Each week we'll take a look at the decisive play that proved to be the difference between winning and losing.
For the second straight week, the turning point for the Eagles came when one the few bright spots this season, rookie running back Bryce Brown, marred an otherwise impressive showing by putting the ball on the ground.
Last week, Brown rushed for 178 yards, including two touchdowns, but he also had two turnovers. Sunday night against the Cowboys, Brown was equally as effective, racking up 169 yards on the ground -- and two more touchdowns -- but he also had another untimely fumble.
With 4:03 left in the game and the Eagles trailing 31-27, Brown was stripped near midfield and Cowboys rookie cornerback Maurice Claiborne scooped up the loose ball and 50 yards later it was 38-27. Game over.
“I’ve never been a fumbler,” Brown said after the game according to CSNPhilly.com's Reuben Frank. “It bothers me, but I’m not going to let it get me down. That’s just football, and things are going to happen.
“I haven’t played in a while and I’ve got to remember, ‘Protect the ball, it’s important,’ and I’m going to take that part of it and remember it and keep working on it and get better.”
There are no bright spots in this Eagles season. The team has now lost eight in a row and the Phillies have won more recently than their Philly football counterparts. The roster and coaching staff will be blown up in the offseason and the pieces will be put back together with a lot of different faces. But despite Brown's sudden inability to hold onto the ball, he's shown the type of game-changing ability to earn a bigger role with this team (it certainly doesn't hurt that he's markedly cheaper than LeSean McCoy).
“Bryce is a tough running back,” rookie quarterback Nick Foles said. “He ran hard all night, and I was really proud of it. Sometimes stuff happens, but he’s going to overcome it. I know what type of person he is and what type of player he is.”
Tight end Brent Celek added: “Bryce is a great player. He’s a great young player, he knows you’ve got to hang onto the football, we don’t have to tell him that. We just have to focus on it a little bit more, and that’s what we’ll talk about and that’s what we’ll work on, but he can be a good player in this league for a long time.”
The Eagles have four games left in this already forgettable season. What happens when McCoy returns from a concussion?
“I think it’s a positive thing,” Reid said. “I know what LeSean can do. I know what Bryce can do now. … It’s a good problem to have.”
Reid could've added: "for the next coach who has this job."