PHILADELPHIA - Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was seeing red Thursday over the slew of missed opportunities in Monday's loss at New Orleans.
The Eagles went a combined 0 for 5 inside the Saints' 20-yard line and 0 for 4 inside the 10 during a 28-13 defeat at the Superdome.
Two of the four plays deep in the red zone ended with kicker Alex Henery making field goals. The other two resulted in turnovers, including a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown by Saints defensive back Patrick Robinson.
"It's very, very difficult to win ballgames when you get down to the red zone that many times and come away with the points that we came away with," Mornhinweg said. "There were problems, but I will tell you the players are working very, very hard to get that thing straightened out."
The Eagles enter Sunday's game against Dallas ranked 30th in the NFL in red zone offense. They have scored touchdowns 37 percent of the time (10 TDs in 27 trips inside the red zone). Only Cleveland (33.3 percent) and Kansas City (31.6) have been less productive.
Against the Saints, the Eagles ran 19 plays inside the 20. Only one gained positive yardage.
"It was just one of those nights," Eagles quarterback Michael Vick said. "It's not like we're not trying to score in the red zone. Sometimes you've just got to put it all together and sometimes you've just got to give the defense credit. But we should be better."
Special teams gaffe
The Eagles came within inches of scoring a touchdown on special teams against the Saints. Kickoff returner Brandon Boykin fielded one about a yard deep in the end zone, took a few steps and tossed the ball across the field to wide receiver Riley Cooper.
Cooper, who was laying face down in the end zone, had jumped up and run out toward the 5-yard line. Cooper caught the ball, sprinted 94 yards for an apparent touchdown only to have the TD negated for an illegal forward pass. Instead of a lateral, Boykin threw the ball about one yard too far.
"We call it the 'Gator-Dawg' play because I went to Florida and he went to Georgia," Cooper said. "We noticed that the Saints usually ran to the football, so I was laying down so they would forget about me and they did. Every time we ran it in practice, it worked to perfection, but when I caught the ball this time, I thought it was borderline."
The Eagles have not had a whole lot of luck when it comes to trick plays on special teams.
Last season punter Chas Henry, a former high school quarterback, short-hopped a pass off a fake to a wide-open Colt Anderson that fell incomplete against Chicago. Punt returner DeSean Jackson threw an across-the-field lateral at Miami, but cornerback Curtis Marsh fumbled it.
"You think I need to buy a rabbit's foot or something?" Eagles special teams coordinator Bobby April said with a laugh. "A lot of things have to work right in each case. But it doesn't make me reluctant because I believe in the plays. Obviously, we've got to do them a little better because they are big plays that can help you win the game."
Bumps and bruises
The Eagles announced Thursday that tackle Todd Herremans will not require surgery to fix his foot injury.
Herremans will miss the rest of the season after suffering a dislocated cuboid bone, a stretched tendon and some ligament damage in his right foot against the Saints.
Running backs LeSean McCoy (illness) and Chris Polk (sprained toe), wide receiver Mardy Gilyard (strained hamstring) and guard Danny Watkins (ankle soreness) did not practice Thursday. Gilyard and Polk have already been ruled out for Sunday's game against Dallas. McCoy is expected to play. Watkins has missed two straight games and his status is up in the air. If he can't play, rookie Dennis Kelly will start at right guard again.
Contact David Weinberg: