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Tale of the tape

Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At Philadelphia Eagles

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 08: Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys calls out while in the huddle in the first half against the New York Giants on September 8, 2013 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 24: Quarterback Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks for a receiver during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 24, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida.
(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) (credit: Brian Cleary/Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys

Philadelphia Eagles

The Cowboys have faith in Tony Romo to allow the Dallas offense to step up and become a serious contender for the NFC championship. However, their faith has never been rewarded because while Romo often puts up impressive yardage totals, big mistakes tend to plague his game. He has shown signs of improvement this season, but he’s going to have to show it in road games vs. divisional rivals. Quarterback The Eagles are hoping to get Michael Vick back in the lineup in this game after he missed the Week Six battle with the Tampa Bay Bucs due to a hamstring injury. Vick seems far more comfortable in Chip Kelly’s offense than he was under Andy Reid, but there are still missed throws and crucial mistakes. If Vick is not ready, Nick Foles has proven that he is an accurate passer.
The Cowboys would like to take the pressure off of Romo by giving him a credible running game. DeMarco Murray (knee sprain) is expected to miss at least one game, so a ground attack is unlikely in this game. Dez Bryant has matured and is one of the most dangerous and consistent receivers in the game. Jason Witten is one of the best third-down targets in the game. Offense One of the reasons that Kelly took the job in Philadelphia was the explosive nature of the offense. LeSean McCoy is a versatile running back who can break the long play as a runner and make clutch catches as well. DeSean Jackson is one of the fastest big-play wideouts in the league. Tight end Brent Celek can make the tough catch in traffic.
The Cowboys have had defensive issues against big-play opponents – see Denver in Week Five – and if they fall short of their season goals, it’s likely to be the fault of the defense. Middle linebacker Sean Lee is an active and aware tackler who combines strength and intelligence. However, the loss of linebacker DeMarcus Ware (quad) will hurt badly. Defense The Eagles' defense is simply one of the worst in the league as they lack speed and toughness at the point of attack. That makes a game against the explosive Cowboys a tough assignment. DeMeco Ryans is probably the Eagles’ best defensive player. While he lacks speed, his instincts are excellent and he knows how to fill the hole and keep the running back from getting extra yardage.
The Cowboys do a decent job with their return teams, but they are usually not a threat to break long plays. Dan Bailey has been a decent field goal kicker to this point in the season, but he is not special. Punter Chris Jones gets distance on his kicks, but not enough height. Special Teams The Eagles have struggled with their special teams play all season and they are vulnerable to giving up the big play. Placekicker Alex Henery has not attempted a 50-yard FG attempt and the team does not have a lot of confidence in him.

The winner is

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 08: Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys calls out while in the huddle in the first half against the New York Giants on September 8, 2013 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Dallas Cowboys
4 out of 4

The Eagles should be fired up for this home game against a divisional rival, but the defense has been so soft that it’s difficult to think they can hold the Cowboys in check unless they force a lot of turnovers.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

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