A closer look at the ballers and fallers in Eagles week 17 loss to Cowboys

Nate Sudfeld, Wendell Smallwood
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nate Sudfeld (7) hands off to running back Wendell Smallwood (28) during a 2017 NFL week 17 regular season game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017 in Philadelphia. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles, 6-0. (James D. Smith via AP)

The Eagles fell short of the mark against the Dallas Cowboys, losing 6-0 at home in a week 17 game that left plenty to be desired. But who stood out in the last game of the season? It’s time to look at the ballers and fallers.


Donnie Jones
Forced to punt 7 times on Sunday afternoon, Donnie Jones made it very clear that he’s not ready to call it a day just yet. The 37-year old averaged 42 yards per punt and had a beautiful effort that pinned Dallas well inside the 1-yard line. Then of course there was the iconic moment of Jones forgetting to remove his bottoms when he ran onto the field. This wasn’t a problem for the punter in his 14th year, who ripped them off, threw them behind him and downed the Cowboys inside the four yard line.


Jaylen Watkins
If there is one player who has consistently flown under the radar since being drafted by the Eagles in 2014, it’s Jaylen Watkins. Often criticized for his tackling, Watkins has gone from a cornerback who helped overthrow DeSean Jackson in 2015, to a safety who had to beat out a sixth round pick just to get a spot on the roster, only to be in another battle one year later. Watkins has defied the odds each and every year and led the team in tackles against the Cowboys, dispelling the notion that he struggles to wrap up receivers. His versatility was invaluable against Dallas as Watkins proved he has the potential to be a reliable DB whenever Called upon.


Sidney Jones:
It’s been exactly one year since Sidney Jones played his last football game, but he made his NFL debut with a bang. It didn’t take long for the coveted rookie to make a dent against Dallas, lining up against Dez Bryant in press coverage early on. While he left the game due to cramping later, the fact Jones took the field to begin with has to be applauded after recovering from a heartbreaking injury.


Marcus Johnson
Development is now the focus for this Eagles team and there may be no better example of that than former UDFA Marcus Johnson. The former Texas Longhorn has battled through injuries and preseason roster battles to stick onto the final 53 and made several impressive catches on Sunday, including a huge first down conversion that was called back due to a penalty. However, this didn’t stop Johnson catching a 16 yard pass later on, raising eyebrows just as he did in preseason.



Nick Foles
The Eagles starter may have only played for a few drives, but again they were anything but impressive. Dropped passes certainly didn’t help matters, but Foles struggled throughout and threw a dreadful pick to rookie cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, under throwing his receiver by a vast amount. The Eagles have plenty of concerns hanging over their head as the playoffs draw near and they all start at quarterback.


Wendell Smallwood
With one last chance to prove his worth to the Eagles coaching staff this year, Smallwood carried the ball 4 times for an average of 1.6 yards. With a longest attempt of 5 yards, Smallwood was wrapped up behind the line of scrimmage a little too much as his hesitance hitting the hole stung once again. He wasn’t aided by the offensive line much at all, but this was a game he had to shine in.


Mandatory Photo Credit: James D. Smith via AP