Eagles Set To Swoop On Wounded Cowboys

Image courtesy of bleacherreport.com/Rich Schultz/Getty Images
Nick Foles has 25 TD throws this season. Image courtesy of bleacherreport.com/Rich Schultz/Getty Images
Longtime rivals Philadelphia and Dallas haven’t figured in the postseason the past few years, but one of them will see playoff action this season with the team that comes up trumps in Monday morning ‘s (AEST) game to be crowned NFC East champion.

The past three seasons, Dallas has faced ‘win-and-in’ matches in Week 17, and lost all of them. News that quarterback Tony Romo is suffering from a back injury and has undergone surgery means it will be an uphill climb for the Cowboys, with Kyle Orton pencilled in as starter. Twice before Orton has been in this identical situation of needing to win to qualify for the playoffs, and both times he came up short.

Dallas has stayed in the hunt for the division title this season thanks to its offence, and it is a near knockout blow with Romo hurt. The Cowboys are tied for third in the league in points per game, but its defence has been deplorable, and never was that more evident than in the collapse against Green Bay as the Pack came from 23 points down at half-time to run out 37-36 winners. The Dallas defence is ranked 31st against the pass and 27th against the run. Middle linebacker Sean Lee is the Cowboys’ defensive cog, but he remains in doubt for this match due to a sprained neck.

The one contest when the Cowboys’ D did show up this season was in the 17-3 win over Philly in Week 7. It was Nick Foles’s worst day as a starting QB as he went 11 of 29 through the air for just 80 yards before he left the game with concussion at the end of the third quarter. He has the best quarterback rating in the NFL, though, and has thrown 25 touchdown passes and just two interceptions this season. Foles also has the services of the top-ranked runner in the league in the form of LeSean McCoy. The Eagles’ backfield is ranked first in both yards per game and carry.

Philadelphia is 5-2 on the road this season; one of those losses came against the all-conquering Denver Broncos, but their last away trip ended in an inexplicable and disastrous 48-30 loss to Minnesota. The Eagles have won six of their last seven overall, and they’ve won two of the last three times they’ve played in Dallas. 

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