Matt Barkley Makes NFL Debut For Philadelphia Eagles

Steve Dykes

Trailing by 14 points in the fourth quarter with no healthy quarterback in sight, Chip Kelly rolled the dice and inserted USC alum Matt Barkley into the game against the Dallas Cowboys, with the winner capturing sole possession of first place in the NFC East.

The final drive may have been the most revealing about his future, leading the team down the field before Brandon Carr stepped in front of a corner route throw intercepting Barkley for the third and final time on the afternoon.

Partly in fact due to the injury suffered by Michael Vick last week, making him unable to even dress in pads for the game, the Eagles were limited in depth at the QB position. In a much-maligned performance before leaving with injury, Foles finished a putrid 11-29 passing for 80 total yards, forcing Kelly's hand to allow Barkley to play out the game.

For Barkley, the fourth-round pick who finished his career as the Pac-12 leader in passing, the arrival came at the heels of a star-studded collegiate career facing off against his former defensive coordinator in Monte Kiffin of the Dallas Cowboys.

Despite the three INT performance, Barkley finished the afternoon going 11-20 passing while surpassing Foles' mark with 129 yards passing in the fourth quarter.

His first pass on the afternoon was completed to Jason Avant, working from a trips set bunch to the right, earning a bevy of applauds from the Municipal Stadium crowd that had witnessed a futile performance on offense for three-plus quarters.

The very next pass however was intercepted, only to be called back by a defensive offside. After moving the ball relatively well on the opening drive, Barkley tried to fit a ball into tight space over the middle and was intercepted by MLB Sean lee, returning the pass for 33 yards into Philadelphia territory.

On the very next series however, the wheels started to roll in the right direction for Barkley and company. Barkley found great report with Riley Cooper, a WR who heralded his own set of headlines this offseason, connecting for a couple of nice completions garnering praise from Troy Aikman who was calling the action in the booth.

In a play that sums up the rookies woes of professional football, Barkley avoided pressure on multiple occasions up the middle before heaving a prayer towards mid-field which was ultimately intercepted by a sliding Barry Church with no receiver in sight.

For even more Pac-12 connections, Barkley completed passes to former Stanford TE Zach Ertz along with Oregon WR Jeff Maehl. This on a day where former USC DB Nikell Robey notched a pick-six against the Miami Dolphins.

In an otherwise disappointing loss by the Eagles, watching Matt Barkley spin the laces for the first real game action since facing UCLA at the Rose Bowl was rather refreshing for USC fans looking to bounce back from Saturday nights debacle in South Bend.

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