Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cowboys Visit Eagles for NFC East Showdown

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles

The last time the Cowboys visited the Linc to face the Eagles was last season's finale. Once again the game carries significance with first place in the NFC East on the line. Last season, a playoff spot was at stake and Philadelphia fans witnessed a total dismantling of the Cowboys as the Eagles won 44-6.

Both teams come into today with their offenses clicking and having won 4 of their last 5 games. The Cowboys seemed to lack belief in themselves early in the season, perhaps a hangover from their disastrous season ending game, but now appear to have regained their "mojo." After being dogged by turnovers, Tony Romo is now playing with conviction and new found confidence, particularly with the emergence of wide receiver Miles "Yeh, baby" Austin.

A little intrigue developed this week, however, as fellow receiver Roy Williams has openly chafed at Romo's ability to get him the ball since he views himself as the #1 receiver. The Eagles would feel fortunate if this would cause Romo to look for Williams over Austin as the former has done nothing to distinguish himself as a top receiver since coming to the team last season.

Speaking of receivers, the Eagles are quickly gaining recognition for having one of the best corps in the NFL. At this point, they possess the most explosive group, which matches up well against a Dallas secondary that is a little shy on speed. Donovan McNabb will once again look to make full use of the arsenal of weapons around him. Reports are that Westbrook will sit out again, so look for LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver to share running and pass catching duties. McNabb will surely look to take some strikes down the field with DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, while using Brent Celek in the middle to move the chains.

Romo spread the ball around last week, and with Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice all healthy, expect the Cowboys to do the same this week. The Eagles defense has been vulnerable to tight ends, so Jason Witten will likely be a big part of their offense and might easily ring up 100 yards receiving.

Both defenses rely on a strong pass rush to keep pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Accordingly, expect a few turnovers and some drive stopping sacks. Ultimately, though, both teams should be able to move the ball and a high scoring contest seems most likely.

Expect a seesaw game with the Eagles winning the turnover battle to register some easy points. The Cowboys will use a running back by committee approach and Witten to control the ball on methodical drives, while the Eagles will continue to use big plays on both offense and defense. Although the game will be the challenge from the Cowboys they expected last December, at the end of the day, the Eagles will have sole possession of first place in the NFC East.

Eagles 37

Cowboys 31

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