It’s never easy seeing a team’s season end. Seeing a franchise QB put the weight of a city on his shoulders for over a month and then get taken out of a game in the first quarter with an unavoidable head injury is even harder to cope with. For a team that seemed to have earned a fair shot at a playoff berth, it’s easy to feel like the Eagles had that opportunity snatched from them early in Sunday’s game. But as the dust settles, let’s remember who this football team was to begin with.
Apart from Carson Wentz, who the team was essentially without on Sunday, this team played their most important football as team comprised of cuts and castoffs; a roster mostly without roster pictures. The secondary was a revolving door that was carved by the likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Case Keenum. The running back corps was comprised of more early 20 year olds than Northern Liberties. By the end of the year Wentz might have needed hints to name all of his receiving targets. Even the offensive and defensive lines, probably the most reliable parts of this Eagles team, were decimated by injury by the end of the season. With Carson Wentz at the helm, this team barely had a prayer at a deep playoff run. Without him, there wasn’t a chance. So when we ultimately look back at the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles, we’ll see a team that overcame incredible odds to win the NFC East and earn a home playoff game with half a roster.
The Dallas Cowboys, with all the talent in the world, couldn’t muster the same feat. There were numerous teams with more talent that spent Sunday watching the Eagles from the couch instead of playing their own. And even though the birds couldn’t pull off their 5th straight must-win victory, losing a game that saw their 40-year old backup QB make his first ever playoff appearance by only 8 points is not something that leads to head hanging. Sure, this loss will hurt. We’ll have to hear all summer about how Carson Wentz still hasn’t won a playoff game, and people will make up their faulty narratives as to why he hasn’t. But for a season that only a month ago seemed all but lost, this second generation of underdogs truly gave us something to be proud of.