Eye on the enemy: Scouting Philadelphia

Eye on the enemy: Scouting Philadelphia

Credit: Getty Images

LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field on December 22, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles won 54-11. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty Images)

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by ANDREW TOBOLOWSKY

WFAA Sports

Posted on December 26, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 26 at 11:40 AM

Exciting stuff! Everybody thinks Romo’s out except Jason Garrett, apparently. I mean, let’s take a minute and agree that this is a strange thing. I’m not a doctor, but what we know about this injury is that A) it’s a back injury that most people think will keep him out B) he hasn’t and probably won’t be ruled out until the last minute, C) it’s serious enough that the Cowboys got themselves a 900-year-old 3rd string QB, but still they’re just kind of seeing how it goes.

What kind of injury is it that’s so serious and at the same time possibly playable? And how? And why?

Anyway.  Pretty hard to know if the Cowboys have a chance at this one. Everything we’ve learned about the Cowboys all season says yes--they’ve been competitive against everybody, and they beat roughly this same Eagles team weeks ago--but everything we’ve learned about them in the last three weeks says no. And I don’t have to rehearse it all for you.

The way they lost to the Packers, the way the Bears made mincemeat of them, then were made mincemeat of by the Eagles, the way they needed a last minute TD, on 4th down, from a QB with a broken back, against the 3-12, Kirk Cousins-led Redskins…it doesn’t exactly look good. Romo or no Romo. The Eagles are averaging 421 yards a game. How’s the disintegrating Cowboys’ D going to deal with that?

Here is the hope that I can offer you. Whether Romo does or doesn’t play, the Cowboys almost certainly have to go heavier in the run game. This is something they should have been doing anyway, especially when you consider Murray’s 376 rushing yards over the last three games. It’s not just that Murray deserves a chance to be a feature back, it’s that it’s too risky to give the Iggles the time of possession advantage a passing attack so often means.

I’m not overly hopeful about this myself. Believe it or not, Murray has averaged over 19 carries a game over the last three games and they have one one-point win over the span. He’s been great, but if he were Adrian Peterson, we’d probably know it by now. Nevertheless, that, and the fact that however much better than the Cowboys they may seem to be right now, the Eagles aren’t all that good, are the hope I can offer.

And that somehow, despite the Eagles’ extremely formidable offense, this Cowboys’ D, which was bad even then, held them to 3 points.

You never know what’ll happen in a football game, though maybe more so than other sports. People who think the Cowboys are better off without Romo are insane, but it may be the case that the Cowboys’ absolute trust in Romo isn’t always the best for their offensive game plan.  And as the Cowboys have learned basically every week for the last three, backup QBs can, in fact, win games.

You know the players: DeMarco Murray and LeSean McCoy, Dez Bryant and DeSean Jackson. Technically similar offensive and defensive stats from both teams other than the fact that the Eagles are 6-1 over their last 7, the Cowboys 4-3 with one one-point win in the last three games. This is it, for the third year in a row, this one’s for everything. All we can do is turn on the TV on Sunday.

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