Philadelphia Eagles: Winners and Losers from Week 10
Whether Andy Reid remains with the Eagles beyond this season remains to be seen. However, he proved once again that he still has a high football IQ and knows how to evaluate talent. There are a few rookies on my list of winners and losers, and they should credit Big Red for getting them up to NFL speed so quickly.
Loser: King Dunlap
King Dunlap struck for the trifecta on Sunday. He made bad plays on offense, defense and special teams.
Dunlap was flagged at least three times while protecting the quarterback and helped kill momentum the Eagles were generating on offense. But the bleeding didn't end there.
After Nick Foles was intercepted at the start of the fourth quarter, the right tackle made a "fake effort" play—chasing Brandon Carr down the sideline, only to scamper untouched out of bounds as the Cowboys scored.
His efforts and lack of discipline were compounded on a third-quarter field-goal attempt where he forgot to stay on the field and forced Andy Reid to burn a timeout.
There's a reason why Dunlap's spent the majority of his career on the bench, and he proved why against Dallas.
Winner: Mychal Kendricks
The rookie had a real test today covering future Hall of Famer Jason Witten, but he did a commendable job. Although Tony Romo found his pet tight end a few times, Kendricks was able to attach himself to the hip of Witten and limit the damage.
Kendricks also saw extra action as a pass-rusher and recorded the first sack of his NFL career.
As of right now, the Eagles should feel comfortable with him dropping back in coverage, but his tackling still needs some fine-tuning.
Loser: Alex Henery
When the Eagles drafted Alex Henery in the fourth round of last year's NFL draft, they were expecting to get a placekicker for the next decade. What they've received is someone they still need to baby and can only send to kick in certain situations.
Henery hadn't missed a kick since Week 1, but when his extra-point attempt thudded off the left crossbar, it all but summed up Philadelphia's season in a nutshell.
For a team looking to make a comeback (in game and in rankings), the last thing it can afford is miscues on special teams.
Winner: Fletcher Cox
The Eagles struggled to find a pass rush for the last three weeks, but that all changed against a terrible Dallas offensive line.
Jim Washburn's star prodigy, Fletcher Cox, was a standout amongst a defensive line that was able to pressure Tony Romo. Although the defensive line was able to get to the quarterback, it was gashed on the ground by Felix Jones.
Jones, who hasn't been a serviceable starter since his rookie season, did the majority of his damage running towards the outsides. Philadelphia's defensive tackles did a much better job containing the run than its ends, thanks in large part to Cox's efforts.
Loser: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Dez Bryant only made two significant plays against the Eagles, but both of them were against Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in single coverage. Rodgers-Cromartie, who is playing for a new contract, had a solid outing against one of the league's top receivers, but still isn't blossoming into the shutdown corner Philadelphia had hoped for.
DRC did allow a very questionable touchdown to Bryant, but even if that ruling was overturned, the play would've set the Cowboys up with great field position thanks to a pass interference call against him.
Philadelphia cornerbacks have been flagged far too many times this season for the defense to be taken seriously, and it shows in the team's record.
Winner: Nick Foles
I'm sure that there are mixed reviews from Philly fans after the debut of Nick Foles, but there's no doubt that he is the clear winner after Sunday's contest.
Foles had two turnovers that were returned for Dallas touchdowns, but the rookie got his first taste of NFL action and didn't shy away from the moment. Andy Reid displayed confidence in his rookie and let him air it out 32 times. Some of this was due to necessity, not design, but regardless of the cause, Foles proved he can play.
From the beginning, the Arizona product displayed accuracy and a big arm. His lone touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin was a thing of beauty, and he should continue to move on as the Eagles' starting quarterback.
Loser: Michael Vick
It's a real shame to see Michael Vick go down the way he did. On what appeared to be two insignificant plays, Vick was forced to leave the game after a very promising opening drive.
What makes things worse for MV7 is that Nick Foles received decent protection from the offensive line once he was knocked out.
Andy Reid described Vick's injury as a "pretty significant" concussion, adding that Vick has been all but ruled out for the Eagles' upcoming matchup against the Washington Redskins. If he does miss the showdown against Redskins' sensation Robert Griffin III, it just might signal the end of his career—not just his tenure in Philly.