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3 things we learned about the Eagles

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PHILADELPHIA — Tony Romo insists his season isn’t over after exiting the Dallas Cowboys’ Sunday victory with a fractured left clavicle.

The Philadelphia Eagles and quarterback Sam Bradford are still trying to prove they’re not broken.

Romo, injured on a quarterback sack and fumble in the third quarter, was replaced by Brandon Weeden, who will be the Cowboys quarterback for at least the next eight to 10 weeks following a 20-10 victory over the Eagles.

“I’ll be back,” Romo said with his left arm in a sling. “But it’s going to take a little bit of time.”

Seven days ago, the Cowboys lost All-Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant for up to eight weeks with a broken right foot.

Romo had a collarbone injury and missed the final 10 games of the 2010 season. He said he knew immediately it was broken again.

“I felt it, and it had a bit of a ‘pop’ to it,” he said. “Obviously, I felt it before. Stuff happens — it’s the NFL. And the NFL is really about adversity and how you handle it.”

The victory gives Dallas a two-game lead over the Eagles (0-2) in NFC East. The Cowboys held Eagles running back DeMarco Murray, who led the NFL in rushing last season for Dallas, to just two yards on 13 carries. And the Cowboys won despite being flagged for a team-record 18 penalties for 142 yards.

“This was a great team win because of what we had to overcome and because of the team we were playing,” linebacker Sean Lee said after his 13-tackle game that included an interception in the endzone. “DeMarco’s a great back, but we never gave him a chance to get started and that was the key. Once we had (the Eagles running game) under control we felt good about our chances.”

Said Eagles coach Chip Kelly: “If we can’t run the football we’re not going to win many games.”

Kelly said the Eagles will re-evaluate “everything,” including quarterback Sam Bradford.

What we learned about the Eagles:

1. Coach Chip Kelly pretty much ignored the offensive line in free agency and the draft, even though he got rid of two veteran starters, Todd Herremans and Evan Mathis. Well, the Eagles’ running game is currently the worst in the NFL, and quarterback Sam Bradford was constantly harassed in the first two games, so it looks as if Kelly made a big mistake.

2. Bradford missed all of last season and much of the season before with a knee injury, and it is obvious that he hasn’t shaken off all of that rust, especially since he hardly played in the preseason. Even when he has time to pass, his throws are often hurried and off target. He needs to get in a groove quickly or the Eagles’ season will go down in flames. Don’t expect Kelly to bench him any time soon, but Bradford must start showing something.

3. It is going to take time for all of the new pieces on offense to jell. The Eagles have a new quarterback (Bradford), two new running backs (DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews), a new wide receiver (rookie Nelson Agholor) and two new guards (Allen Barbre and Andrew Gardner). Of course, by the time those pieces jell, it could be too late, and Kelly is already hearing it from the infamous Philly boo-birds.

Etc.

–QB Tony Romo’s injury got most of the attention, but the Eagles also had a couple of key injuries and that could mean trouble. LB Kiko Alonso, whom the Eagles acquired in an offseason trade with Buffalo for RB LeSean McCoy, left the game with a left knee injury and he did not return. The severity of the injury wasn’t immediately known, but it is the same knee he injured in the preseason last year, and he ended up missing the entire season. Also, ILB Mychal Kendricks left in the second half with a pulled hamstring. His status was unknown.

–The Eagles thought they were getting the best running back in the NFL when they signed former Cowboy DeMarco Murray, but things aren’t exactly working out as planned. He was held to just 9 yards on eight carries last week vs. Atlanta, and he was even worse against Dallas. Murray rushed for 2 yards on 13 attempts, an average of 3.3 inches per carry. The man who led the league last year with 1,845 rushing yards is on pace to finish this year with 88 yards on the ground. He did contribute 53 yards on five receptions Sunday, however.

–Coach Chip Kelly doesn’t believe that his fast-paced offense — which emphasizes number of plays and not time of possession — wears down his defense, but not all of his players agree. Last year, CB Carey Williams, complained about that. He is now in Seattle, and the player who replaced him, former Seahawks CB Byron Maxwell, said the same thing Sunday after the Eagles lost the time-of-possession battle 40:30 to 19:30. “As a human being, you get tired as the game goes on,” Maxwell said. “That’s how it goes.”


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