Eagles-Cowboys Pregame ThoughtsBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Sunday, November 11th, 2012
Want a damning indication about how disappointing and unlikable this Philadelphia Eagles team is? Just look at how little excitement there has been amongst the fans this week for a home game against the hated Dallas Cowboys.
Normally before a game like this, Eagles fans would be talking about some of the great moments in this rivalry in great anticipation of the latest chapter set to unfold in the coming weekend.
But this year, it’s different.
Eagles fans aren’t talking about how many turnovers they can force from Tony Romo. They aren’t talking about what the Eagles can do to slow down DeMarcus Ware and the Dallas pass rush. They aren’t even talking about Cowboys owner Jerry Jones getting locked out of his team’s locker room a week ago, or about how he just declared that he will never step down as the team’s general manager.
This year, there isn’t much energy or enthusiasm entering Cowboys Week. And the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles can thank themselves for that.
The Eagles have managed to suck all of the enthusiasm for the 2012 season out of the city just eight games into the season. Followers of this team have been worn down by the underwhelming quality of play they’ve seen from this roster. They haven’t seen an Eagles victory in well over a month, and instead have been treated to high-profile players make hollow excuses for their losses while scolding the fans about loyalty.
Halfway through the season, the Eagles haven’t shown their supporters any reasons to suggest that they can make a dramatic turnaround. Fans have been waiting through one letdown after another for this team to put forth a dominating effort that makes them resemble the squad that many projected to win 10 or 11 games before the season. But at this point in the year it’s clear that this team was overrated by many, and they’ve got too many flaws to be a winning football team.
After seeing this team produce mediocre results while making the same head-scratching mistakes over and over again for the last year and a half, this team’s act has really grown stale in the city and turned what is typically one of the most anticipated weeks in every Eagles season into somewhat of an afterthought.
However, on Sunday the fans will put aside the frustration they feel over their team. They’ll be at Lincoln Financial Field in full force, hoping that the Eagles can do what they haven’t done all year, and summon up enough competency to convincingly defeat the Cowboys and restore a little bit of the fans’ confidence in them.
How The Eagles Can Beat The Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are a team that has many of the same problems that the Eagles have. They’re ranked near the bottom of the league in scoring, they’ve got a quarterback that turns the ball over, they’re run by an incompetent head coach, and as a whole they’re a talented team that underachieves.
Tony Romo has reverted back into a turnover machine this season, tossing 13 interceptions. He’s going to give the Eagles several opportunities to create turnovers, and change the outcome of the game. The Philadelphia defense needs to be ready to capitalize on these chances. These potential turnovers will not only give the Eagles more scoring chances, but it will keep the Dallas offense from getting into a rhythm. On a good day, Romo can run the offense at a high level if he’s allowed to get into a flow. The Eagles need to force at least two turnovers to win today.
Once again, as laughable as this sounds, the best way for the Eagles to put up points on Dallas is to put the ball in the hands of their best player (LeSean McCoy) and establish a run against an average run defense. The Cowboys are ranked fifth in the league against the pass, and their elite pass rush is sure to give the pathetic Philadelphia offensive line trouble throughout the day. A pass-happy approach is doomed to fail against this defense, but a balanced attack stands a chance for decent production.
Why The Cowboys Will Win
The Cowboys will win this game simply because Andy Reid and Marty Morhinweg won’t do the sensible thing and commit to a run-first offense. For an offensive line that now only has one of their original starters, that’s the recipe for a long afternoon.
The Dallas defense is the difference in this game. They’ve got a number of favorable matchups, and I can’t see how an offense that could only put up 13 points against the New Orleans Saints (who were giving up an average of 30 before last week) will be able to accomplish much against a superior defense.
The thought of guys like DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, and Jay Ratliff matched up against the likes of Demetress Bell, Dallas Reynolds, and Dennis Kelly may be the mismatch of the century.
Offensively, the Dallas offense hasn’t had a good year, but they’ll have a chance for strong success against the Eagles defense. The league has figured out the Wide-Nine pass rush, and the Eagles can no longer count on their defensive lineman to give them a strong pass rush. The secondary figures to struggle again against talented receivers Miles Austin and Dez Bryant.
As bad as the Cowboys have been this year, I think they’re the better team right now and that really says a lot about just how bad this Eagles team is.
The difference between the two teams right now is that the Eagles have quit and the Cowboys are still playing to save their season. They gave the Atlanta Falcons a better effort in Atlanta a week ago than the Eagles gave against the same Falcons in Philadelphia two weeks back.
I think the Eagles are going to struggle to put up more than 13 points again, and the Cowboys hand the team another frustrating loss.
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