Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/13/12
A lot to talk about in the Eagles loss to the Dallas Cowboys, so let's just dive right in.Here are five things we learned.Eagles Fans Will No Longer Have to Wonder "What If" When it Comes to Nick FolesPhiladelphia fans in general have no qualms about jumping ship when it comes to a player or coach who is under-performing. Even players and coaches with a history of winning are fair game in the city that threw snowballs at a drunk guy in a Santa suit.Donovan McNabb won a lot of games in Philly and basically owns the Eagles passing record book. But when things began to decline, fans were happy to spring for a cab ride to take McNabb out of town.The same sentiment has fallen upon Michael Vick this season.Fans have been screaming for a change at quarterback since about Week 3, but Andy Reid has rightfully stuck with his guns and kept Vick in despite a 4-game losing streak and diminishing playoff hopes.Now that those playoff hopes have seemingly disappeared, and with Vick possibly out for an extended period of time with a concussion, fans will get a chance to see if they were right all along.Enter: rookie Nick Foles, who will have his opportunity to show if the Eagles indeed have a future should they decide to release Vick after the season. Foles will now be leading a team with little hope left but a lot to prove.Reid is notorious for going with whoever is playing better at the time. He did it in 2010 when Kevin Kolb was given the starting job in training camp, but Vick took over when Kolb was injured in the season opener and Reid never looked back.Could Reid do the same thing if Foles plays well?It's undeniable that Vick's contract will be a major factor in the decision. Vick is set to make about $16 million next season, and it Foles shows any type of promise in the coming weeks, it is very possible Vick could be looking for work come March.For better or for worse, the Philadelphia Eagles have unwillingly arrived at a fork in the road when it comes to quarterback.Don't Get Too Excited in DallasThe Dallas Cowboys got a much needed win yesterday, and that should not be overlooked. Sometimes it only takes one win to turn the season around and things start to improve.Beware of fool's gold, however.A win is a win in the NFL, but this one doesn't sweep all of the Cowboy's problems under the rug. They are still tumultuous on offense and have issues in both the passing and running game.While Romo went turnover free for only the third time all season, his numbers were still mediocre at 19/27 for 209 yards, a pair of touchdowns and a slightly above average quarterback rating (QBR) of 61.5.His leading receiver remains Jason Witten, which is good for my fantasy team but bad for the Cowboys. Dallas has never fared well when Witten is their top target, and will require a stronger showing from receivers Dez Bryant and Miles Austin if they are going to have any hope of a playoff run. The Eagles Offensive Line Can Block, So Why Don't They Block for Michael Vick?I learned this morning that I am not the only one who noticed the sudden ability of the Eagles offensive line to block once Michael Vick left the game.However, I am unable to come up with a reason as to why they are able to keep Foles on his feet but not Vick.I've watched Michael Vick dodging linebackers for eight weeks, rarely having the opportunity to set his feet and throw. More frequently, he has to scramble out of trouble and try to find an open receiver.Some of this comes from Vick's lack of pre-snap vision and inability to recognize blitzes. A LOT of it has to do with the Eagles' offensive line - depleted by injuries - to effectively block.But as soon as Foles entered the game I saw a more effective pocket that allowed Foles to look down field instead of at DeMarcus Ware in his face.So it has to come back to coaching for Philadelphia. Howard Mudd is often praised as an offensive line guru, yet here we stand with a figurative conundrum of a situation. Maybe if they could block like this for Vick, they would be more successful.Jason Garrett's Hot Seat Has Cooled, Andy Reid's Has Heated UpBoth Jason Garrett and Andy Reid came into Sunday's matchup with their jobs in question. We all knew that one would leave with a little more job security and the other would leave with a lot of questions to answer.Of the two, Reid was the one better suited to handle the questions. Reid has a long tenure and strong organizational relationships to lean on while Garrett hasn't built such things yet.Last week, after a tough loss to the then undefeated Atlanta Falcons, there was some speculation about Garrett's future in Dallas.News came out shortly after the game that the extension Sean Payton signed with the New Orleans Saints would be voided and Payton would be a free agent coach. Speculation began to swirl around the media that Payton, a Dallas resident, could wind up the Cowboy's next coach in 2013.For now, Garrett has pushed questions about his job back another week, and the focus can rest firmly on Reid's tired shoulders.In the final minutes of the game I saw a banner that read: "Andy, Quit, Your Team Has!"Pretty tame for Philadelphia fans, but the message is even clearer than that: Fans are ready to move on from Andy Reid... Now!No waiting for the off season and a fox hunt for a new coach. No crazy speculation over who they want or who is the ideal fit. No more excuses. They want a change and they want it asap.Much like in Vick's situation, the Eagles would be right not to make a move until the season is over. Andy Reid has been through a lot this year and has given a lot to this town. His loyalty is unquestionable and, even in a cut-throat world of sports, he deserves better.This Won't Be The Last Opportunity for Dallas to Turn Their Season AroundDallas is coming up on one of the easier schedules in the league to end the season, which will give them ample opportunity to chase down a faltering Giants team for the division crown.In the next three weeks, Dallas will be home for Cleveland, Washington and Philadelphia, then travel to Cincinnati, home again for Pittsburgh and New Orleans, and finish the season at Washington.The only team on that schedule with a winning record is Pittsburgh, although New Orleans seems to have finally found a groove. If there is ever a time for the Cowboys to have confidence, it's now.If you make the reasonable assumption that Dallas goes 5-2 down this stretch, that would leave them at 9-7 for the season.The Giants, on the other hand, are stumbling into their bye week and have difficult late-season matchups against Green Bay, New Orleans, Atlanta and Baltimore, capped off by a season finale against an Eagles team that may have nothing to lose.If the Giants don't pick it up for that late stretch, they could end up going 2-4 leaving them at 8-8 for the season. In a top-heavy NFC, 8-8 won't make the playoffs.
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