ARLINGTON, Texas – Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan doesn’t deserve – or want – any credit for this win by the Cowboys.
This was a defensive debacle, plain and simple. And all the Cowboys’ injuries were no excuse against a Philadelphia offense missing its starting quarterback, Pro Bowl running back, No. 1 receiver and three offensive lineman.
The Eagles still racked up 423 yards and 33 points. Rookie running back Bryce Brown ran wild with 169 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. Rookie quarterback Nick Foles was efficient, throwing for 251 yards and a touchdown on 22-of-34 passing.
“Whew, it was a long night,” Ryan said as he walked out of the Cowboys’ locker room.
If you want to put a positive spin on a sorry performance, at least this was better than last week for Ryan’s injury-riddled defense. The Redskins ruined Ryan’s Thanksgiving by rolling for 437 yards in Washington’s 38-31 win over the Cowboys.
Ryan isn’t looking for positive spin, though. He’s desperately searching for solutions while filling holes with backups and newcomers.
“We’ve just got to figure out what they do best and play sound football,” Ryan said. “We were struggling there, obviously. That goes without saying. It’s tough identifying exactly what we’re going to be best at. That’s the situation we’re in. We’re not making excuses.
“We battled back. We won. Thank God for our offense. But, hell, we’ve got to fix it. We’ve got to play better than that, and we will.”
Well, they can’t play a whole lot worse, right?
The Eagles entered the game ranked 30th in the league in scoring offense, averaging only 16.7 points per game. They had more than that in the first half. Philadelphia finished the game with by far its highest point total of the season.
“I never knew it was going to be as difficult as what we made it look tonight,” Ryan said. “It shouldn’t be that difficult. We should have been better than that. That’s on me. Hell, we’ll get it fixed.”