ARLINGTON, Texas --As the Eagles and head coach Andy Reid know all too well, precision is key in the playoffs. And the Eagles were anything but precise in their 34-14 loss to Dallas on Saturday night.
Two fumbles cost the Eagles in a big way and led to 10 Dallas points at the end of the first half to turn a 17-7 deficit into a 27-7 Grand Canyon-sized hole at halftime.
The first turnover, with 3 minutes, 23 seconds left in the half, came when Michael Vick, in shotgun formation, put the football in Leonard Weaver's gut and appeared as if he wanted to pull it out and roll left with the ball. Instead, the ball rolled around, semi in Weaver's possession, and then coughed out. Vick went to the ground for the recovery, but linebacker Bobby Carpenter got there first and recovered at the Philadelphia 18-yard line.
Three plays later, Dallas scored on a touchdown pass to Miles Austin for a 24-7 lead.
On the Eagles' next possession, Donovan McNabb drove the Eagles to the Dallas 48-yard line, but then disaster struck. He completed a short pass to Weaver over the middle. Weaver made the catch and struggled for a yard before linebacker Bradie James jarred the ball loose. James recovered with 51 seconds remaining in the half, just enough time for Dallas to get into field goal territory to lead 27-7 at the half.
Combined with too many penalties, a bunch of missed tackles and poor execution on offense and the Eagles played one of the worst postseason games they have played with Reid at the helm.
McNabb threw an interception and coughed up a ball late when DeMarcus Ware came from behind him late in the game, so the Eagles had a total of four turnovers -- one of which they got right back when Michael Jenkins fumbled after intercepting McNabb -- and they committed 9 penalties. Sloppy, sloppy.
"You can't win in the playoffs when you play that way," said McNabb. "We just didn't play our game. You would like to have it back, but it doesn't work that way."
The offense converted 2 of 11 third downs and, well, you know. It was terrible all around.
"I thought we had a good week of practice and that we were ready," said McNabb. "Obviously, we were not."
-- Posted by Dave Spadaro, 12: 47 a.m., January 10