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UPDATE: Michael Vick will not be the emergency third quarterback; he has been listed as inactive.
UPDATE: DeMarcus Ware has been listed as inactive.
|Photo Courtesy: stadium.dallascowboys.com|
So, because things didn't happen the way they were supposed to happen, the Eagles find themselves in a deadlock with the Cowboys at the top of the NFC East entering their first match-up of the season. The NFC East has been horrendous this season, so for this game to have as much as impact as it does on the rest of the season is nothing short of a miracle.
Once again, Michael Vick will be on the sidelines barring injuries to both Nick Foles and Matt Barkley. The Eagles turned in perhaps their best performance of the season last Sunday against the Buccaneers, but will they show up against the Cowboys?
The Last Time They Met: December 2nd, 2012- Eagles 33, Cowboys 38
|The 'Boys bested the 'Birds twice last season.|
Photo Courtesy: philly.com
The score of this game doesn't really do it justice. Both teams had chances to win in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys (barely) came out on top. Alex Henery gave the Eagles a 27-24 lead with 9:51 to play, but the Eagles defense couldn't hold it. Romo proceeded to throw a six yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant with 5:35 to go. On the Eagles next possession, Bryce Brown had a costly fumble that was returned by Morris Claiborne for a 50 yard TD. The return extended the Cowboys lead to 11 and, despite an improbable 98 yard punt return by Damaris Johnson with 31 seconds to play, it was too little, too late for the Eagles.
Nick Foles had a fairly decent game, completing 22 of his 34 pass attempts for 251 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions. Bryce Brown, with the exception of his fumble, had another big game, rushing for 169 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. The Eagles leading receiver was Jason Avant, who caught four passes for 79 yards.
Tony Romo had an excellent day, completing 22 of his 27 passes for 303 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. DeMarco Murray didn't have as big of a game as Brown, but he still contributed 83 yards and a touchdown. Romo's leading receivers were Jason Witten, who hauled in six passes for 108 yards, and Dez Bryant, who had two TD receptions.
Who Holds the Edge?
|Regardless of the Denver game, Romo is having|
a career year.
Photo Courtesy: businessinsider.com
Offense: Tony Romo is having one of the best (if not the best) seasons in his career. Through six games, Romo has completed 153 of his 218 attempts for 1,693 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. Just two weeks ago against Denver, Romo passed for 506 yards and five touchdowns. Last season against the Eagles, Romo completed 77.4 percent of his passes to go along with 512 yards, five TDs and zero interceptions. He should have a decent day against the Birds barring an exceptional day by their defense. DeMarco Murray is their leading rusher with 428 yards and two touchdowns, but he'll be on the sidelines for today's game due to an injury suffered last week against the Redskins. Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle will most likely handle the rushing duties. Their leading WR, of course, is Dez Bryant. Bryant has hauled in 34 passes for 459 yards and six touchdowns. The Cowboys also have Jason Witten, who has 31 receptions for 340 yards and three touchdowns.
|Foles has performed well thus far.|
Photo Courtesy: Bleacher Report
|Lee is the leader of the Cowboys defense.|
Photo Courtesy: dallascowboysnation.com
|Yup. He's improving.|
Photo Courtesy: sportstalkflorida.com
|Rule number one: Keep the ball away from him.|
Photo Courtesy: dallas.sbnation.com
The Eagles have a returner of Harris' ability, they just don't utilize him. DeSean Jackson has had just one opportunity all season, and that came on a kickoff which he returned 10 yards. They seem content to use Damaris Johnson, who still makes bad decisions, like attempting to return a kickoff that went nine yards deep in the endzone. Alex Henery has rebounded, and has converted 13 of his 16 field goal attempts, with a long of 48. Donnie Jones' punts have traveled an average of 45.1 yards, but 12 have landed inside the 20. 11 of his 28 punts have been returned.
Score Prediction: Eagles 38, Cowboys 34
The game will be closer than most people would like. I think Nick Foles will have a big day, and if he does indeed do enough to beat the Cowboys, I think he'll be the new starting QB. LeSean McCoy will once again rush for over 100 yards, and I see DeSean Jackson having a big game. Tony Romo will perform very well too, and he'll keep his team in the game. Ultimately, however, the Cowboys defense will perform worse than the Eagles defense. If things go the way they're supposed to, this will end up being a shootout. Things don't always happen the way they're supposed too though.
Ryan's Player of the Game: Nick Foles