"It's right there," running back Terrell Watson said as he pointed to the football in the upper left corner of his locker that he carried into the end zone for his first NFL touchdown in the Eagles' 27-13 victory over the Cowboys on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
Watson was called up from the practice squad on Friday for his first NFL game, a moment he has prepared for his whole life. When he struggled with a learning disability at a young age, the support of his grandparents, Billy and Janice Watson, who took him in when he was only a few weeks old after his birth mother left him on their doorstep, allowed him to channel his energy into improving himself both on and off the field. Watson's opportunity of a lifetime had finally presented itself.
He entered the Eagles-Cowboys matchup on offense with 14:10 remaining in the first half. His first touch was a 1-yard run up the middle. He carried the ball nine times for 28 yards. With 1:23 left in the season, Watson found the back of the end zone on another 1-yard carry. His grandparents were in attendance and able to share the unforgettable memory.
"It's a moment you have to stop and just embrace it. It's just an opportunity that not many people get to do this. And it was awesome. It was an awesome feeling," Watson recalled. "You dream about moments like that sometimes. But you never know when it's going to come and I'm blessed enough to have an opportunity to play and have the opportunity to be called up the last game of the season and I'm happy with my end results. There's stuff I need to work on still, but I'm happy going into the new year knowing that I know where I stand and knowing the work I need to do."
An undrafted D-II running back out of Azusa Pacific in 2015, Watson began the 2016 season on the Cleveland Browns' practice squad. Watson spent some time on the Broncos' practice squad before making his way to Philadelphia.
"It was important for a D-II guy coming from Azusa Pacific to go out and play with a chip on your shoulder. That's how I like to play. It was a good statement being let go from the Browns and being let go from Denver and now being here in Philadelphia. I feel like it's a statement that I belong here. I got my opportunity here and I'm excited about the outcome," Watson expressed.
Furthermore, Watson was able to celebrate a win in the process.
"Just happy the outcome was a win. It was a great team win, defense played good special teams played out their mind and offense did really good and the O-line did amazing," said Watson.
The Eagles hosted the Cowboys for the final contest of the season and came away with the 27-13 victory heading into the offseason.