Each morning, we'll hand out letter grades to the persons, places or things making headlines.
The Eagles-Cowboys rivalry | It's alive and well. Both Philadelphia and Dallas validated their Super Bowl aspirations with a Monday Night Football clash for the ages. The 98th meeting between the longtime NFC East rivals was the highest-scoring game in series history, featuring seven lead changes, nine touchdowns, five field goals and several reels worth of highlight plays.
DeSean Jackson | The good: six catches for 110 yards to become the second player in history -- and the first since Don Looney in 1940 -- to open his career with consecutive 100-yard receiving games. The bad: Jackson's premature celebration (above) after an apparent 61-yard touchdown strike to take six points off the board. A Wade Phillips challenge was upheld, giving Philadelphia a 1st-and-goal at the Dallas 1. Brian Westbrook's touchdown run on the ensuing play saved Jackson an earful from Philly's famously hypercritical fans next week at the Linc.
Terrell Owens | Entering last night's game, Owens was just 1-3 against the Eagles since switching sides in the heated rivalry. He'd been relegated to mere mortal status against Jim Johnson's defense, averaging a modest four catches for 61 yards in the four games with two touchdowns overall. Not last night. While the Philadelphia secondary did manage to limit T.O. to three catches, two of those went into the end zone. The highlight came in the first quarter, when Sean Considine bit on an inside route and Owens went deep for a 72-yard score -- the longest completion of Tony Romo's career.
Milwaukee Brewers management | SI.com baseball scribe John Donovan called yesterday's surprising, eleventh-hour sacking of manager Ned Yost a "possibly unprecedented" move. The decision came down one day after the Brewers suffered a four-game sweep at the hands of the surging Phillies to erase the last traces of a once-comfortable lead in the wild-card race. Will the front office's aggressiveness pay off? Or is history repeating itself for the Brewers, who squandered away a postseason berth last year with a similar September swoon?
The U.S.O.C. | The national Olympic Committee completed the assignment but gets graded down for tardiness. Remember the four U.S. cyclists who arrived in Beijing wearing masks to protect against pollution and germs -- as recommended by the committee itself -- and were forced to issue public apologies under U.S.O.C. duress? The New York Times reports they finally received an apology over e-mail from the delegation on Sunday. Said team member Sarah Hammer to the Times: "We were called a disgrace to the United States team and were belittled and embarrassed by the very people that are supposed to be advocates for us. ... They treated us like we were just stupid athletes and like we didn’t matter."