I’ve been back and forth about this one all week. On the one hand I think the Eagles are playing too well to let slip a golden opportunity to seize the #2 seed. On the the other hand I recognize the Cowboys are a hungry team looking for some payback after last year’s week 17 drubbing.
The matchup is as even as it gets. Great Birds offense versus stingy ‘Boys defense. Aggressive Eagles pass rush against a poised Tony Romo. How will it all shake out?
The injury to Jamaal Jackson couldn’t come at a worse time. A shuffled offensive line is not what you want when facing the Cowboys front. Jay Ratliff, DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer have been fierce the last few games. If McNabb can’t throw from a clean pocket, it will get ugly.
Speaking of Don, he’s tossed nine picks in his last eight starts. He must do a better job of protecting the ball. Every possession will be valuable and giving Dallas short fields is not a recipe for victory. On the flip-side, Romo has just one interception in the last five games. He has been efficient and smart with the ball.
In the first meeting, the Cowboys hurt Philly with flanker screens. The same ones Denver used to perfection last week. McDermott has to scheme to take these plays away. Letting receivers catch the ball and run in open space is not advisable, especially with all the tackling issues plaguing this defense right now.
History tells me Andy Reid owns a 14-7 overall record against the guys who wear the star. He is 6-4 in Dallas and the only season he lost both meetings was during the TO-led reign of terror in 2005.
Things have been going smooth for the Birds. A little too smooth. In situations like this, I gotta roll with my gut. Unfortunately, my gut tells me the ‘Boys get the win.
Cowboys 27, Eagles 23
It goes without saying, I hope I’m wrong.