Week 13: Philadelphia Eagles At Dallas Cowboys
- QuarterbackNick Foles has started two games in place of the injured Mike Vick, and he has not distinguished himself. While it looked like Vick had played himself out of a job prior to getting hurt, Foles does not look like an adequate replacement. He appears to have an ordinary skill level and he does not protect the ball well. Foles has thrown just one TD pass and has three interceptions.The Cowboys would seem to have a huge advantage with Tony Romo under center. Romo takes a lot of criticism, but when he gets a little bit of protection from his offensive line he can put the ball right on the money to his receivers. He has thrown for 3,357 yards, but his TD-interception ratio is 16-15.
- OffenseThe Eagles gave the ball to Bryce Brown in the Week 12 Monday night loss to the Carolina Panthers and he responded with a huge 178-yard, 2-TD effort. However, Brown also fumbled twice and that has to be corrected against the Cowboys. Tight end Brent Celek has 43 receptions this season and is the Eagles’ best target now that DeSean Jackson (ribs) is out for the year.The Cowboys are trying to make a late-season run to make the playoffs without benefit of a ground game. They rank dead last in the league in rushing and that puts a huge amount of pressure on Romo and may explain his high interception total. Talented but flighty wide receiver Dez Bryant knows how to get open, but his mistakes have hurt the Cowboys. Tight end Jason Witten catches almost everything he touches.
- DefenseThe Eagles rank 15th in total defense, but they have been hurt badly because they don’t take the ball away from opponents. Defensive end Jason Babin had 5.5 sacks but the Eagles didn't like his effort and cut him. Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans leads Philadelphia with 87 tackles.The Cowboys are going to come after Foles with a very aggressive pass rush. While injuries have robbed the Cowboys of much of their defensive depth, linebacker DeMarcus Ware is still a wrecking crew with 10.0 sacks. Linebacker Bruce Carter suffered a season-ending elbow injury on Thanksgiving Day against the Redskins. He was leading the Cowboys in tackles with 70 stops.
- Special TeamsThe Eagles have struggled on special teams. They have been outgained on punts and kickoffs by nearly 6.0 yards per return. Alex Henery has made 20-of-21 FG attempts, but has not tried a field of 50 yards or more.The Cowboys can be explosive in the return game with Bryant and Dwayne Harris, who returned a kickoff for a score earlier this year. Placekicker Dan Bailey has made 22-of-24 FG attempts his season. He has not missed an attempt of less than 50 yards. Brian Moorman is averaging 44.2 yards per punt.
The Eagles appear to be in complete disarray, but don’t count this game in the win column for the Cowboys just yet. There is no such thing as a routine victory for the Cowboys. They needed a powerful fourth-quarter rally to beat the Eagles in their first meeting, and they may not get it if they are put in that position again.