This week the Cowboys will head to Philadelphia to face the dreaded Eagles. To me, this is without a doubt the most important match for the Cowboys this year. Right now the Cowboys holds first place in the NFC East. However, the Eagles are close behind us as they share the same record as the Cowboys. With a win against the Eagles, the Cowboys will have a chance to lead away from the rest of the NFC East. Not only will the Cowboys have the best record in the division, they’ll also be 3-0 in division games. This is by far the most important game the Cowboys had so far.
Oct 13, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (50) jumps on the back of Washington Redskins running back Roy Helu Jr. at AT
It was announced early this week, that Michael Vick will be out this week. This should be a great sign for the Cowboys. The defense typically struggled against mobile quarterbacks such, as Vick, RG3, and Russell Wilson. The defensive line will get pressure, but mobile quarterbacks can use their elusiveness and legs to get yards. Foles is more of a pocket pressure, so the Cowboys defensive line should have a better chance in getting sacks. However, this year the Eagles offensive line is nothing to scoff at. The Eagles did a great job in repairing their offensive line during the offseason. They had Jason Peters and Jason Kelce get healthy, drafted Lane Johnson, and moved Todd Herremans to right guard. The Eagles have a very strong offensive line now. If we want to win the game, the Cowboys defensive line needs to get pressure.
This game will be all up to the defense. The Eagles defense has many holes, and Romo will be able to score against them. The biggest threat about the Eagles is their speedy offense. Chip Kelly has done a great job in making an explosive offense. I see two ways to beat this offense. You either have to stop Desean Jackson or Lesean McCoy. The Cowboys need to make the Eagles offense one dimensional and to do that you have to shut down either one of those players.
Outside of Desean Jackson, the Cowboys defense should be able to contain the Eagles wide receivers. Desean Jackson has emerged as a dangerous threat in this offense. In six games Jackson has 589 yards, 34 receptions, and 5 touchdowns. No other Eagles receiver has more than 20 receptions, 250 yards, or 2 touchdowns. If the Cowboys can shut down Desean, they can shut down the passing attack. Once the passing attack is ineffective, this forces the Eagles to run the ball and slow down their offense. Brandon Carr has been great so far, and will be given the task of stopping Desean. I don’t think Carr has the speed to keep up with him, so safety help will be needed as well. J.J. Wilcox and Barry Church will need to have a big game against the pass if they want to shut down Desean.
The other way to stop the Eagles is to shut down Lesean McCoy. By shutting Lesean McCoy, we force Foles to throw. I’m not entirely sold on him yet, and I think the defense can get some turnover if they force him to throw. The hard part will be stopping Lesean McCoy. McCoy is one of the most slippery runningback I’ve ever watched. If we want to stop him, we are going to need some speed in the linebacker position. Bruce Carter and Ernie Sims should see a lot of time and will be the difference maker in stopping McCoy.
The key to this game is making the Eagles offense one dimensional. No matter what, we need to win in the trenches. This will be difficult with the injuries the Cowboys have on the defensive line. It is still possible to make the Eagles one dimensional. Brandon Carr, J.J. Wilcox, and Barry Church will need to shut down Desean Jackson. While Ernie Sims and Bruce Carter, will have to slow down Lesean McCoy. The Cowboys defense will be the key to winning the game tomorrow.