Well, we are three and a half hours away from the big matchup tonight pitting the Philadelphia Eagles against America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys. In anticipation of the game, I reluctantly asked Ian the Monster at InsidetheIggles to answer five questions about this rivalry. A lot of it is just plain Ian: homer-ism, half-truths, outright lies and disgusting attacks. About 4 or 5 lines he makes actually sense. But, what do you expect from an Eagles fan? They eat their children.
1. What are your opinions about the comments Terrell Owens made about Donovan McNabb? Is anything he said true to Eagles fans?
Terrell Owens once again showed the ugly side of his personality, when he took another stab at Donovan McNabb for no apparent reason other than he is a jerk. The funny thing is TO’s claim of McNabb being jealous of him could not be more wrong. In fact Owens is the one who has been jealous of Donovan McNabb. TO envied McNabb’s huge $100 Million contract. TO wished that the media gave him some respect the way they often give McNabb respect(although that has been starting to change). TO wished he could be the guy that everybody loved in the locker room like McNabb was. That is why when TO wanted a new contract, he took shots at McNabb in the media. The jealously was so bad that he resorted to high school girl antics of slandering McNabb. When I heard TO’s comments all I could do is laugh, because he is bi-polar, and can never just keep his mouth shut. Even if TO truly believes these ridiculous claims he made, what purpose does it have to voice them to the media? Anybody with a brain in the NFL knows how to avoid answering a loaded question by simply stating “no comment”, or by saying something to the effect of “I am happy to be a Dallas Cowboy, and I am not looking to the past.” His latest comments prove that nothing has changed at all with TO. He is still as immature as ever, and he can’t help but show the world how much of an idiot he is. The saddest thing about this, is these two will probably never really bury the hatchet. These two will probably hate each other for years. The relationship between McNabb and Owens will probably be remembered similar to how Muhammad Ali and Joe Frasier are.
2. How do the Eagles win this game Monday night? The Eagles can beat the Dallas Cowboys with their defense.
When I look at the four units of these two teams(Eagles and Cowboys offense and defense), the best one to me is the Eagles defense. The man leading this group is Jim Johnson who has devised a scheme to shut down the Cowboys. In the first meeting last year, Johnson had never faced a Jason Garrett offense before, and the Cowboys sliced the Eagles apart for 38 points. After that game, Johnson studied the film, and was able to prepare a masterful game plan to stifle the Dallas attack. One of the things I noticed is they did everything they could to avoid Tony Romo rolling out to his right. When Romo rolls to his right, he is one of the best QBs in the NFL. Conversely when Romo rolls to his left, he is one of the worst QBs in the NFL. Jim Johnson made sure he blitzed Tony Romo from his right often to flush him out of the pocket to his left. This game plan completely shut down the Cowboys, and held them to a total of 6 points. Three of them were actually gifted to the Cowboys, because Quintin Mikell fumbled after he attempted to return an interception out of the endzone. Had he just taken a knee in the endzone, instead of trying to run it out, the Cowboys would have only scored 3 points. Steve Spagnulou, a Jim Johnson under study, used a similar game plan in the playoffs to help the Giants beat the Cowboys. Jim Johnson has written a blue print on how to defend the Dallas Cowboys offense, and teams that do their homework will have success against Dallas. I expect a similar game plan this time, with a few twists added to it, and a high powered Cowboys offense to be once again held in check.
3. Can the Eagles really win with the current corp of receivers it has? Why aren’t the Eagles going after a big name, disgruntled wide out? Did the T.O. debacle scare them?
The Eagles wide receivers are fine, and they do not need to go after anybody else. Now if the Eagles front office sees a game changing player who is far superior to what they have, they will try to lure them in. They did so this off season, when they made a real attempt at getting free agent Randy Moss. They were unable to land Moss, but that does not mean this group is not good enough. Kevin Curtis has proven he is a very solid WR, and he will be back this season. Reggie Brown has been up and down, but there is still a lot of potential there. Jason Avant struggled last year playing with a Sports Hernia, and he looks to rebound this year. Veteran Greg Lewis has a role as the 4th receiver, and he does a good job there. Hank Baskett has the size and leaping ability you look for in a good possession WR. Rookie DeSean Jackson has been very impressive in preseason and week 1 so far, and the team has high hopes for him. That group is good enough to win in the NFL, and the facts show that WRs do not win Championships. If they did the Detroit Lions, and the Arizona Cardinals would make the playoffs one of these years. Smart QB play, good coaching, and strong offensive and defensive lines win in the NFL. You can have all the WR talent in the world, but without that formula intact you will not win. If you want a great example of what I am talking about, just look at the New England Patriots. The Pats won 3 Super Bowls with good, but not great WRs. Deon Branch was their best WR during that run, and he has never put up big numbers. Other guys in the mix were David Patten, Troy Brown, Bethel Johnson, and David Givens. David Patten is the only one of them who is even currently in the NFL. Not one of them is a star WR, and New England came away with 3 Lombardi trophies. When New England loaded up on WRs in 2007 by trading for Randy Moss and Wes Welker, signing Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney, they lost the Super Bowl. The reason they lost the game was their offenses line’s inability to protect Tom Brady, and the defensive line not able to pressure Manning enough. Having great WRs is not a priority to fielding a great team, because they just do not win you Championships.
4. Who do the Cowboys need to look out for Monday night? Is there one player that could turn this game around for the Eagles?
The Cowboys will obviously need to look for Brian Westbrook on offense. Westbrook will get a much bigger load vs Dallas than he did against the Rams. Teams try to focus on 36 every week, but he is still able to make big plays. He is just a very special player to watch. Defensively the Cowboys should see a major difference with Asante Samuel at left CB. The Samuel signing is very bad news for Terrell Owens, because he no longer can pick out a “weak” CB to attack. Owens typically likes to be moved around on offense, to find himself matched up with an opposing teams worst CB. Now the Eagles have 3 Pro Bowl caliber CBs in Asante Samuel, Sheldon Brown, and Lito Sheppard. No matter where TO lines up, one of them will be covering him, and there will not be the major mismatch that he likes to find. I am not saying that TO can’t beat Samuel, Lito Sheppard, or Sheldon Brown, but having three quality CBs will make his day much tougher.
5. Predict the score for the Monday night match up.
I see a big Eagles win with another dominating defensive performance. Eagles 23 Cowboys 10