Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia two 3-5 teams will square off in an effort to keep their respective seasons alive and respectable. If anyone would have predicted that either the Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles would have both been two games under .500 after nine weeks of play I would have thought that person’s mental stability would have been questionable. Regardless, that is the way the dice have rolled and now Dallas and Philadelphia are looking at must-win games in early November.
Because of the urgency of the game Sunday now is the time for the Dallas Cowboys to get their acts together and show the football-watching world what they are made of. By the looks of things Dallas has a pretty good chance to get to 4-5 and keep their train from completely derailing. Here are a few reasons why I think the Cowboys will be victorious following Sunday’s matchup in Philly.
Michael Vick has no offensive line: News this week in Philly is they lost their fourth starting offensive lineman when Todd Herremans was placed on injured reserve following an ankle injury he sustained Monday night against New Orleans. With only Evan Mathis remaining from the Eagles’ starting five at the beginning of the season, the Dallas front seven are going to have a great game making Michael Vick’s life a living nightmare. Granted Vick is a very mobile quarterback that can destroy a defense with his legs, but there is no way he can do it all on his own for four quarters. Without time to throw the ball downfield Dallas’ defense doesn’t need to play the pass as tightly as they have had to in the past and can send more guys after Vick.
- Dallas finally has a secondary worth talking about: Much has been made about the construction of Dallas’ new-look secondary. They were put together with the design to slow down teams like the New York Giants that have two lethal receivers that love to pick on opposing corners. Philly has just that in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Both Jackson and Maclin have burned Dallas in the past, but neither one has had a shot at cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne yet. The physical style of play Carr and Claiborne play is exactly what Jackson and Maclin don’t want see. Look for these two to have a difficult time getting off the ball and getting downfield where they cause the most damage.
- DeMarcus Ware has had Michael Vick’s number as of late: The one thing Vick is known for is his ability to make defenders miss and make plays with his legs. As I alluded to earlier, Vick will be under fire all afternoon when Dallas comes to town and right in the thick of it will be DeMarcus Ware. To date Ware has collected nine sacks and doesn’t look to slow down this week when he faces Philly’s Swiss-cheese styled offensive line. Keep this stat in mind come Sunday: last year when Dallas visited Philly Ware had four sacks…and Philly had a healthier offensive line that they currently have.
Tony Romo is trending up:Let’s face it; Tony Romo has been less than impressive this year. His 13 interceptions to only 10 touchdowns has been a shock to the system to most Cowboy fans. It hasn’t entirely been his fault, but there’s no way he gets a free pass either. As of late he hasn’t played as poorly as he had earlier in the season. He’s passed for 758 total yards the last two weeks and if he can figure out a way to get the ball into the end zone when Dallas gets in the red zone he’ll be well on his way. Philly has a good secondary that could be problematic on Sunday. The only reason I see Romo having a productive day is the fact that Philly’s defense as a whole is in disarray. They are on their third defensive coordinator in two years and opposing quarterbacks haven’t been pressured much at all. If Romo is allotted time in the pocket, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and Jason Witten are bound to get open and rip the Eagles’ defense apart. A good game from the Cowboys’ offensive core can only help Romo’s confidence as Dallas tries to get back on track.