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Cowboys' defense plays dead

by JOE TRAHAN

Bio | Email | Follow: @joetrahan

WFAA

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 2:32 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 31 at 2:34 AM

PHILADELPHIA — From the opening kick of Sunday night's match up of NFL East rivals,  Philadelphia dominated the Cowboys' defense. And Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan came nowhere near to backing up his words.

"The whole thing is, I got out-coached by [Eagles coach Andy] Reid and their staff," Ryan said after the Cowboys' dismal 34-7 loss in Philadelphia. "I mean, it's ridiculous. I never gave our guys a chance. The whole [expletive] thing was on me. If I gave them any extra motivation, hell, I certainly never backed it up. I gave our guys a lousy plan. We had no chance, and it's all on me."

Ryan had mockingly called the Eagles the "all-hype team" during training camp and vowed to kick their butt.

Instead, it was the exact opposite.

And for the first time in the Ryan era, the Cowboys defense suffered an epic fail. Instead of a heavyweight match up of the Cowboys' league-best run defense versus the Eagle's league-best run offense, this game turned into one haymaker after another being delivered by the Eagles.

Running back LeSean McCoy rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns; his yardage total was the most the Cowboys have surrendered to any running back in 11 seasons.

McCoy and quarterback Michael Vick set the tone with five rush plays of 10 yards or more in the first two drives. And that opened up everything else.

The result: The Eagles scored on each of their first six possessions: Three touchdowns, a pair of field goals and another touchdown.

Ryan and his crew looked a step behind and confused. Vick went 21-28 for 279 yards and a pair of touchdowns... plus 50 yards rushing on seven attempts.

"Andy Reid was reading my mail," Ryan said. "He kicked my ass. I've just got to go back and work harder. I've got to be smarter than this. That's all it comes down to."

The Eagles have voluntarily squashed any notion of being what Philly quarterback Vince Young dubbed "the dream team." Thanks to Ryan and company, they looked every bit of it in a nightmarish prime time performance for Cowboy nation.

E-mail jtrahan@wfaa.com

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