The Philadelphia Eagles are preparing to take on “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys in a game critical to both teams. The game is scheduled to be played Sunday night at 8:30 pm EST at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles are hungry for a win because winning would give the team a sweep over their rival Dallas Cowboys.
Nov. 27 this year, the Eagles beat the Cowboys in Texas by a score of 33-10. Perhaps what is more important and what is and fueling their hunger is that with a victory today over Cowboys (9-4), the Philadelphia Eagles, also (9-4) will be sole leaders of the tough NFC East Division. Additionally, this game has implications for upcoming home field advantage during the playoffs.
To date, the Eagles are undefeated in the NFC Eastern Division (3-0). As the regular season nears a close and the playoff picture begins to form, the Eagles need to beat the Cowboys and win an additional game or two to clinch the division outright.
Going into today’s game, the Eagles are looking to rebound from a decisive loss at home to the defending World Champion Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 7 2014. The Eagles lost 24-14. A win against the Cowboys today will boost team momentum as final games approach.
The Dallas Cowboys are also in need of a win today against the Eagles. There is a lot riding on this game alone. A Cowboy-win will put Dallas on top of the NFC East and shift the playoff picture to better favor the Cowboys.
The Eagles, hungry for a big win, will definitely have their wings full today. The Cowboys have had 10 days to rest and prepare a better game plan than they used on Nov. 27, Thanksgiving Day versus the Eagles. Momentum is favoring Dallas after coming off a big win over the Chicago Bears (41-28) on Dec. 4 2014. The Dallas Cowboys are also undefeated on the road this season at (6-0) and they beat the Seahawks Oct. 12 by a score of (30 – 23).
Although banged up, quarterback Tony Romo will be in the starting lineup this week. Romo is having a solid year for Coach Jason Garrett and the Cowboys with 25 touchdown passes, 8 interceptions and nearly 3,000 passing yards.
On the receiving end of most of Romo’s passes is wide out Dez Bryant (73 receptions, 1034 yards and 10 scores), tight end Jason Witten (495 yards, 46 receptions, 4 scores) and the NFL’s leading rusher DeMarco Murray (53 receptions, for 392 yards) and (1,606 rushing yards, 9 touchdowns and a 5.00 yards per carry average).
The Eagles will be starting former New York Jet journeyman Marc Sanchez at quarterback. Sanchez was back up to Nick Foles until a collarbone injury sidelined Foles for 6 – 8 weeks. Head Coach Chip Kelly will rely on Sanchez (1500 yards passing, 10 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions) to manage the game and offer up a healthy dose of marquee running back LeSean McCoy to the Cowboys.
McCoy got off to a slower than his usually pace this season, but has come on strong as of late. He has rushed for (1,068 yards and averages over 4 yards per carry). The Eagles also showcase a host of quality receivers: Jeremy Maclin (74 receptions, 1,109 yards, 10 scores); Jordan Matthews (56 receptions, 709 yards, 7 scores); Riley Cooper (46 receptions, 470 yards, 1 score); tight end Zach Ertz (36 catches, 499 yards, 3 scores) and all-purpose player Darren Sproles, who can score at any time and from any place on the field.
Both team defenses will have to play consistently through a full four quarters and with minimal mistakes to have the best shot to win this rivalry game between the Philadelphia Eagles, who are hungry for a win to establish their playoff credentials. The Dallas Cowboys on the other hand are coming to Philadelphia with a tremendous amount of winning momentum behind coupled with a perfect road-game record. This contest is a big one for each team with leadership of the NFC Eastern Division and playoff implications on the line.
By D’wayne Stanelli
Image courtesy of Billy Bob Bain – Flickr