Eagles and Cowboys Choke away Big Leads

That's why they play four quarters.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau


If it hasn't been hammered into our heads in the first three weeks of this wild NFL season, then today
should cement the notion that no lead is safe as two more teams lose big leads and end the day in
defeat. Both the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles blew huge leads and left the day with
losses that both confused and baffled fans and experts alike.
For the Cowboys, they were comfortably leading by 24 points early in the third against the Detroit
Lions before someone flipped the switch on QB Tony Romo and turned him back into the mistake
prone enigma instead of the pain fighting warrior we've been seeing the past two weeks. His three
second half interceptions were key in allowing the Lions to storm back in this game.
That, combined with the Cowboys offense only putting up 3 second half points was enough for the
surprise Lions to pull off another big comeback and improve to 4-0.
The loss was a record one for the Boys as this was their largest lead blown in a loss in franchise
history, according to STATS LLC. Dallas' previous biggest blown fourth-quarter lead was 21 against
Washington on Nov. 28, 1965.
Dallas's day was best summed up on the final play of the game. It was 4th and 20 with 11 seconds left
when Romo connected with a wide open Felix Jones on a short pass. Jones, with nobody around him,
just stepped out of bounds, well short of the first down. His confused look after was echoed by millions
of people across the nation.
For the Eagles, their loss was far more devastating than the Cowboys, in terms of seasonal impact, as it
drops them to 1-3 for the year. They had the game in hand at halftime, leading the San Francisco 49ers
20-3, but surrendered 14 points in the third and 7 in the fourth to lose 24-23.
The 49ers, who ditched their conservative approach being used in the first half, manhandled the
vaunted Eagles D in the clutch and outlasted a solid effort by Michael Vick to improve to 3-1. For the
night, Vick threw for a career-high 416 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 75 yards.
"That's as good a win as I can ever remember being a part of.” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said “I'm
really proud of our players. They never flinched in a tough environment here, and there was no moment
or circumstance that made them nervous in this ballgame. We kept fighting, made adjustments — a
great team victory for us."
In another interesting subplot to the game, Philadelphia's kicker Alex Henery, missed two crucial field
goals while Philly's former kicker, David Akers, smoothly hit the extra point that gave San Francisco
the win.
Akers spent 12 seasons with the Eagles before being basically dismissed by the team.
Photo credit – AP