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It All Comes Down to This: Philadelphia Eagles Vs. Dallas Cowboys, NFC East Title up for Grabs

December 29th, 2013 at 6:34 PM
By Scott Erik Anderson

It's the final game of the regular season and both teams are going for the same prize: the NFC East title. Tonight, the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Dallas Cowboys in AT&T Stadium with the hopes of securing their first trip to the post-season since the 2010 season.

texas_mustang / Foter.com / CC BY

Photo credit: texas_mustang / Foter.com / CC BY

NO TONY ROMO FOR THE COWBOYS

Tony Romo will not be playing in tonight's game due to a herniated disk in his back which he had surgery to repair just a few days ago. Without Tony Romo at quarterback, the Cowboys get better and worse at the same time. Romo is known for his interceptions when the game is on the line, but when he is locked in with the rest of his offense, things go in the complete opposite direction and teams will struggle to keep up. 

Starting in place of Romo will be Dallas' backup quarterback Kyle Orton. It's been two years since Orton has started a game. The rust is definitely going to be there tonight and it is something the Eagles defense is going to have to take advantage of. 

NICK FOLES MUST PUT WEEK SEVEN BEHIND HIM

Week seven was Nick Foles' worst this season as he threw for only 80 yards before being knocked out of the game due to a concussion. That concussion seems to have knocked Foles into another dimension since he has been better than ever in the games since the first meeting with the Cowboys

zennie62 / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Photo credit: zennie62 / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Since their first meeting, Foles has led the Eagles to a 6-1 record after sitting out the week after due to a concussion. He has thrown an average of 286 yards and a total of 19 touchdowns. He has topped 400 yards twice and threw under 200 yards only once. That one game was against the Detroit Lions during the "Snow Bowl." Foles has only thrown two interceptions the entire season and they came in the past three weeks.

If Foles begins thinking about what happened during week seven, his play will suffer tonight as he is going to be second-guessing his decisions every time he is on the field.

COWBOYS' BIGGEST WEAKNESS: DEFENSE

The Cowboys defense is ranked as the worst in the league. This is a huge problem for the Cowboys as they are going up against the second best offense in the league.

The Eagles offense averages 421 yards per game. An average of 162 rushing yards per game puts the Eagles at the top of the league in that category while their 259 passing yards per game puts them at ninth in the league. 

The Cowboys defense allows an average of 419 yards per game, the worst in the league. They allow an average of 128 rushing yards and an average of 291 passing yards.

The Cowboys defense took a big hit as they lost linebacker Sean Lee for the rest of the year due to a neck injury. Lee is the captain of the defense so one of the other veterans is going to have to step up and lead the Cowboys' defense. Lee's backup is Ernie Sims, a former Eagle, but he doubtful for the game tonight. DeMarcus Ware, a seven-time Pro Bowler defensive end for the Cowboys, is also questionable for the game. Two of the Cowboys biggest threats, Lee and Ware, are either out entirely or playing banged up. 

The Eagles must take advantage of this and hit the Cowboys where it hurts. Expect the Eagles to have around a 60/40 passing/rushing ratio tonight. 

EAGLES HAVE THE MOMENTUM

The 30-48 loss to the Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago was a wake-up call for the Eagles. A week later, the Eagles came out and ran circles around the Chicago Bears en route to a 54-11 victory. Since the Eagles first meeting with the Cowboys, they have gone 6-2 while the Cowboys have gone 4-4. The Cowboys just barely got the win against the Washington Redskins last week. The Eagles, as mentioned before, blew out the Bears by 43 points.

The Eagles sent a clear message to the Cowboys last week that they were coming for them. The Minnesota loss brought them back to reality and basically showed them that they shouldn't be cocky about their recent success because it only takes one game for things to change. 

The Eagles are a different team than when they last played the Cowboys. They are a better team. Momentum is on their side.


Tags: Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys, Football, Kyle Orton, NFL, Nick Foles, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Eagles, Tony Romo

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