Eagles vs. Cowboys: Signs of Progress for Philly, but Not Enough to Save Jobs

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistDecember 3, 2012

Dec 2, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid meets with Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett after the game at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Eagles 38-33. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The sky's still falling in Philadelphia, but the Eagles performed well enough on Sunday night to at least save some of the final scraps of dignity the team still possessed as December got underway.

That, however, doesn't mean anything should change from the front office's perspective. Not based on one performance, anyway. 

A five-point loss to the Dallas Cowboys shouldn't increase Andy Reid's stock or cause owner Jeffrey Lurie or general manager Howie Roseman to think twice about the fate of underperforming veterans that should soon be joining Jason Babin on a list of former Eagles. 

Nick Foles looked much more comfortable in the pocket and made some impressive throws in his best game yet, but the Eagles have to see at least a few more outings like that before even considering drawing conclusions in regard to Foles' future under center.

If anything, though, the fact that Foles was able to hang in like that with the line in shambles indicates once again that Michael Vick has no business returning to Philly next season. At this point, even the deer-in-headlights rookie is reacting to pressure better than Vick does.

The secondary might have shown signs of life early, but that might have had more to do with Dallas' offense being out of sync. When it mattered, the Eagles couldn't stop Tony Romo, who completed all 10 of the passes he attempted in the second half against a defense that is proving to be historically bad through the air. Seven consecutive opposing quarterbacks have posted passer ratings of 122 or higher against Philadelphia.

Even running back Bryce Brown, who again ran like a champ in place of the concussed LeSean McCoy, proved that he can't be relied upon long term with his third fumble in just two starts. 

There were signs of life, which might provide some relief to embarrassed football fans in the City of Brotherly Love. But those same fans had better hope that this isn't merely queuing up another late-season mirage. The Eagles fooled the front office with a 4-0 final month in 2011. Regardless of what happens this December, this team needs to make drastic changes in January. 

The immensity of those changes should of course be fluid-based on how well some of these guys perform over the final four or five games. One game means nothing. We'll talk again next week and go from there.