By Shawn S. Lealos
The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles sit tied for first place in the NFC East, both sitting at .500 on the year. After they meet in Week 7, one of the teams will slip back below .500 and the other will sit alone in first in the division. This will also be a big game since both teams won their other NFC East games, so the winner here will also have an undefeated divisional record as well.
The Eagles will head into the Cowboys game with questions at quarterback, as Michael Vick missed the team’s Week 6 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Nick Foles started the game. However, the true weapon of Chip Kelly’s offense is his running game. LeSean McCoy leads the NFL with 630 rushing yards while Michael Vick has also run for 307 yards on the season. Combined, the two have five rushing touchdowns on the year.
McCoy is also a big part of the passing game, with 15 receptions for 241 yards as well. That makes McCoy the one person the Cowboys will need to stop. The best part of the Dallas defense is their rushing D, but they will struggle with all the injuries on the line, including a banged up DeMarcus Ware. While the Cowboys’ defense looked great against the Washington Redskins, McCoy is better than any running back in D.C.
The Eagles passing offense is also strong this season, ranked ninth. Vick was having a solid season before his injury, and while he has only thrown five touchdown passes, it is his legs that really help power this unit. Foles had a great game against the Buccaneers defense, but most teams this year have. No matter which quarterback shows up this week for the Eagles, that is where they can do the most damage against the Cowboys 30th ranked pass defense.
That is why this game might be another shootout, similar to the one in Denver two weeks ago.
The Eagles defense actually ranks one spot lower than the Cowboys and one spot higher than the Broncos. While Philadelphia is also 3-3, they have given up 179 points this year, 27 more than Dallas. When comparing the two teams, Dallas gave up 51 points to Denver while the Eagles gave up 52. Dallas gave up 30 to San Diego while the Eagles gave up 33. The Cowboys gave up 30 to the Kansas City Chiefs, while the Eagles gave up 26.
These two defenses are very similar. The difference is that Dallas has scored 183 points this year compared to the Eagles’ 166. Philadelphia’s defense ranks 16th in the NFL in rush defense, which shouldn’t matter if DeMarco Murray is out. This will be a high powered battle and it will be determined on which quarterback makes the most plays.
The Eagles defense is not horrible, they have recorded 13 sacks on the season with six interceptions and four fumble recoveries, but they are prone to giving up the big play. They even allowed rookie Mike Glennon to throw for 273 yards in their win this last weekend. At the end of the day, they will have to stop Tony Romo, which is easier said than done.
The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles game kicks off at 1 p.m. EST on Sunday, Oct. 20.
For more Cowboys news and updates, visit Cowboys Central.
Shawn S. Lealos is a freelance writer who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He writes for a variety of national publications and has over 15 years of sports journalism experience. Follow Shawn on Twitter @sslealos. Examiner.com.