ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 11: Trent Cole #58 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after recording a sack against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on September 11, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Eagles defeated the Rams 31-15. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
The Eagles will welcome back two major pieces this weekend when they host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. At his Wednesday press conference, head coach Andy Reid declared that pro bowlers Trent Cole and Jason Peters are "good to go" and will start against Dallas.
The Eagles have been without the pair for the last two games after both were injured against the 49ers. Cole has been nursing a calf injury while Peters has been rehabbing a hamstring. The offensive line has fared surprisingly well without Peters as King Dunlap did a solid job against the Bills and Todd Herremans was outstanding at LT against the Redskins. Still, Peters on the left and Herremans back on the right is the optimal lineup to protect protect Michael Vick against a Cowboys team with good edge rushers.
While the offensive line has played well in Peters absence, the pass rush has clearly struggled without Cole. After leading the NFL in sacks with him, the line has managed just three sacks in the last two games in his absence. That said, they did turn in by far their best effort of the season against the Redskins last week.
Cole's return means the Eagles will now be able to rotate at least four healthy defensive ends, which should help to keep the starting duo of Cole and Jason Babin fresh as the season goes on. Darryl Tapp, who has been starting in Cole's place, was injured in week one and Cole was forced to play nearly every snap. Now those two can share the duties while a healthy Juqua Parker can split time with Babin.
Also returning soon will be Eagles 2010 first round pick Brandon Graham, who is practicing this week and is eligible to come off the PUP list after undergoing knee surgery last season. He'll likely take some time to get up to speed, but he could be a major piece when he's fully healthy.