Eagles Vs The 2012 NFC East: Dallas CowboysBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Thursday, July 5th, 2012
In 2011 the Eagles had their way in the NFC East, going 5-1 with the only loss coming at the hands of the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants early in the season. Oddly enough for Philadelphia, outside of the division they could only manage to put three more games in the win column, leaving them with a record of 8-8 and one win short of the playoffs.
The NFC East will start off competitively this year as it always does, with a few surprises along the way. I was actually surprised last year that the Eagles were able to sweep the Dallas Cowboys. Every year Dallas looks like they’re going to challenge for the division title, and they usually do. Then somewhere along the line you can count on the wheels falling off. Poor coaching and a bad case of Romo-itus can usually be counted on.
The Cowboys also finished 8-8, but don’t be too quick to count them out of it in 2012. As much as I hate to say it, they won’t crumble as quickly as in years past. All-World linebacker DeMarcus Ware and his 19.5 sacks (second only to Minnesota’s Jared Allen) is considered by his peers to be the sixth best player in the league this year, and will anchor a defense that was fourth in the league sacks with 42 and seventh against the run allowing 1585 yards, (4.1 yards/att, 99.1 ypg). However they were a woeful 23rd in the league in total yards, 3906 yards coming through the air (244 ypg, 21.7 ppg) and 24 TD’s.
In this year’s draft Dallas went for defensive help with their first four picks. Morris Claiborne out off LSU (who I didn’t expect to be there by the fourteenth pick) was taken sixth overall after the Cowboys traded up.
Claiborne will probably be the starting safety, and a Prowl Bowler for years to come. I would have preferred that he had gone anywhere else but to the Cowboys. I see him as being a thorn in the Eagles side for too many years to come.
Quarterback Michael Vick leads (on paper), the most electrifying, and most powerful offense in the league this year (improving on a top rated offense in 2011) with what looks to be great depth at the skill positions. As long as the former Falcon has solved his turnover fixation, they will score plenty of points against a pretty decent Dallas “D”.
I think the “Boys”, even with the likes of Ware, Marcus Spears, Sean Lee and Dan Connor (their new free agent addition at linebacker), will have trouble against Philadelphia who will put up big numbers against Dallas in 2012 in the air, but especially on the ground with LeSean McCoy and what we will find to be a great corp. of young and gifted running backs.
The success of the Dallas offense depends a lot on which Tony Romo shows up. With the talent and ability to be amongst the elite quarterbacks in the game, he has not lived up to the majority of expectations. The Cowboys offense in 2011 stood mostly near the middle of the pack scoring 369 points. 15th in points scored per game (23.1), 11th in ypg 375.5 (262.6 passing ypg), but 18th in rushing with an average of 112.9 a game.
But the Cowboys employ a pretty dangerous group of weapons themselves in Austin Miles and “diva in training”, Dez Bryant, along with an aging but still effective tight end Jason Witten.
We will find out this year if rookie phenomenon DeMaro Murray is the real deal or a one-year wonder. Offer up some protection from an upgraded offensive line and they could make it interesting.
But the “new” Philly defense will dismantle, discombobulate, and disrupt most of what the Dallas offense wants to do. The Eagles are immediately better covering tight ends and running backs with a faster group of linebackers with the addition of middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans and second-round steal, Mychal Kendricks.
There’s also an upgrade in the secondary if only because of a full offseason of continuity, but add the expertise of new secondary coach Todd Bowles and great things can happen! Throw in the best defensive line in football and…enough said.
The Eagles will dominate the NFC East for some time. There are only seventeen players on the current roster that are 28 years of age or older. Only eight are 30 or older and out of that eight only five are starters (Jason Peters is injured and Jon Dorenbos is the long-snapper). The Eagles are a pretty young team that will “maintain” in their division the next several years.
Though Philadelphia scored the most points in the division while allowing the fewest, I think it could go down to the wire in 2012. The Eagles outscored the Cowboys 54-14 in two games last season, barely missing a shutout in their second contest. But this year Philadelphia will split with Dallas, losing a close one in the second meeting (week thirteen) but post a 4-2 record in the division on their way to their first Super Bowl win.
Note: The Eagles own a four-game winning streak, the longest in the division.
Short URL: http://gcobb.com/?p=31348