Boykin Pick Seals Eagles First Division Title Since 2010


Dec 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin (22) celebrates with his teammates on the field after making an interception in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT

This was tonight’s Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys live recap, that concluded in an Eagles division title.

Eagles vs. Cowboys!  Sunday Night Football!  The NFC East and a playoff berth on the line!  Regular season games simply don’t get any bigger than this.

Follow along as I provide a live recap of all the action.  Updates will be posted after every quarter, and you can feel free to give your own take in the comments below.


For once Carrie isn’t lying: We really have been waiting all day for Sunday night!

Al Michaels helpfully points out that this is the third straight year that the Cowboys have faced a do-or-die situation in week 17.  In a way, this is a testament to the Cowboys’ staying power that they’ve been in the mix just about every season.  Of course when you lose those games repeatedly, that tends to become the larger focus.  For instance, after the Eagles’ third straight NFC Championship Game loss, they stopped receiving praise for making that far.  Instead, the big story was that they couldn’t win that particular game.

While I’m sure Tony Romo wants the Cowboys to win, I bet there’s a small part of him that kind of, sort of wants them to play poorly without him.  Remember how Donovan McNabb’s mother said it was “bittersweet” for the Eagles to succeed under Jeff Garcia in 2006?  I’m sure that’s not the first time an injured athlete has felt that way.

And here comes the kick off!  Let’s do this, Birds!

First Quarter

14:55 – Tony Romo has one huge advantage over Kyle Orton: His hair.  That pseudo-mullet is not a good look for Orton.

14:07 – Eagles didn’t do a great job of getting pressure on Orton and they didn’t tackle Dez Bryant especially well either.

12:51 – Another completion to Bryant.  Looks like he’s going to be a focus for the Cowboys.

12:18 – The Eagles jump on a hard count giving the Cowboys a first down.  Seems like they might have been a bit too excited.

11:55 – Another big hole for DeMarco Murray to run through.  The defensive line needs to get its act together.

11:33 – A screen pass to Murray works well.  Cowboys have come out looking strong.

10:42 – FUMBLE!  Murray coughs it up right into Bradley Fletcher’s arms.  Now that’s the way to change momentum!  Let’s see the Eagles take the ball and ram it down their throats now.

10:36 – They faked a pass to DeSean Jackson and Foles wastes no time in throwing it away.  Looks like he’s not taking any chances.

10:12 – After a 7 yard rush, why is LeSean McCoy  taken out of the game on 3rd and 3?

9:35 – Okay, maybe that’s why.  Chris Polk takes a screen pass for about forty yards.

8:40 – It’s so frustrating to have McCoy bust a long run only to see the “FLAG” notification.  Sure enough, a hold wipes out the gain.  Ugh, holds can be such drive killers.

7:46 – On 3rd and 19, Riley Cooper makes a tough catch in traffic for a 17 yard gain.  Not enough for the first, but sets up an attainable field goal attempt.

7:08 – Alex Henery boots the 47 yard field goal to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.  Good to see Henery making longer kicks the last two weeks.  That one would have been good from a lot further too.  So basically, that fumble resulted in a six-point swing for the Eagles.

7:07 – Henery must have eaten his Wheaties as he boots it deep into the end zone for the touchback.

6:59 – Murray bounces back from the fumble with a 19 yard catch.  It probably helped that there wasn’t a defender anywhere near him.

6:18 – Another carry for Murray.  The Cowboys seem to be emphasizing the run early on.

5:40 – Orton JUST gets a screen pass off over the hands of Mychal Kendricks.  Murray catches it and delivers a huge blow to Damion Square.

4:55 – They show a replay and Michaels mentions that Murray lowered his helmet to deliver that blow, which was supposed to be a penalty this season.  I don’t think I’ve seen that called all year though.

3:41 – On 3rd and 2, the Cowboys oddly attempt a long pass that comes nowhere close to the receiver.  Strange play call there.

3:33 – DeSean Jackson with a very nonchalant fair catch signal on the ensuing punt.

3:27 – The announcers keep talking about how much the Cowboys don’t want to see McCoy get outside.  So far, they are succeeding, as McCoy gets stopped for a one yard loss.

1:51 – Foles is almost sacked, but gets the ball to Zach Ertz for a first down.  That was Ertz’s second catch, and it looks like he’s going to be heavily featured.

1:09 – McCoy breaks out for 20 yards, and came oh so close to taking it to the house.

0:37 – Once again, Foles throws it right into the ground, but this time he was in the pocket and gets called for intentional grounding.  On closer review, McCoy was kind of close to the ball, but the refs didn’t buy it.

0:29 – Foles does a good job moving in the pocket and finds DeSean Jackson who takes it for a 20 yard gain.

0:00 – The quarter ends after a short gain by McCoy.  Both offenses have moved the ball pretty well this quarter, but thanks to the turnover, the Eagles have the lead.

Alex Henery. Image Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Second Quarter

14:21 – Foles throws a deep ball and it looks like he just tossed it up for grabs…but Jason Avant goes up and gets it. Naturally Avant fell down immediately after, but that was a heck of a catch.

14:10 – A short swing pass to McCoy who runs it in for the touchdown!

14:00 – A deflected Orton pass is almost picked off.  Bummer.

13:22 – For the second time, the Eagles jump on a hard count on third down.  At least this one didn’t result in a first down.  But it does make the conversion much more manageable.

12:52 – Michaels is fooled as he thought that Jason Witten caught a ball that hit the ground.  Eagles will get the ball back.  It would be really swell if they could score again and put this out of reach early.

12:42 – So how did Chris Pine become the new action franchise go-to guy?  Mind you, I’m not complaining, as I thought he was really good in the Star Trek movies.  His performance could have devolved into a William Shatner parody, but he managed to avoid that.

11:26 – Nick Foles looks extremely awkward when trying to scramble and gets taken down for a sack.  If you ever want to make a case for having a mobile quarterback, that play should be used as evidence.

11:07 – I am way too excited that Miller Lite is using their classic can design.  I don’t even like Miller Lite that much, but I think I’m going to buy some.

11:01 – For once Patrick Chung knocks down someone on the other team rather than his own, as he gives Witten a hard shot.

10:14 – On 3rd and 12, Terrance Williams makes a 39 yard catch.  The Eagles’ season-long problems on 3rd and long continue.

8:16 – Rookie tight end Gavin Escobar is left obscenely wide open, and despite being upended at the goal line, he takes it in for a touchdown. Looks like the Eagles aren’t going to be putting this one away early.

8:13 – McCoy is stopped again.  The Cowboys supposedly have a lousy run defense, but they’re doing a good job so far.  Michaels points out that McCoy didn’t follow his blockers.

6:51 – Foles threads the needle to Avant, and somewhat remarkably, Avant even gets some yards after the catch.

6:17 – Foles barely avoids another intentional grounding call, as Avant was in the area.

6:10 – With a long run, McCoy passes Wilbert Montgomery for the Eagles single season rushing record!

5:15 – Foles’ lack of mobility has really hurt tonight as he’s taken down yet again.

4:18 – Brandon Boykin gets called for fair catch interference.  Considering he was the one burned on the 39 yard catch earlier, Boykin is not having a great game so far.

3:35 – Murray with another tough run.  The Eagles are having some trouble bringing him down.

2:13 – The Cowboys have 3rd and 9.  Eagles really need to stop them here.

2:00 – I shouldn’t have written that as Witten makes an 11 yard catch.  That probably kills any chance the Eagles had of getting the ball back with enough time to score before halftime.  Now the main concern is making sure the Cowboys don’t score.

Hooray!  Community is coming back!  There will be something worth watching on TV again.

1:53 – Scratch what I just said. (About the Eagles scoring, not about Community)  Witten has a ball bounce off his hands and it goes right into Mychal Kendricks’ hands.  Eagles now have a great opportunity to score again.

1:43 – A long pass is hauled in by Brent Celek.  Foles put it up so that Celek could make a play on it, and Celek rewarded his faith with a beautiful catch.

1:19 – Foles goes right back to Celek who is about as open as Escobar had been.  He runs the ball in for a touchdown!  Kendricks’ interception was about as big a momentum swing as you can have in a football game.

1:09 – Orton picks up a first down on a scramble, and the Cowboys call their first time out.  It would be nice if the Eagles could avoid giving up points here.  Take that momentum into halftime.

1:02 – Witten is left wide open.  A 28 yard gain and he gets out of bounds at the end.  Not a good play for the defense.

0:54 – Witten with another catch, and Kendricks seems to be having a lot of trouble covering him.

0:23 – Witten catches a dump off pass but goes nowhere, and will likely set up a field goal attempt.

0:18 – The 44 yard attempt is good, and we’ve got a one possession game.  I’m guessing that the Eagles are just going to kneel down after receiving the kickoff.

0:00 – Sure enough, the Eagles take a knee.  The Eagles have the lead and will get the ball to start the second half, but this one looks like it’s going to be close throughout.

Anyone hoping that Orton would completely self-destruct has got to be disappointed.  The Cowboys’ line has protected him well, and he’s made some good throws.  The one interception wasn’t even really his fault.  If the Eagles want to enhance their chances of victory, they’ll need to get some more pressure on him.

Kyle Orton

Third Quarter

14:45 – Awful start to the quarter as Foles gets dropped for a huge loss.

14:20 – McCoy gets most of the yardage back with a 16 yard run.

14:01 – Foles almost intentionally grounds it again on 3rd down.  It really feels like they need to be using McCoy more.

13:08 – After the Cowboys get it back, they try another screen pass to Murray, but this time Kendricks was ready for it and makes a very solid tackle.

12:24 – Another darned offsides on 3rd down!  What are they keying on?

12:20 – Sure enough, that penalty allowed the Cowboys to convert a much easier third down.

11:11 – Witten with another catch and the Cowboys are moving.  Orton is still getting way too much time to throw.

10:25 – Michaels mentions that Orton has good protection on another completion.  He really doesn’t need to bother saying that at this point.

9:43 – Cedric Thornton makes a good stop on Murray to set up another 3rd and long.  It would be nice if the Eagles could not jump offsides here.

9:04 – They throw a jump ball to Dez Bryant in the end zone, but Boykin makes a nice play to break up the pass.

9:00 – Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey makes his second 40+ yard field goal, and the Cowboys cut the lead to 4.

8:30 – Naturally, the Eagles come out throwing on this series.  At least the first pass goes for a first down to Ertz.

8:21 – McCoy is once again stopped on an outside run.  It feels like he’s had the most success running inside.

7:52 – It looked like they could have called pass interference on a pass intended for Celek, but no flag comes.

7:44 – Foles is sacked yet again.  Worse, he fumbles the ball and the Cowboys recover.  This is not good.  The Eagles are getting soundly dominated at the line of scrimmage on both sides.

7:38 – The defense needs to step up here.  It would be huge to keep the Cowboys out of the end zone.

6:55 – Murray should have been brought down for about a six yard loss, but he somehow escapes back to the line of scrimmage.

6:04 – The Eagles stop them short on 3rd down thanks to a good play by Connor Barwin.  Great job by the defense in a tough situation.  Looks like the Eagles will maintain the lead for another possession.

5:38 – After another field goal, the lead has been cut to 1.  The Eagles’ offense really needs to get something going here.  They either need to get McCoy loose or find a way to give Foles adequate protection.  It would also help if Foles could escape from the pressure, but he’s looked rattled every time defenders get near him.

5:33 – McCoy doesn’t gain much on an inside run.  I thought the Cowboys run defense sucked?

5:12 – A quick snap results in a long pass that was nowhere near DeSean Jackson.

5:04 – More pressure on Foles results in a throwaway and another 3rd and out.  The Eagles’ offense is struggling badly here, and the Cowboys will likely have good field position.

4:55 – A muffed punt is recovered by the Cowboys.  Could have been a big break.

4:45 – Kendricks shoots in to bring down Murray.  Kendricks looks to be really fired up as he’s been all over the place.

4:09 – Another Orton deep ball bounces harmlessly on the turf.  This brings up another 3rd and long for the Cowboys.

4:03 – Brandon Graham with a nice tackle on Witten to keep him well short of the first.  The defense is starting to step up.  Can the offense follow suit?

3:25 – A 21 yard punt return by DeSean Jackson gives the Eagles the ball at their own 46.  Can they do anything with the good field position?

3:20 – A toss to McCoy goes nowhere.  On that play, it looked like he danced a bit too much.

2:45 – Finally, McCoy gets outside for a 13 yard gain.  Still, McCoy danced again.

2:16 – McCoy has a 10 yard gain, and it seems that they’re FINALLY trying to get him going.

1:41 – Another good catch and run to Celek results in 1st and goal at the 6.

1:11 – The Eagles hand off to receiver Brad Smith who looks to pass it.  Smith misses an open Zach Ertz in the end zone.  I appreciate the creativity, but not necessarily when the offense was moving well.

1:00 – A catch by Jackson, and he is stopped JUST short of the end zone, bringing up 4th and less-than-1.

0:38 – The Eagles try to snap it quickly so that the Cowboys can’t substitute, but as soon as the ball is snapped, flags fly everywhere.  Apparently, the Cowboys called timeout before the ball was snapped.

0:31 – Foles attempts to sneak it, but he is stopped short.  Based on the replay, there doesn’t appear to be any way the Eagles could win a challenge.

0:00 – The Eagles can’t even keep them pinned back as Dez Bryant with a catch to give them some breathing room.

So here we are: The last quarter of the regular season.  The winner makes the playoffs.  And we’ve got a one point game.

DeSean Jackson. Image Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Fourth Quarter

14:30 – Witten with a catch, but comes up limping.

14:06 – Orton with time (again!) finds Miles Austin and the Cowboys are at midfield.  Didn’t take them long to move there from their own goal line.

13:03 – After a 7 yard gain, we’ve got a huge 3rd down coming up.

12:30 – Murray is tackled a yard short, but it will interesting to see if the Cowboys go for it here.

12:12 – They’re going for it!

11:48 – Barwin with another big play as he swats down the 4th down pass attempt and the Eagles regain possession.  They need to give the ball to McCoy and keep giving it to him until he’s celebrating a touchdown.

11:43 – Well, they gave it to him, but he didn’t gain any yards.  Still, they need to stick with the run.

11:18 – …Or not as a completion to Riley Cooper goes for 19 yards.

10:23 – The Eagles are uncharacteristically taking a long time to get the play off.

9:52 – McCoy is stopped short and we have a 3rd and 1.

9:28 – McCoy plunges ahead for the first down.  Good job of putting his head down and hitting the hole.

8:56 – Avant with a catch, and it’s almost comforting to see him go down immediately.

8:22 – Bryce Brown with good second effort to pick up a first down.

8:08 – Why does Cris Collinsworth keep talking about Brown’s fumbling problems last year?  Is he trying to jinx him?

6:43 – McCoy gets a first down, setting up first and goal from the 6.  Seems like we’ve been here before.

6:09 – Bryce Brown gets the corner and goes in for the touchdown!  So screw you and your attempted jinx, Collinsworth!  Screw you!

But seriously, that was an impressive drive for the Eagles.  They gained a lot of tough yards, earned an 8 point lead, and used up a good amount of clock.  Now, it’s up to the defense to hold.

6:02 – Bryant with a catch, and I’m glad I decided to drink water instead of beer while watching the game.  This recap wouldn’t be nearly as coherent if I wasn’t.  (Yes, it is possible that it could be less coherent!)

5:24 – All day for Orton to throw (I know, I’m a broken record) and Witten brings it down to the Eagles’ 39 yard line.

4:48 – Remarkably, the Cowboys get called for their first penalty of the night.  If the Eagles lose, there will be no shortage of conspiracy theorists talking about that.

4:44 – The announcers point out that the penalty shouldn’t have actually been called.  Oh well.  Sucks for the Cowboys.

4:32 – Cowboys have 3rd and 9 coming up.  Huge huge HUGE play.

3:57 – A decent amount of contact on an incomplete pass for Dez Bryant.  The crowd wants a flag but none comes.  Michaels and Collinsworth are still whining about that penalty and saying how “game changing” it was.  It was a false start on 1st and 10.  If a team can’t overcome that, do they deserve to win?

The Cowboys are going for it on 4th and 9, but have to call their second timeout.

Collinsworth is STILL whining!  He just won’t shut up about it.

3:50 – Are you happy now, Collinsworth?  Are you f***ing happy?  Dez Bryant catches a ball, Chung misses a tackle, and Bryant is able to go in for the touchdown.  (I knew Chung couldn’t go an entire game without messing up)  Collinsworth actually says that “it’s only fair.”  Seriously man, it was a false start.  A f***ing false start.  It wasn’t a travesty or the worst call ever made as you seem to think.

Here comes the two-point conversion to tie the game…

And it falls incomplete!  Eagles maintain the lead!  Cary Williams with a well-played breakup.

3:45 – Eagles protect against an onside kick, but it is kicked deep. Eagles aren’t really prepared for the deep kick and have it at the 15.

2:53 – It’s 3rd and 4.  A conversion here would be monumentally big.

2:00 – Foles drops back to pass but can’t find anyone, and Foles has to slide down for a sack.  Fortunately, he was smart enough to stay in bounds and not throw it away, so the clock was able to run down to the two-minute warning.

So the Cowboys are going to get the ball back with plenty of time and only needing a field goal to take the lead.  Arrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!

1:49 – Great punt by Donnie Jones, and the Cowboys have the ball at their own 29. I think I’m too nervous to type anymore.  I’m going to have to take a break and come back after it’s all done.

1:43 – Boykin!  BOYKIN!  BOYKIN!!!!!!!!!

1:36 – Sad Jerry Jones!!!!

And revisiting what I was saying earlier….BOYKIN!!!!!!!!

1:30 – First down for McCoy and that’s all she wrote.

0:49 – Kneel down!!!!!!

0:32 – No shots of Tony Romo on the sidelines?  I was hoping to see him with a bemused look on his face.  I’m really looking forward to hearing from all the Romo apologists out there.  “You can’t blame Tony for this one!”

0:00 – NFC East champs!!!!!!!!

Well, it wasn’t a pretty game, but should we have expected anything different?  The offense struggled a bit, but the defense saved the day with two big plays at the end.

The important thing is that the Eagles won and are the 2013 NFC East champions!  Bring on the Saints!

Brandon Boykin. Image Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks for reading everyone! Feel free to leave any comments…and GO EAGLES!!!