Doug Pederson Recalls Defining Moment of 2016

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By Patrick Del Gaone, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

According to Doug Pederson, one of the defining moments in his inaugural season as Eagles' head coach was the positive response from his players after questioning the effort level of some following a blowout loss in Cincinnati.

"I really feel like we got to [a] point where each week if we win that game we still give ourselves an opportunity for the postseason," Pederson said. "Then we slipped up, and we got on that little losing streak before the Giants game. About three weeks ago, this team could've really flipped and gone in the other direction. I think understanding and really knowing the dynamic of that locker room, you go around and talk to the leadership council, you just keep buying in. I think that's helped me the last few weeks, and you're seeing how these guys have responded. Great win last Thursday, there's no quit, the fight is there, the efforts been there. That's something that these guys have really bought in to these last couple of weeks. So for me that's been a defining moment for me this first year, these guys buying in to what I've been saying, keeping my messaging consistent with the team and letting them take charge of it."

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported this morning that Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo will play in the regular season finale against Philadelphia on New Year's Day.

"Anything's possible in this last game," Pederson said. "It doesn't surprise me. Knowing where they're headed, going into the postseason, getting him some snaps would be beneficial. That'd be something that I'd even consider in that situation, doing that with our backups."

"No. 1, you don't risk injury to your starter. Then No. 2, your backup needs to be ready in those crucial moments. We were faced with it just a week ago, with Chase [Daniel], so having him play and play extensively, would be very beneficial going into the postseason. And getting snaps this late in the season, because they haven't played really since preseason."

After Dak Prescott gets his feet wet to start the game, Romo is expected to be under center for just a series or two, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Sunday's rivalry game will be the veteran's first regular season action since Thanksgiving of 2015. The signal-caller likely to receive a majority of the reps for Dallas is former Eagle Mark Sanchez.

As for injuries, Pederson announced that wideout Jordan Matthews (ankle) is listed as questionable for Sunday's tilt, while offensive guard Allen Barbre (hamstring) is doubtful. If the multifaceted hog-mollie can't go, Stefen Wisniewski will start at left guard.

You can watch the full press conference from Pederson below.