Philadelphia News & Search
1. Tony Romo looked great in his first regular-season action in more than a year. The veteran briefly replaced Dak Prescott in the second quarter. Romo took two deep shots (one earned a DPI) and displayed his trademark darts over the middle, going 3-of-4 passing for 29 yards and a TD toss in one drive. There was no rust on the 36-year-old quarterback. Romo’s trade stock couldn’t be higher — Yay! Look forward to months of Romo rumors.
On the negative side, Dallas can’t be thrilled watching Mark Sanchez toss two first-half interceptions (he had a 0.0 QB rating at halftime). If Romo moves on — like we all expect — the Cowboys might be in the market for a backup this offseason (again).
2. Carson Wentz‘s finale was a microcosm of his rookie season. The quarterback came out firing, completing his first five passes. Then he sputtered, missing receivers high and wide. Wentz was under siege all day by the Cowboys‘ pass rush and got no help from his wide receivers. The rookie overcame his struggles by heavily targeting tight end Zach Ertz (13 catches for 139 yards, two TDs) in the second half. Wentz dropped a beautiful dime to Ertz to give the Eagles a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Wentz finished 27-of-43 passing for 245 yards and two TDs. The rookie’s finish displayed all the promise that made the Eagles‘ brass drool before the season. Wentz will head into the offseason needing to tweak his elongated mechanics (dropping his elbow leads to sailed passes) and footwork. On balance, for a rookie that many said needed a year of seasoning before he was ready to play, Wentz’s first season should be viewed as a success. Now he needs to grow in his first full offseason, and Howie Roseman needs to get Wentz some skill-position help.
3. With nothing on the line, the Cowboys rested their star players. Ezekiel Elliott dressed but never left the bench (dashing Jerry Jones’ claim Zeke could go after the rookie rushing record). Linebacker Sean Lee also dressed but was tied to the bench. Dez Bryant and Jason Witten both started but didn’t make it to halftime before being yanked (Witten finishes the regular season 17-yards shy of the Cowboys‘ all-time receiving record). Dallas’ offensive line started reserve left tackle Emmett Cleary and backup left guard Joe Looney. With a bye before hosting a playoff game, Dallas hopes to get healthy ahead of their Super Bowl run.
4. Rod Marinelli deserves the Assistant Coach of the Year Award. Even with a bevy of players injured or held out, his defensive line had its way with the Eagles‘ offensive line.
Philadelphia News & Search