for a first down on the next play.

2:50 – False start by Celek. I almost feel like he’s making mistakes now to make me feel better.

2:25 – Another good run by McCoy results in another Barry Sanders comparison by Collinsworth. That’s high praise.

1:10 – Celek has a nice catch and run and just barely misses getting the first down. So he’s back to playing well thankfully.

0:13 – McCoy trips and still gets the first down on 4th and 1.

Despite the problems they’ve had this season, the Eagles can’t possibly blow a 27 point lead in the fourth quarter, right? This is gonna be a nice, drama-less game, right? I want to be able to get to sleep when it’s over!

Fourth Quarter

13:27 – On 2nd and 1, the play clock runs down and the Eagles have to call timeout. With a 27 point lead, you can laugh when these things happen. When it’s a close game it makes you want to pull your hair out.

Now you’d think that after a timeout, the Eagles would have a great play called. Let’s see what Reid comes up with!

13:21 – And what do you know, it’s an outside run by LeSean McCoy that results in a touchdown! Oh, happy day!

On the sideline, they show McCoy jump onto Howard Mudd, who if you recall, is on crutches.  Fortunately, disaster did not ensue.

13:14 – With this game pretty much wrapped up, we’ve entered the “What will the announcers talk about in the 4th quarter of a prime time blowout game when every casual fan has pretty much tuned out?”

I kind of feel for the announcers.  After the Saints demolished the Colts last week, they’ve had two straight blowouts.  You can just tell that they’re praying for next week’s Steelers vs. Ravens game to be a good one.

12:44 – And the shutout is over as Laurent Robinson catches a 70 yard touchdown pass. Not a great job in coverage by Eagles safety Kurt Coleman.

If there’s a bright side to this play, it’s that it probably is especially painful to Redskins fans since Coleman had three interceptions against them two weeks ago.

Robinson might have celebrated a little too exuberantly considering the score is 34-7.

Because of the punter’s injury, Romo is forced to hold for the point after kick, giving Al Michaels an opportunity to mention the playoff game where Romo was the holder and fumbled away a potential game winning field goal. I love when they talk about that play! Sadly, we don’t get to watch a clip of it.

10:26 – I’m very happy that I have McCoy on my fantasy team right now. Looks like I’m going to pick up my second win of the season!

9:11 – The Eagles punt for the first time in the game. Yeah, that’s a good sign that their offense has been working pretty well tonight.

8:15 – The Cowboys convert a fourth and 15 by going to tight end Jason Witten. Considering how much he usually kills the Eagles, he’s had a pretty quiet night.

7:35 – The Cowboys are looking feisty on offense. Not that I think they have any chance at victory, but they’re going to make this game juuuuust a bit uncomfortable. Come on, Eagles defense! I want a peaceful night’s sleep!

6:18 – Things you may never see in an NFL: A false start or offsides where both sides don’t point at each other indicating that they were the first to move.

6:12 – An incomplete pass and the Cowboys are crying for a pass interference call. They’ve probably got a point, but should you really whine that much when losing by 27 points?

6:07 – And an Eagles sack on fourth down pretty much ends things. Now, if I was the Eagles, I’d put in the backups. I mean, wouldn’t this be a great time to see what Vince Young can do?

But no, Vick and the starters are still in the game. Considering how much they are concerned with Vick getting injured, is there any reason why he’s still in this game?

5:15 – I already won my fantasy game, McCoy. You can feel free to just run out of bounds if you’d like.

3:40 – The announcers bring up the obligatory “Andy Reid is undefeated after the bye week stat.” That may be the most inexplicable phenomenon in pro football.

2:14 – The Eagles call timeout. Why? Good question. Perhaps Reid needed someone to fetch him another donut before the game ended? Could Reid adopt something similar to Red Auerbach’s “victory cigar?” I think I would like him a lot better if he started eating a “victory donut” at the end of every Eagles win.

1:50 – Cowboys fumble the punt return out of bounds and we get to see Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel do a bizarre dance on the sideline. And that’s been about the most exciting thing we’ve seen so far in this fourth quarter.

Not that I’m complaining. I will take an unexciting Eagles blowout over a close game any day.

0:07 – I’ll give Romo some credit. He’s still trying his darndest here. It’s not making much of a difference, but the effort is definitely there.

And believe it or not, the Eagles have an easy, blowout win. Have they righted the ship and are ready to start playing like the dominating team that everyone predicted before the season? It’s too early to tell, but blowing out a division rival is always a good thing.

Hmm…maybe I should do this live blog thing more often!

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About The Cutter

I am the Cutter. I write some stuff. You might like it, you might not. Please decide for yourself.
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