While Sunday night's game offered plenty of highlights, it was also more of the same for the Eagles as they fell to 3-9 on the season. Rookies Nick Foles and Bryce Brown showed improvement, as did the offensive line, but the defense was unable to contain the Cowboys' passing attack. No one is pleased about the Eagles losing eight games in a row, least of all being head coach Andy Reid.
"I can't stand here and tell you I'm proud of them," Reid said after Sunday's game. "We lost the game. No matter how you cut it, we lost the game. I take it personally and that's my responsibility."
Brown had an impressive second start at running back. Brown carried 24 times for 169 yards and two touchdowns, but he also had a costly fumble at the end of the game. That's his third turnover in two games. Still, Reid knows the kind of talent Brown possesses and is confident that he'll be able to bounce back.
"When you get tired, when you're in that fourth quarter, and you can grind it and you're tired, you have to focus on that," Reid said. "He was trying to get every stinking yard he possibly could. And when you're doing that, you have to overemphasize it, exaggerate it and know that until you answer it, the other team is going for the football.
"We're asking him to get in there and work and get back into this; get used to being the guy toting it and there's a way you have to go about that. He has to learn, and he will. He's a smart guy. His effort's there."
Brown wasn't the only rookie to have a nice game. Foles entered Sunday night's game amid questions about his abilities as a starting quarterback. But the rookie out of Arizona silenced the skeptics by having the best of his three starts. He finished the night 22-of-34 for 251 yards and a touchdown. Foles was decisive and confident with his throws and used his feet to extend plays. He also took more shots down the field, something Reid said the coaches wanted to exploit.
"This week, we gave him more opportunities to shoot," Reid said. "I thought he handled it well, made some great decisions; made a couple good checks. The throw to Riley (Cooper) was a check at the line of scrimmage. They did a heck of a job with that."
Despite the play of the rookies, the defense was once again unable to stop the opponent's offense. Quarterback Tony Romo finished the night 22-of-27 for 303 yards and three touchdowns. Sunday was the sixth game in a row the Eagles have allowed a quarterback to post a passer rating over 120. The defense allowed six plays of over 20 yards, including five through the air.
"Some of these have just been young guy mistakes. And then there were ones that were short on the coverage; ones that were breaking down," Reid said. "We have to do a better job challenging. We have to make sure we get in there and challenge. We have to get rush."
The Eagles head back to Philadelphia on an eight-game losing streak for the first time since 1968. Reid knows the entire team must pull together to get out of this rut.
"We're all in this together through the tough times, you work it out, you try to figure it out and get it right," Reid said. "If they're not in position, you put them in position to get it done. If they're in position to make a play, the players know they have to do that."
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