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Eagles get Reality Check from Hall of Fame Coach

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Philadelphia Eagles, Jalen Hurts

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Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Eagles‘ 33-10 blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys exposed some flows and harsh truths for head coach Nick Sirianni‘s team and their chances of a repeat trip to the Super Bowl.

Thanks in large part to committing three costly turnovers in Dallas territory, struggling to get any pressure on Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, and once again abandoning a running game that used to be the offense’s bread and butter, the Eagles now might need to win out over the final four games just to regain the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy sees big trouble ahead for Philadelphia, after a big loss in Week 14.

“We were in Philadelphia a few weeks ago,” Dungy said on NBC’s Sunday Night Football post-game show. “They played Miami, and they played Eagles football. They shut the Dolphins down. They moved the ball, and they looked physical. They have to get back to that.”

Sunday night, the Eagles committed 10 penalties against the Cowboys, only rushed for 106 yards, with Jalen Hurts accounting for 30 of them, and couldn’t get off the field defensively, which wound up being fatal flaws.

“It’s the discipline.” Dungy added. “How do you get 10 penalties? How do you not do the little things right? By not doing the detail work that you’re supposed to do day in and day out.”

Philadelphia raced out to a 10-2 start, with victories over playoff caliber teams like the Dolphins, Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills, largely by playing a physical brand of football, relying on the running game and nearly flawlessly executing the ‘Tush-Push’ play in short-yardage situations.

That didn’t happen against the Cowboys, and Dungy isn’t sure the Eagles will be able to recapture that formula.

“I don’t know how you get that back,” Dungy admitted. “With the way the NFL practice schedule is, you have to have walkthroughs now. If I was coaching now, we would be having physical practices, and we’d be getting back to saying ‘this is how we’re going to do things.’ We’d be tackling in practice. You can’t do that now.”

Rodney Harrison: Eagles Lacked ‘Fire’ Against Cowboys

Dungy wasn’t the only NBC analyst sounding the alarm on the Eagles, in the aftermath of the alarming loss in Dallas.

NBC analyst and former All-Pro safety Rodney Harrison took the Eagles to task, after the game.

“I look at the Eagles, and they’re not playing with that sense of fire,” Harrison said, on NBC’s Post Game Show.

The Eagles got off to a slow start against the Cowboys, falling behind 24-6 at halftime, and never reaching the end zone all game, which is a stark drop off from entering the weekend as the NFL’s fifth-highest scoring offense.

“They didn’t have that intensity that you’d expect a team to come out with,” Harrison said. “You talk about what’s wrong, you see three turnovers and 10 penalties, it’s coaching.

“I’ve said it before, offensively, they need to do a better job of committing to the run and getting the quick-passing game going. Defensively, they need to make sure those guys are playing more disciplined football. It’s a lot that’s wrong with the Philadelphia Eagles.”

Now 10-3, the Eagles better figure out how to get back on track, or the road back to the Super Bowl could get significantly more daunting than it looked even two weeks ago for the reigning NFC Champs.

A Dubious First for Eagles

The Eagles’ third loss of the season featured a first of the Nick Sirianni-Jalen Hurts era.

Week 14 marked the first time since Sirinnia became head coach, with Hurts at quarterback, that the Eagles failed to score an offensive touchdown.

Over the past two games, against the Cowboys and 49ers, the Eagles have managed just 32 points combined, with a defensive fumble return for a touchdown accounting for six of them.

It’s difficult to win that way. The Eagles may need to win out in order to regain the No. 1 seed in the NFC, which starts first and foremost with figuring out how to win on offense, again.

Matt Lombardo covers the NFL for Heavy.com, with a focus on the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers. A seasoned NFL reporter with over a decade of experience, he previously served as FanSided’s national NFL insider and host of “The Matt Lombardo Show” podcast. Past stops also include NJ.com and radio for 97.5 The Fanatic and 97.3 ESPN FM. More about Matt Lombardo

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