The Philadelphia Eagles are soaring into Dallas to face the Cowboys this evening.
No, not soaring, more like flapping in on one wing, the other one battered and bandaged, with blotches of feathers missing, dizzy from concussions and a broken foot.
The Cowboys will be looking to gun them out of the sky, but they’ve got one eye swollen shut and the other one is looking off to the side (don’t miss that backhanded reference to QB Tony Romo’s inordinate amount of interceptions). Injuries have hit both teams hard, and both their records and their stats show it.
Philly’s sideline will be missing starting QB Michael Vick and lead rusher LeSean McCoy, both out with concussions. WR DeSean Jackson’s absence due to broken ribs will give replacement QB Nick Foles one less target to hit. DT Fletcher Cox is questionable, but he did not practice with the team. Center Dallas Reynolds is also questionable, as are an assortment of others.
One favorable move the Eagles have made coming into this game is announcing the release of defensive end Jason Babin, ensuring that some young guns like Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham will see more time on the field. Both Curry (2012 second round #59 pick overall) and Babin (2010 first-rounder, 12th overall) have seen limited play this season. Could they be the spice Philly needs in their woefully bland chili?
Good news for Romo on the Dallas side of things: This is one QB who won’t have to carry the game on his shoulders for want of a running back. DeMarco Murray, listed as questionable, should start in tonight’s matchup. Still, the Dallas IR roster looks like a starting line of mixed offensive-defensive players. Other RBs like Felix Jones and Lawrence Vickers are still sidelined, as are a slew of assorted safeties, tackles and guards.
Even with all of Dallas’s running backs in the mix, they are only rushing for 78.7 ypg, 32nd in the league. Should this go to an air battle, think about this: The Eagles have 7 interceptions this season to their opponents’ 12. Dallas has 5 interceptions to the 15 that Romo has thrown.
Philadelphia owner Jeff Lurie has said another 8-8 season is unacceptable. I don’t know what’s been going on in coach Andy Reid’s mind lately (other than debating between retirement or finding another job), but now he has something to prove to Lurie, himself, his team and the fans in Philadelphia. Nick Foles has got to get more comfortable with his game. If he can stay in his pocket without panicking, not drop 15 yards off the line of scrimmage in order to complete a pass, I – I just don’t know, but I’ll say it anyway:
Philly will win this one in Dallas.