To be an Eagles fan is to be an expert in disappointment, a connoisseur of dashed hopes.
The team has suffered almost every flavor of defeat in Andy Reid‘s final season. There was the shocking blowout in Arizona, the near-miss in Pittsburgh, the collapse against Detroit, the whipping administered by Atlanta, the failed gut-check in New Orleans.
But this one? This cruel beatdown at the hands of the hated Dallas Cowboys was a rare blend, indeed. In an absolute must-win situation, the Eagles reached out for the faint sweet glimmer of hope, only to have it cruelly snatched away and replaced by the most bitter of defeats.
There was hope in the form of rookie quarterback Nick Foles, who led the team on two third-quarter scoring drives to take a 17-10 lead. There was hope in the sudden competence of a defense that had been AWOL for the previous three-and-a-half games.