Eagles fans didn’t have to wait until midnight on New Year’s Eve to see the ball drop.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith muffed one about 11 hours earlier Sunday, allowing a chest-high pass from Nick Foles to carom off his hands during the Eagles’ first possession of a 6-0 loss to Dallas.
By the end of the first quarter, half of the teeth-chattering crowd at Lincoln Financial Field had seen enough.
Single-digit temperatures, combined with single-digit yardage by Foles and the offense, convinced fans to seek the warmth of their car heaters on the way home from the Linc.
The Eagles’ offense delivered the second-worst performance of New Year’s Eve, trailing singer Mariah Carey’s appearance on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
(Was it too much to ask to give the woman the cup of hot tea she was promised?)
Foles and company were also unable to hit any high notes for the second straight game.
The Eagles literally got caught with their pants down against the Cowboys.
Punter Donnie Jones — heretofore known as “Captain Sweatpants” — was forced to drop trou at midfield after forgetting to take off his warmup pants before leaving the sideline for a punt.
“I guess there’s a first time for everything,” Jones said. “This is my 14th year (in the NFL) and I’ve never done that before.”
If he was embarrassed, he didn’t show it. Seconds after shedding his warmups and tossing them behind him, Jones placed a punt inside the Cowboys’ 5-yard line. Later in the game, he booted one that rolled out of bounds at the 1.
You know your offense is in trouble when your punter is your top performer, however.
While the defensive starters and backups delivered a solid effort, the Eagles managed to get shut out at the Linc for the first time in 12 years.
Fans are understandably upset. That’s what happens when your best player needs crutches to get around.
Although the Eagles are the top seed in the NFC and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, posts on social media and calls to Philadelphia sports talk shows suggest that some fans are not too optimistic about the team winning one playoff game, let alone the Super Bowl.