This is the next part in our series of previews of the Eagles 2009 opponents. Joining us for this feature is Dave Schwab, who writes about the Eagles at his site Eagles Lincs.
The last time we saw the Cowboys here in Philadelphia, the Eagles trashed them 44-6 in what was basically a playoff game where the winner won the wildcard. Is Dallas going to put up more of a fight this time? Check out Dave's full analysis after the jump.
The Eagles will try and beat a third straight NFC East opponent when they host the 5-2 Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night, November 8th in an 8:30 P.M. start at Lincoln Financial Field. A win would give Philadelphia the outright lead in the East as well as a 3-0 record in the division. The Cowboys come into this game riding a three game winning streak and playing their best ball of the season. While the Birds beat up on the Giants this past Sunday in a 40-17 romp, Dallas rolled over Seattle 38-17 setting up the showdown for Sunday night. Last week the Cowboys beat a fairly strong Atlanta team 37-21, but keep in mind both these wins came in the friendly confines of Cowboy Stadium. It will be a whole new ballgame when they try and take their show on the road in Philly. Everyone remembers last year when the Eagles completely embarrassed the ‘Boys 44-6 at the Linc in the final game of the season.
On offense, QB Tony Romo has been reborn the past few weeks with the emergence of WR Miles Austin as his go to guy. On the year, Austin has 26 receptions for 563 yards and 6 touchdowns, with most of this production coming in the last three games. Another factor is Romo, who threw 4 interceptions in his first five games has not thrown a pic in the last three. He was 21 of 36 for 256 yards on Sunday against Seattle, but more importantly he completed passes to 10 different receivers. Once again getting pressure on him from every imaginable angle will be the key to derailing Romo’s game. Dallas will also rely on their running game which is currently ranked 6th in average yards per game. Led by the duo of Marion Barber and Felix Jones, they will try and move the ball on the ground to take the pressure off the passing game. The ability of the Eagles defense to stuff the run will go a long way to dictating the outcome of this game. The ultimate goal is to put this game squarely in Romo’s hands as most of his success has come against teams that were poor against the run.
The Dallas defense is their potential Achilles heel as teams have had success moving the ball against them. While they rank 11th in total points allowed, they rank 22nd in total yards and passing yards allowed. The Eagles will certainly look to attack their secondary with their biggest play maker, WR DeSean Jackson. Look for the Birds to take a couple of shots downfield early in this game to try and burn them with a quick score. Dallas could be hard to run against as they are only giving up an average of 105 yards per game on the ground. RB Brian Westbrook will be back in the lineup after missing a week while recovering from a concussion and along with rookie LeSean McCoy should be able to test the Cowboy’s ability to stop the run.
Granted, the Cowboys have looked pretty good the last three weeks but you still have to take into consideration the teams they have played. Their only win this season against a team with a winning record was Atlanta as the rest of their wins came against teams with a combined record of 6-22. The Eagles will be riding high after their crushing win over the Giants and will take this momentum into this game to try and do the same to the Cowboys. I just cannot see Dallas coming into the Linc and walking out with a victory as the memories of last December’s beatdown will come back to haunt them as it could be déjà vue all over again.