It's Game Day!
Don't forget to follow the wonderful BGN writers on Twitter:
Brandon Lee Gowton - @BrandonGowton
Mike E. Kaye - @mike_e_kaye
James Keane - @JeromesFriend
Brent Cohen - @EaglesRewind
Mark Saltveit - @taoish
Josh Collacchi - @PFF_JCollacchi
Let's get to the links...
Cheat Sheet: Eagles ‘D’ Vs. Cowboys Offense - Sheil Kapadia, Birds 24/7
The Eagles got breaks in Weeks 5 and 6, facing two of the worst-performing offenses in the NFL. But this week that changes as they face a Cowboys unit that ranks eighth, according to Football Outsiders. Dallas is second in scoring (30.5 PPG). Tony Romo and company dropped 31 on the Redskins Sunday night and put up 48 in a losing effort against the Broncos the previous week. The Eagles limited the Bucs to three points in the second half last week and came up with three interceptions in the fourth quarter against the Giants. Overall, the Eagles have the 30th-ranked defense, per Football Outsiders. They are 29th in scoring, allowing 29.8 points per game.
DeSean playing leading role in Birds' offense - Jeff McLane, Inquirer
In 71 games over his first five seasons, Jackson was targeted on 19.5 percent of Eagles pass attempts and caught 17.9 percent of completed throws. This season, he's been targeted 26.9 percent of the time and has accounted for 30.4 percent of Eagles completions. He's caught 34 passes for 589 yards and five touchdowns, is among the league leaders in each category, and is on pace to set career marks across the board. Jackson, asked if the increased production had more to do with Kelly or him, said it was a combination of both.
QB situation facing Eagles is not unique - Zach Berman, Inquirer
Kelly has been mum on what will happen. His strongest statement came a few hours after Vick's injury in the Oct. 6 win over the Giants, when he said Vick remained his quarterback when healthy. Kelly has since backtracked and evaded the question, declining to deal with the hypothetical and leaving the door open for a potential change. When asked whether a player should lose his job because of injury, Kelly said: "It all depends on the individual situation."
Jerry Jones: Tony Romo ‘the best in the business in the fourth quarter’ - Andrew Kulp, The700Level
"We’ve got a quarterback that’s the best in the business in the fourth quarter. He’s the best. He can make it happen when it’s not there. Other than being ahead with the ball, there’s no one I’d rather have at this time than to have Romo trying to get us down the field in a short period of time."
Defense Has Its Hands Full Here - Dave Spadaro, PE.com
How does Bill Davis, the defensive coordinator who is feeling like his group is taking steps forward, call the shots against quarterback Tony Romo and this powerful Dallas offense? The Eagles have done a nice job of keeping the passing game "in front of them," for the most part, but how can the scheme cook up some pressure up front on Romo and defend against the likes of Dez Bryant, one of the best receivers in the NFL right now, on the back end? How does the coverage keep a future Hall of Fame tight end, Jason Witten, from becoming an easy and automatic outlet for Romo?
Scouting report: Eagles' offense vs. Cowboys' D - CSN Philly
Foles, who apparently is only a threat to run in games against Tampa Bay, operated the same style of up-tempo, shotgun offense with read-option schemes that the Eagles ran with Michael Vick. He led an attack that produced 31 points on the road against the NFL’s eighth-ranked scoring defense. Although the Eagles’ 425 yards were their fewest of the season, they confronted the best defense they had seen since the Kansas City game.
Faster 3 & outs for everyone: Pace of play in the NFL - Sports Plus Numbers
One of the biggest stories of the NFL offseason was the impending rollout of fast-paced offenses that would limit time between plays – and substitutions – in the name of putting the defense on its heels and racking up points like a college team. With Chip Kelly coming into the league bringing his high-flying Oregon offense and teams across the league finding success with no huddle offense the time seemed right for this style to sweep the league. Former NFL coach Nick Saban (I’m told he’s in a position of some note in college football) waded into the fray to suggest that fast-paced offenses might cause more injuries than traditional, pro-style offenses (worth looking at but not in this post).