Doug Pederson doesn't regret his declaration, but his confidence was misplaced


ARLINGTON, Tex. — Six days after Eagles head coach Doug Pederson went on WIP and said the Eagles were going to go to Dallas and “win that football game,” the Eagles suffered what Pederson agreed was one of the worst losses during his tenure as head coach. 

The Eagles were crushed by the Cowboys, 37-10, at AT&T Stadium on Sunday night in front of a national television audience. 

So late Sunday night, did Pederson regret his declaration? 

“Nope,” he said. “Do not.” 

Pederson was confident in his team. But that confidence was clearly misplaced, because his team put out a pathetic performance against their biggest rival in a game that would have moved them into first place in the division. 

Why didn’t he regret his words? 

“I just felt like I had a lot of confidence in this football team, a lot of trust, a lot of faith in the guys,” Pederson said. “Had a good week of preparation. Quite honestly, after a game like this, we all have to step back, look in the mirror, especially myself. It starts with me. This is one of those games that I take personal from that standpoint. We didn’t play well and that’s personal on me. I gotta get that fixed.” 

This was the Eagles’ worst loss at the hands of the Cowboys since a 34-0 drubbing in 1998, the year before Pederson joined the Eagles as a player. 

Pederson said he didn’t think he was overconfident heading into this week and disagreed with the notion that the Eagles were unprepared for the game. He pointed at the two early turnovers as costly mistakes, but ones that didn’t indicate unpreparedness. 

We’ve heard this now after every loss, right? The Eagles’ mistakes are correctable. They can fix them. They can still be the team we thought they were going to be. 

But seven games and a 3-4 record into the 2019 season, it’s time to wonder if that’s really the case. In back-to-back weeks to start the toughest stretch of their schedule, the Eagles have lost by 18 points and now by 27. 

So maybe it’s fair to ask, simply, is this Eagles team is talented enough? 

In fact, I asked Pederson that on Sunday night. 

He said it is. 

But why does he believe that? 

“Because you see signs of it, you see glimpses of it,” Pederson said. “Obviously, we’ve injured and we’ve got some guys that are missing, but we don’t use that as an excuse. And I do feel like we’ve got enough talent on this football team to get the job done.”

Glimpses aren’t enough. Glimpses don’t win football games. Glimpses don’t get you into the playoffs. 

And the Eagles certainly didn’t look all that talented on Sunday night. The offense couldn’t get going. The defense couldn’t stop Dak Prescott or Ezekiel Elliott. Even their special teams unit had a couple blunders, too. 

Pederson looked weathered after the loss. But he stood there and tried to explain problems for which he clearly didn’t have answers. He tried to take blame. 

“It starts with me,” Pederson said. “So I’m going to own this one. This one will be on me.”

His biggest crime might have been believing in this team. 

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