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Justice Is Served


January 9, 2010 11:07 PM

McNabb bows to 'America's team'

It's impossible for me to root for "America's team," because all the Cowboy hoopla and all the Jerry Jones nonsense drive me mad.

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I mean, "America's team," really

Where in America?

Well, not in this section of downtrodden America. For Cleveland has its own NFL team to cheer for, if people can call the 5-11 Browns much of a football team. Nobody else in America would want this team -- bless its sorry-ass soul. 

So America's team the Browns are not. 

Neither are the 'Boys, though. 

They are, however, one damn good team, a point Donovan McNabb and the Eagles would find difficult to dispute. 

For they have seen enough of this team, which abused the visiting Eagles, 34-14, Saturday night. Tony Romo and his Cowboy teammates exposed all the flaws in McNabb and the Eagles, who didn't look anything like a legitimate playoff team.

Call it a night to forget for McNabb, because it was. In fact, it might have been as bad a performance as he's ever had during his decade in the NFL. The sharp passing that has marked his career was absent. His elusiveness, another one of McNabb's trademarks, was missing as well. 

For the first time ever, McNabb resembled an "old" quarterback. He seemed as if he was prepared for anything the Cowboys did. The Eagles couldn't run the football; they couldn't pass the football; and they couldn't stop Dallas from doing either of these. 

The Eagles were left a thoroughly beaten football team, dispirited bunch that had been battered into submission. Theirs was one of the sorriest overall performances under the brightest of lights. 

McNabb can get no free pass for his part in this. For had he played up to his talent, it might have been a closer game. He didn't, which is the pity of it. 

Yet as culpable as McNabb was in this nightmare in "Big D," coach Andy Reid deserved the lion's share of the blame here. 

Reid didn't have the Eagles ready for the Cowboys in the last game of the season either, a loss that cost his team home-field advantage in this round of the playoffs. His team was no more ready for a game that meant win-or-go home                       

It would be hard to find a team in the history of the NFL postseason that played with so little passion. Reid's Eagles played with the focus of a high-school team inside the palace that owner Jerry Jones built. They spent the afternoon piling up penalties, missing tackles and turning the football over. 

Now, Reid's Eagles are on a nonstop flight into the offseason, traveling there with questions aplenty trailing them into the 2010 season.

Reid is one of the questions: Can he coach the big game. McNabb is another: Can he hold together under the pressure of big games? 

At some point, even the greatest player loses his edge, and McNabb might be the next great player who has lost his.

But whatever McNabb is can be sorted out later. Right now, he has to get over the physical and mental hurt the Cowboys put on him before he can do any serious thinking about what lies ahead of him. 

If his game Saturday night was a glimpse into that future, it isn't a sight Eagles fans will enjoy. It looked so bad that, well, it might give them no choice but to bow and pay homage to -- gulp! -- America's team. 

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