The Philadelphia Eagles are back in action today against one of their biggest NFL rivals: the Dallas Cowboys. It's obviously a big game for the Birds, especially after going down 0-1 to start the 2015 NFL season.
The Eagles' loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football has seemed to zap all the typical energy out of Cowboys week. A number of fans are (somewhat rightfully) concerned about the issues they saw from this team: poor offensive line play, secondary issues, struggling run game, lack of big pass plays, etc.
The good news is the Eagles have an opportunity to fix some of those mistakes today. For their sake, they better hope they do. This is a game that the Eagles really need to win. Going down 0-2 in the conference and 0-1 in the division to start the season isn't a good look.
The key to Philadelphia winning this game involves giving the Cowboys a taste of their own medicine: running with the football. The Eagles could really use a big game in this spot from DeMarco Murray, and not just because of the revenge factor, though that's obviously an added bonus. Attacking with the run should open up the passing attack and prevent Sam Bradford from having to throw 50-plus attempts.
Speaking of Bradford, the Eagles' quarterback needs to pick up where he left off in the second half of the Falcons game. Except this time, it wouldn't hurt to mix a few deep passes or two in as well. It's really up to unproven wide receivers Josh Huff and Nelson Agholor to step up and create a vertical threat in Philadelphia's offense.
On defense, the Eagles need to collectively step up from Monday's performance. The typically-solid run defense was a little worse than usual. This Eagles front seven should be able to matchup with this highly-rated Cowboys offensive line. Stopping the Dallas rushing attack will force Tony Romo to throw more than the Cowboys would ideally like him to. From there, it's up to Philadelphia's pass rush to make him uncomfortable.
Despite coming off a loss, the Eagles should be feeling good about their chances on Sunday. The Cowboys are missing several key players to injury, including star wide receiver Dez Bryant, starting left guard Ronald Leary, and rookie pass rusher Randy Gregory. Linebacker Rolando McClain and defensive end Greg Hardy are also out due to being suspended. The Eagles need to take advantage of this short-handed Dallas team.
The fans need to do their part as well. The Eagles haven't won a game against the Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field since 2011. The Philadelphia faithful need to get loud and make life difficult on the Cowboys' offense.
The Eagles can't undo their loss against the Falcons, but they can get back on track by beating Dallas. They have what it takes to get the job done. Now it's just about going out there and executing it. Chip Kelly needs to get the job done here.
Score prediction: 30-26, Eagles win.
Bold prediction: DeMarco Murray and Miles Austin both score at least one touchdown.
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