ARLINGTON (105.3 The Fan) – Ten FishTips to steer you through Eagles at Cowboys tonight at AT&T Stadium:
FISHTIP 1: The Cowboys are 5-1. On 13 other occasions, Dallas has started with that record. All 13 times, Dallas has ended up making the NFL Playoffs.
FISHTIP 2: Forget the artificial controversies at QB (and elsewhere) and know that what really fuels this offense is running back Ezekiel Elliott, the rookie who leads the NFL in rushing and will find an Eagles hole tonight because of the injury absence of run-stopping Bennie Logan.
FISHTIP 3: But, ah, the QB “situation’’? (As opposed to “controversy’’?) That is about to be a thing. Tony Romo took all of the scout-team work on Thursday, including eight passing plays, and is about ready to re-stake his claim on the job being held so admirably by rookie Dak Prescott. Is there some set-in-stone level that Dak must reach tonight to stave off Romo? Wisely on the Cowboys’ part, no. Coach Jason Garrett’s position here is simple: “Show up every day. Do your job. Things will work out.’’ And they will.
FISHTIP 4: To Prescott’s credit, though, and what separates him from fellow rookie QB Carson Wentz of Philly: Dak is at 73 percent passing on third downs, the best number in the NFL. Wentz — much more of a “Captain Checkdown’’ so far on any down — is 21st in that category.
FISHTIP 5: The Cowboys have lost three straight to the Eagles at AT&T Stadium – and Garrett is 1-5 vs. the Eagles at home.
FISHTIP 6: The Cowboys ‘base defense’ is now, in a sense, it’s Nickel/Dime. Sometimes using only three rushers, Dallas tries to beat you with coverage more than pressure – and Scandrick’s return adds to those Nickel/Dime alignments, including his knack as a blitzer.
FISHTIP 7: Dez Bryant, returning from a Week 3 knee injury, has steered the locker room to an ‘All Smiles’ mantra. It’s about knowing “This is the best moment of our lives,’’ Dez tells me. Can Philly shatter that positivity?
FISHTIP 8: In four years at home vs. the Eagles, Dallas is about to use its fourth starting QB. Orton, Romo, Cassel and now Dak.
FISHTIP 9: When flag-happy Jerome Boger refs a Cowboys game, Dallas is 6-4. When he refs an Eagles game, Philly is 3-4.
FISHTIP 10: The Cowboys are 5-1. The good news? Teams that start 6-1 make the playoffs 85 percent of the time. The still-good news? Teams that start 5-2 — what both teams would be if Philly wins — make it 75 percent of the time.
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