ARLINGTON, Tx. --Players around the league respect Michael Vick, but Cowboys running back Tashard Choice took that respect to a whole new level following Sunday night's 30-27 win for the Eagles. As the players gathered on the field for the post-game handshakes and chit-chats, Choice asked Vick for his autograph.
Vick said it was the first time that he's ever been asked by another player for an autograph on the field.
He didn't put up the out-of-world stats that he's had in recent games, but Vick still finished 16 of 26 for 270 yards with three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) and two interceptions for a 90.2 passer rating. Vick was also subject to a barrage of tough hits. He was sacked twice, but was shoved violently by Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer on a run near the sideline when it appeared as if he was going out of bounds. That didn't draw a flag, but Spencer's helmet-to-helmet hit late in the second quarter did draw a 15-yard penalty. He was also drilled on an incomplete pass attempt where he was blindsided by outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware.
"It's part of the game. You have to get up and keep fighting. You can't continue to make excuses," Vick said when asked about the Spencer play near the sideline. "I don't want anything to ever be given to me. I want to earn it, so it's something I won't pout about. Hopefully, it won't happen again."
Before the adversity, Vick helped set the tone early with a 60-yard pass through the air to DeSean Jackson on the opening play of the game. The Eagles lined up with two tight ends to the left side of the formation and LeSean McCoy in the backfield. The Eagles sold the fake handoff to McCoy to get the Cowboys moving to the right side and Vick had plenty of time to allow Jackson to run down the right side of the field. Vick eventually scored on a 1-yard run to put the Eagles ahead 7-0.
"It showed them we were going to be aggressive for four quarters and try to get it done on all cylinders," Vick said of the opening play.
The biggest play of the game came early in the fourth quarter with the game tied at 20-20. From the Eagles' 9-yard line, Vick threw a short 10-yard pass to the left for Jackson who got by cornerback Mike Jenkins and was off to the races for a 91-yard touchdown. The Eagles regained the lead and never looked back.
"When he first caught the ball, I knew he was going to have the opportunity to get some YAC," Vick said. "I knew I put the ball in a perfect location. I just didn't know he was going to take it 91 yards. That's just the type of things he can do when he touches the ball. He's a very dynamic player."
Vick has been instrumental in the Eagles' success this season, but on this victorious night he gave credit to the offensive line. Even though he took some brutal hits, Vick was proud of the way the offensive line allowed the Eagles to milk the clock at the end of the game. The Eagles' final possession began with 4:22 remaining and they were able to run the clock all the way until the final whistle sounded.
"I just have to give credit to those guys up front. They fought. They battled. They basically won the game," Vick said. "I challenged those guys to get it done and they were able to do it. Despite all of the adversity, they kept fighting. They hung in there and they made it happen."
The Eagles are now 9-4 and await the result of Monday night's game between the Giants and the Vikings. A win by the Vikings means that next Sunday's game against the Giants in New Jersey could secure the team's first division crown since 2006.
"It's very tough going down the stretch, you have to play your best football in December," Vick said. "We still have a tough schedule ahead of us."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 3:03 a.m., December 13