Ped­er­son has 2nd thoughts on one de­ci­sion

Ped­er­son had sec­ond thoughts on one de­ci­sion against Cow­boys

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Bob Grotz bgrotz@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @BobGrotz on Twit­ter

Doug Ped­er­son had one, and only one prob­lem with the de­ci­sions he made in the Ea­gles’ over­time loss to the Dal­las Cow­boys Sun­day.

If the Ea­gles’ head coach could go back in time he might have taken those three points off the board in the first quar­ter and accepted the run­ning in­tothe-kicker penalty to put the Ea­gles in fourth-and-one at the seven-yard line of the Cow­boys. The Ea­gles even­tu­ally were beaten, 29-23, at AT&T Sta­dium.

“Whether you make the fourth-and-one and keep the drive alive or not,” Ped­er­son said at his news con­fer­ence Mon­day, “they get the ball at the seven or the eight-yard line and have to go the dis­tance.”

Other than that, 86 the rest of the hind­sight.

Ped­er­son said Mon­day he might have taken the three points off the board and accepted the run­ning into-thekicker penalty that would have given the Ea­gles a fourth-an­done at the seven-yard line of the Cow­boys in the first quar­ter of what be­came a 29-23 de­feat.

“Whether you make the fourth-and-one and keep the drive alive or not,” Ped­er­son said at his news con­fer­ence, “they get the ball at the seven or the eight-yard line and have to go the dis­tance.”

That’s it for the hind­sight, though.

The screen pass to Dar­ren Spro­les on third-and-eight from

the Dal­las 30 with the Ea­gles ahead by a touch­down with seven min­utes left would have been called again, as planned.

The en­su­ing punt af­ter Spro­les was tack­led for a six-yard loss in­stead of at­tempt­ing a 53-yard field goal, wasn’t even on the radar for Ped­er­son, who didn’t want to give the op­po­si­tion the ball at the 43-yard line if the at­tempt missed.

“Where we were in the game, the de­fense was be­gin­ning to get their legs, we had a lit­tle bit of mo­men­tum,” Ped­er­son said. “We were stop­ping their run game. I was trust­ing my de­fense in that sit­u­a­tion, and I wanted to pin them back in­side the 15 at the 10, to make them drive the length of the field. I felt real com­fort­able with that.”

Ped­er­son also wouldn’t sec­ond-guess the de­ci­sion to call time­outs in­stead of let the clock run out and make the Cow­boys punt late in the fourth quar­ter when the game was tied be­cause the best-case sce­nario was try­ing to get an of­fense that had been strug­gling to move 35 yards with one time­out in about 15 sec­onds.

Ul­ti­mately the Ea­gles didn’t make enough plays and fell to 4-3 over­all, 0-2 in the di­vi­sion and 1-2 on the road. They op­pose the Gi­ants (4-3), who are fa­vored by 2 ½ points, this Sun­day at Met-Life Sta­dium.

“Like I told the guys, you’re still a good foot­ball team,” Ped­er­son said. “You’re a great foot­ball team. You proved it again last night. You went toeto-toe with one of the best teams in the NFL and you proved that you’ve just got to elim­i­nate the mis­takes, elim­i­nate the as­sign­ment er­rors, elim­i­nate the turnovers, make the pick when you get the op­por­tu­nity to make it. Those types of things. Those things will help us win games down the stretch.”

n On the in­jury front Ea­gles left guard Allen Bar­bre (ham­string strain), who left the Cow­boys game in the first half, is week to week.

So are line­backer Kamu Grugier-Hill (ham­string) and de­fen­sive tackle Tay­lor Hart (an­kle), both scratched for the game.

The good news is stal­wart de­fen­sive tackle Ben­nie Lo­gan, shelved for the sec­ond straight game, is “much bet­ter.

“We’ll see where he’s at, prob­a­bly limit him a lit­tle bit, he should re­turn to prac­tice this week,” Ped­er­son said. “We’ll get him some reps and see where he’s at.”

Cor­ner­back Leodis McKelvin (ham­string) and safety Chris Mara­gos (ham­string) are full-go, per Ped­er­son, as are line­backer My­chal Ken­dricks (ribs) and Wentz (calf spasm).

Ped­er­son said Wentz got kicked in the calf dur­ing the Vikings’ game.

“It was sore, it’s just a spasm and he’s fine,” Ped­er­son said.

Ste­fen Wis­niewski “did well” in place of Bar­bre, ac­cord­ing to Ped­er­son.

n With the trade dead­line loom­ing at 4 p.m. to­day, Ped­er­son was asked if the Ea­gles would look to up­grade at wide re­ceiver.

“As far as I know, we’re not mak­ing any moves,” Ped­er­son said. “The guys we have are the guys we have. We’re go­ing to con­tinue to work and get bet­ter at that po­si­tion.”

n On the in­jury front Ea­gles left guard Allen Bar­bre (ham­string strain), who left the Cow­boys game in the first half, is week to week.

So are line­backer Kamu Grugier-Hill (ham­string) and de­fen­sive tackle Tay­lor Hart (an­kle), both scratched for the game.

The good news is stal­wart de­fen­sive tackle Ben­nie Lo­gan, shelved for the sec­ond straight game, is “much bet­ter.

“We’ll see where he’s at, prob­a­bly limit him a lit­tle bit, he should re­turn to prac­tice this week,” Ped­er­son said. “We’ll get him some reps and see where he’s at.”

Cor­ner­back Leodis McKelvin (ham­string) and safety Chris Mara­gos (ham­string) are full-go, per Ped­er­son, as are line­backer My­chal Ken­dricks (ribs) and Wentz (calf spasm).

Ped­er­son said Wentz got kicked in the calf dur­ing the Vikings’ game.

“It was sore, it’s just a spasm and he’s fine,” Ped­er­son said.

Ste­fen Wis­niewski “did well” in place of Bar­bre, ac­cord­ing to Ped­er­son.

MICHAEL AINSWORTH — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Ea­gles head coach Doug Ped­er­son, left, talks to Ja­son Gar­rett be­fore Sun­day’s game against the Dal­las Cow­boys.

RON JENK­INS — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Dal­las Cow­boys line­backer Justin Du­rant pushes Ea­gles run­ning back Dar­ren Spro­les out of bounds in the first half Sun­day.

MICHAEL AINSWORTH — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Dal­las Cow­boys quar­ter­back Dak Prescott runs the ball for a touch­down Sun­day.

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