ARLINGTON, Texas -- Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin had a postseason debut to remember. The first-round draft pick caught seven passes for a franchise playoff-record 146 receiving yards and a touchdown. It wasn't just any touchdown, but a 76-yard catch-and-run which was the longest pass play in Eagles' playoff history.
Maclin also became the youngest player (21 years old) to catch a touchdown in the playoffs.
However, Maclin's efforts were not enough as the Eagles lost 34-14 to the Dallas Cowboys in the wild card round of the NFC playoffs.
"It's unfortunate. It's a little frustrating and that's pretty much it," Maclin said. "I'm still not going say they are better than us. They did a good job of coming out and playing football. But I'll still take my guys over anybody else in the league … They came up with some good things to throw us off-guard. If you look at personnel, I'm not going to say they are better than us. I think they played better than us today and last week."
Last year, tight end Brent Celek carried the momentum of an outstanding postseason into the following regular season. Celek had 19 catches for 151 yards and three touchdowns in the 2008 playoffs. Celek set a team-playoff record with 10 catches and added 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the NFC title game.
Celek parlayed that into a breakout season in his first year as a full-time starter. Celek had a team-high 76 catches for 971 yards and eight touchdowns.
Could Maclin, who took over the starting job early in the season, be the one to watch in 2010?
Maclin isn't thinking about that right now.
"I guess I'll look at that in a few days. But right now, I'm still competitive," Maclin said. "I am looking forward to the future, but I wanted to win. Everybody in this locker room wanted to win. Next year is the last on my mind right now. We are all thinking about things we could have done to change the outcome of that game."
Not that Maclin's rookie numbers were anything to scoff at. He had 55 catches for 762 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers might have been more impressive if DeSean Jackson didn't have a great rookie year just last season.
Now, it's almost expected that rookie wide receivers can make an impact in Andy Reid's offense. Who would have thought that just two years ago?
But Maclin understands that just because the Eagles won 11 games this year and made the playoffs, that means nothing when it comes to 2010.
"Don't take anything for granted. That's what it comes down to," Maclin said. "You're never promised the next play. You're never promised another chance. Cherish the moment."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 10:13 a.m., January 10