Third-string quarterback Mark Sanchez had a frightful return to Philadelphia in the Dallas Cowboys’ 27-13 loss in the season finale.
Sanchez, who was with the Eagles in 2014 and 2015, played the final 8 minutes of the second quarter and the entire second half following the early departures of rookie starter Dak Prescott and veteran backup Tony Romo.
And it was a nightmare from the outset until the end for Sanchez while playing with the majority of backups in a meaningless game for the Cowboys.
Sanchez tossed interceptions on two of his first three drives en route to completing 9 of 17 passes for 85 yards and a quarterback rating of 27.5.
He was also sacked three times.
Sanchez declined to talk after game, while admitting the obvious.
“I’m good if that’s okay,” he pleaded politely. “Rough outing.”
Owner Jerry Jones defended Sanchez as much as possible, saying the Cowboys were purposely conservative on offense to limit injury against an aggressive Philadelphia defense.
“Well, I had hoped that we would be able to physically grind it out more but I knew the realistic limitations of that considering Philadelphia’s defensive line,” Jones said. “I also knew we were going to try to piecemeal and limit as much of the exposure of injury as we could to the offensive line. We tried that. I can’t say I’m surprised at all because I have such respect for Philadelphia’s defense.”
Both of Sanchez’ interceptions went to Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks, who played in college at Texas.
Considering that Romo could be playing elsewhere next season for salary cap reasons, Sanchez didn’t help his cause in proving he could be the primary backup behind Prescott going forward.
He did the lead the Cowboys to a field goal in the third quarter, but badly missed a wide open Lance Dunbar on third-and-2 from the 5.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones said the focus after Prescott and Romo departed was to finish the game and get some reps for the younger players, while some what excusing Sanchez’ play.
“The whole thought process today was to really rest and let Sanchez do his job, which was to finish up the game,” Stephen Jones said. “And then obviously you do get to see some young guys in some good situations out there, but it was more about just finishing the game.”