PHILADELPHIA (AP)The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t show up for their biggest game of the season after their coach had promised a victory.
An embarrassing 37-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in front of a prime-time audience left players searching for answers, questioning their commitment and looking for accountability.
Doug Pederson, who led the team to its first Super Bowl title in his second season, pointed the finger at himself.
”It starts with me, and I hold myself accountable,” Pederson said Monday. ”I have to do a better job, quite frankly, and I have to communicate that better to the team and make sure that we’re doing the right things every single day, not just some of the time.”
The Eagles (3-4) entered the season with championship-or-bust expectations but have lost four of six, including consecutive losses by double digits. They’ve been outscored 75-30 by the Vikings and Cowboys.
Turnovers were a major problem in Dallas. Fumbles on the first two possessions quickly led to a 14-0 deficit and the Eagles never recovered.
”We have nine games left, and it’s a one-game season,” Pederson said. ”By no means are we pushing any panic buttons. We’re one game out of first place in our division. … And the things that are showing up on tape are fixable. They are correctible. The sky is not falling for us. We have the men in the locker room to get the job done, and I think where we are and kind of what we’ve been through this season already is going to really bring this team a lot closer.”
Jordan Howard is averaging 4.5 yards per carry and has been the team’s most consistent offensive player. He ran for 50 yards on 11 carries against the Cowboys, but the early deficit forced the Eagles to throw the ball.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Almost everything. Even the usually steady offensive line has shown weaknesses lately. Carson Wentz was sacked three times, took several hits and was constantly pressured into missing his throws.
Cornerback Jalen Mills returned from a foot injury to play his first game since last October and came up with an interception in the end zone. Mills had rough moments along with the rest of the defense but his presence provided a boost.
Wide receiver Mack Hollins has played 139 snaps over the past four games and has only one catch on six targets.
Defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway suffered an ankle injury that needed further evaluation. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson is moving closer toward returning from an abdomen injury that has sidelined him since Week 2. Cornerback Avonte Maddox remains in concussion protocol since Sept. 26. Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan (foot), linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle) and cornerback Ronald Darby (hamstring) are also recovering.
4 – The wide receivers combined for only four catches, two apiece for Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. Mack Hollins got one target and now has one catch in 139 snaps over the past four games.
The Eagles visit Buffalo. The Bills (5-1) are off to their best start in 11 years.
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