Dallas Talk

Posted: October 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 69 Comments »

Is everyone fired up for the Dallas game on Sunday? 1st place in the NFC East is on the line. I can say without hyperbole that this is easily the biggest game in the history of the Eagles franchise.

I don’t have a good feel for the game. I was somewhat confident the last 2 weeks. Dallas is better than the Giants or Bucs, but I certainly don’t fear the Cowboys. They’re as flawed as they are talented.

I just got done watching a show at Cowboys.com. I found this surprisingly entertaining. They openly question DeMarco Murray’s toughness. They rip on Miles Austin and talk about the fact he’s as good as gone next year. 3 of the 4 predicted that the Cowboys would win in a blowout. One gave the score of 35-18. That’s not awesome analysis. One guy predicted the Eagles to win. He actually offered some intelligent thoughts on the game. His focus is the Cowboys defense going against LeSean McCoy. He also thought that Dallas being one-dimensional would lead to a turnover or two. The 3 who expect the big Dallas win all thought backup RB Joseph Randle would have a good game. Randle has 11 carries for 17 yards so far this year. Of course, going against the Eagles defense can help a player have a breakout game.

There was no discussion of the Chip Kelly-Monte Kiffin angle. I feel confident the Eagles will move the ball and score points, because of that and the Eagles personnel. Stopping Romo is the huge question. I just don’t know if the Eagles can win a shootout.

There is a part of me that wonders if this could be one of those odd games where all signs point to a shootout and then for some reason the game is actually a defensive struggle. Division games have a way of bringing out the best/worst in teams. You never know what is going to happen in an division game.

Here’s an interesting fact for you…Tony Romo has never won in Philly in consecutive years. He won in 2007, 2009 and 2012. He lost in 2008 and 2011. Didn’t play the 2010 game. That was a backup. Since Romo won last year that doesn’t bode well for Sunday.

Then again, the Eagles haven’t won in Philly in 13 months. The last win came last year against the Giants, when Andy almost gave the game to the Giants by calling a timeout. Andy wanted to free the kicker, but he missed the kick that Andy called the timeout on. Luckily, the kicker also missed the next attempt. Since then…

DET 26 , PHI 23
ATL 30 , PHI 17
DAL 38 , PHI 23
CAR 30 , PHI 22
CIN 34 , PHI 13
WAS 27 , PHI 20

SD 33 , PHI 30
KC 26 , PHI 16

Is that depressing or what?

I really want the Eagles to get the win and end this annoying losing streak at The Linc. The foundation for being a good team is winning at home. It might help to hold someone to less than 26 points. That’s the common denominator in the streak…terrible defense. And things aren’t getting any easier. Going against Romo, Bryant, Witten and company will be quite a challenge.

* * * * *

Nick Foles will be the QB. Mike Vick announced he’ll be out, even though the Eagles like to make it sound like he could still play.

I’ll write more about Foles vs the Cowboys tonight or early Saturday. Jimmy Bama wrote a piece on the question of which Eagles QB is a better matchup in the Dallas game.

I do agree that scoring TDs should be a premium in this game. Dallas is 2nd in the NFL in points per game. They put the ball in the endzone. The Eagles must be able to execute in the Red Zone to have a shot in this game. My first preference is to fee Shady and let him run on Dallas in the RZ. If Dallas stops that, the Eagles must be able to throw for TDs. Foles is hot in the RZ so far this year. Keep your fingers crossed on that.

The guys on the Cowboys.com show said that most Dallas defenders preferred facing Foles. The fear of chasing Vick around is what made most players want Foles. They know he’ll be in the pocket so that makes defending him easier. I get that mentality.

* * * * *

If the Eagles are going to win on Sunday, the DL needs to have a big game. Fletcher Cox was terrific last week and that wasn’t lost on the guys at MMQB.com. They wrote a good piece on DL and pressures. Cox was the initial focus of this week’s piece. They had Cox as 2nd in the NFL in pressure points among interior pass rushers last week.

The bad news is that Cowboys DT Jason Hatcher is 1st. He is a very disruptive interior rusher. Hatcher is quick and athletic. He’s been a great fit in Kiffin’s scheme and is having a terrific season.

MMQB has the Eagles OL as allowing the 3rd most pressures in the league. I can see this. KC dominated the line in that game and that has to have a big impact on the season stats. Tampa got a lot of pressure last week, although that was due to blitzing. The SD and NYG’s games featured very good protection. The OL has been shaky this year, but they seem to be playing better.

* * * * *

How do you guys feel about this game? Confident? Nervous?

_


  • sprawl

    I understand why they might rather face Vick but it seems with this backup Dallas line being younger and on the lighter side they might actually have better luck chasing Vick down than making it past Peters & friends.

    • Mike Flick

      I think a lot of it has to do with reputation as well.

      But there also is some logic to who you ask. Secondary may prefer to face Vick, but D-line Foles.

      As an example: The defense always hated playing a guy like Brandon Jacobs. He never really hurt us as a team, but they hated tackling a guy that big. For us fans or even from a game plan stand point, he never had that big of an effect, but our secondary made a lot of comments that they hated facing him.

  • Tom33

    It’s hard to feel confident on the back of 8 home losses in a row. The Cowboys are a strange team though. After the Denver game, I figured they were clearly the team to beat in the NFCE. Then theyy looked bad last week against Washington (I think barely 200 yards of offense) and would not have won without a dominant ST’s performance.

    That said, I think Dez, Whitten and ST’s are going to go right at the Eagles’ weaknesses. I don’t think there is a chance in hell that this is low scoring, so hopefully the Eagles can score early and often.

    At the end of the day, I am not real confident in this one – if I had to wager, I think I’d take Dallas +3 and really hope I lost my $.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      interesting thought – take the money on the eagles to lose… then if the birds win, great! we won! if the birds lose, crap! that sucks! but at least i get some money out of it…

      • goeagles55

        If the Eagles win by 1 or 2, double win!

        • A Roy

          You’re telling me we’re 2 1/2 – 3 pt favorites?

      • A_T_G

        I think the term is “emotional hedging.”

      • Jamie Parker

        I did this for the ’02 NFCCG vs the Bucs. I never claimed my money. I was too depressed.

  • Alex Karklins

    It would be nice to see “super-fast” tempo in this game from the offense, especially against that replacement level defensive line. Strike first! Strike Hard! No Mercy!

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-azxAFGAFP2I/TlxaG0uCVdI/AAAAAAAADEA/027ixTQG4nI/s1600/john+kreese.jpg

    • laeagle

      “…do you have a problem with that?…”

  • Randy

    Brandon Carr is the guy that scares me in this game. He could shut out Jackson and really limit Foles options. I also am excited for the Cary Williams/Dez Bryant fight that is all but assured to happen.

    • Media Mike

      Brandon Carr cannot cover Jackson one on one. Jackson just toasted Reavis. Also, the total lack of pass rushing talent on Dallas will give Jackson even more time to get open.

      • Randy

        What was that?

  • P_P_K

    Sure this isn’t the biggest Cowboys game in franchise history, but it is the 1st game under Chip. This is his initation into one of the great NFL rivalries. I wonder if the guys on the team and fo have tuned him into how much Philly hates Dallas. The lead in the NFC East may not mean much for us as Eagles fans since we’ve already concluded the playoffs would end early for us, but I’ll bet it would be a shot in the arm to Chip and the players. Plus, I’ll bet it would really hurt the Cowboys because they do not believe they are in rebuilding phase. Romo is sitting atop the fat wallet of Jerry Jones and I’d love to see Nick outplay him.

    Break the streak of stink at the Linc!

    • TommyLawlor

      “Stink at the Linc”. Ha, so true. Let’s hope this Sunday changes that. And it would be oh so sweet to beat the Boys.

    • Mike Flick

      This is a good summary.

      I liked the Cosell piece where he said coaches coach against coaches. This is game #1 to see our coach against their coach.
      And it will be nice to force a regime change. That team is on the decline, and burying them is one of those joys in a rebuilding season.

  • BlindChow

    I’m pessimistic, but I’m going to try not to get too down when things start to go badly, like mid-game against the Giants and Tampa. The Eagles snapped out of it and pulled ahead in both cases, so I’d say they’ve earned a little benefit of the doubt that they can fight their way back into games.

  • Corry

    I think we can score with Dallas, but I think they have a huge edge in the return game. Harris is a weapon as a returner. Our coverage teams are going to need to be on top of their game.

    Also, with Dallas being thin at RB that should give us an advantage though, I’m not 100% sure that’ll be enough to help out D not look terrible in some stretches.

    • RIPJJ

      I forget the name of the backup RB from the Colts who had a great game against the Iggles in the JJ era…I agree with Tommy – the Eagles have most often than not made unknown RB’s look great….I just have no confidence in Billy D and his “technique” Defense…

      • anon

        Defense is getting better. Not sure what the deal with ST is. But i know the Denver TD is the reason why Poyer is no longer active on game day.

      • dropscience

        Joseph Addai ran wild on them a few years back. Still have nightmares about that game.

      • Media Mike

        Mungro

        • fran35

          Yep. James Mungro. Absolutely ran wild. East Stroudsburg born and raised. Our defense had a tendency to really make the back up RB look awesome. I remember Ahman Greene as a backup is Seattle running wild. Or priest Holmes as a raven. These guys owe the eagles part of their first big payday when they became free agents

          • Media Mike

            Uggh. East Stroud. Nothing up there but victims of the dominance of the West Chester University Golden Rams. Stroud sucks.

    • Michael Jorden

      Yes – ST’s could be scary in this one. Our edge looks like allowing the OL to run block and having Shady go bananas on them to grind down their DEF. That should open things up for us. If our DEF can get a few TO’s and we somehow handle ST’s I think we’ve got this one. OFF will get the job done.

  • Greg M

    Did you guys see the joint Vick/Foles press conference? I thought that was really cool.

    • BlindChow

      Afterwards they went over to Foles’ apartment and played Legos.

  • Steag209

    I’m cautiously optimistic but if we turn the ball over early, even once, I have a feeling we might get blown out, so basically I feel that we’ll win unless we shoot ourselves in the foot, which could very easily happen with this team

  • Dave

    When I think of the hype surrounding Romo in this game, I just have to remember this…

  • A_T_G

    I posted this about 10 minutes too soon, in the las thread:

    Is there anyone who believes that beating Dallas twice doesn’t guarantee us the NFCE? And, inversely, that losing twice doesn’t insure a early offseason? This game is huge. A few weeks ago I wouldn’t have given us a chance, but I am all primed for a crushing disappointment now.

    • anon

      Yeah there are only 2 teams really in the NFCeast. And keeping the cowboys out of the playoffs for another year would be the best xmas present ever.

      Also so glad we don’t have to hear about RGIII every single day.

    • TommyLawlor

      Sweep the Boys, win the East!!!

      I like that. And it will come true if we all close our eyes and wish for it hard enough.

    • A Roy

      My early prediction was to lose to Dallas early and have both teams coming in to week 17 at 8-7. I’ll stay with that unless/until the defense shows me something or Romo self destructs Sunday.

  • pkeagle

    Those Cowboy talking heads are dumb – they don’t even know what a flea flicker is!!

    Although our defense is gonna get lit up, they have shown an ability in recent weeks to make adjustments and get TOs in the 4th quarter which is more than they managed last year when you knew they wouldn’t be able to hold a lead

  • Anders

    This game will most likely remind me of the 2008 game where the final score was 41-37 Cowboys (it is the famous Jackson fumble at the 1 yard line game). I just hope we win this one

  • austinfan

    The Eagles will give up more pressures than most due to the blocking scheme, they basically run block on read option plays where the QB chooses to pass – this results in defenses getting what looks like pressure quickly, but since these plays are designed to get the ball out quickly, the pressure is somewhat illusionary. The other reason was Vick, since he holds the ball longer than any other QB in the league, that results in pressure, but that pressure often ends up with a long Vick scramble – or sack.

    Hatcher is having a great year, but basically their defense is Hatcher, Lee, and hope the CBs can cover without help, because when your FS runs a 4.68, help is going to be arriving late. They are extremely thin on the DL, especially at DE with Selvie coming back to earth (there’s a reason he bounced around the league) and Wilbur grossly undersized at RDE. Hayden shouldn’t be a starter, but the backups would struggle to beat out Square for a roster spot.

  • Phili_eagle_fan

    Tommy,

    I asked you a few days ago if there was a correlation between Schiano’s struggles vs. the spread offense and sunday’s game. This week some people are making a big deal about Chip’s history vs. Kiffin (averaged 601 typg and 50 ppg, last time out had 730 and 62 respectively). How much of this do you think is just college football being college football, and how much of that translates to the NFL?

    • mtn_green

      I think chip might have an idea what Monte does, his changes, his adjustments in certain situations. Plus 4-3 isn’t as strong to stop IZR and the zone can be stomped on. Try putting 2 safeties deep on chip Kelly, he’ll run it all day.
      Looks like cowboys will go 1 safety man coverage and it’ll be up to Wr to best DBS. Plus more yummy running lanes for shady.

  • ACViking

    Re: Jason Hatcher and Super Bowl IV

    The best medicine for a quick, penetrating DT like Jason Hatcher is a trap play.

    There was no quicker, better DT in NFL history than Vikings HOFer Alan Page — the first defensive player to win the NFL MVP award (1971).

    But in SB IV between the Chiefs and Vikings, KC head coach Hank Stram instructed Lenny Dawson to call a rarely used play in the RZ to exploit Page’s incredibly explosive first step up the field: 65 Toss Power Trap.

    Here’s a video. Go to 2:35 to find Stram sending in the play through WR Gloster Richardson — coincidentally, the brother of Colts WR Willie Richardson, who’d played the previous year in SB III.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coZxFtVsBVg

    Watch the RDT in white to the left of the center (from the offense’s side). He blows up field as Chiefs’ HB Mike Garrett runs past him.

    I’ll be very interested to see how Kelly embarrasses Hatcher the way Hank Stram left Alan Page looking forlorn on — have to say it again — 65 Toss Power Trap.

    • TommyLawlor

      That video never gets old. NFL Films at its best.

      • Maggie

        Trap plays must have been more common because Franco Harris loved them.

        • Andy124

          Over 50% of the plays we ran in highschool were trap plays. True story.

    • Vick or Nick

      Great find.

    • BlindChow

      I swear, Hank Stram is a character straight out of Boardwalk Empire.

  • Alex Karklins

    Connor Barwin, what are you doing?
    https://vimeo.com/77000913

    • TommyLawlor

      That is bizarre. And funny.

    • BlindChow

      Practicing his touchdown dance?

  • shah8

    My feeling is that, beyond the obvious element of chance in terms of ball bounces and who wants it more, the game will depend on whether Kelly can call as good a game as he did against Tampa Bay.

  • Vick or Nick

    Teddy Bridgewater seems to be everything Vick isn’t.
    He runs to throw. He is very accurate. And He gets rid of the ball quickly.

    I love watching Vick. The best athlete to ever play the position. In his prime and in 2010 a highlight reel every Sunday.

    But If you want to win it’s about consistency over highlights.

    • Media Mike

      Teddy Bridgewater is the truth!

  • OregonDucker

    WHOSE DRIVING THE BUS?

    Special thanks to Mike Kaye at BGN who shared this gif from Fisduck

    “So Lane Kiffin did NOT fire his father, the Defensive Coordinator for Southern Cal, this last summer? Monte “retired” from USC and was then hired as Defensive Coordinator by the Dallas Cowboys? We must have a little fun with this….”

    http://fishduck.com/gifs/who-is-driving-the-bus/

    (click on the url to load the gif. Unfortunately it’s too large, 2.8 M, for the blog)

    • Vick or Nick

      That’s great

  • SteveH

    I’m confident we’re going to lose. The ‘Boys are going to put up a lot of points on this D.

    • jshort

      That’s only your mind effin with ya. …..go with the heart.

    • Michael Jorden

      I think we have an equal chance to light them up. They have much better ST’s, we have a much better run game. We’re a lot more versatile on OFF imo. They have a better secondary, but very little depth on DL which could be big late in the game.
      I’m unusually optimistic. The sense of impending doom is surprisingly distant.

    • Media Mike

      They will put up a lot of points on us……………but we’ll put up more.

  • Vick or Nick

    The zone read pass triple option has taken over college football.

  • disqus_jB7dl5fzvO

    I’m psyched and amped to see Foles win agiasnt a team which isn’t winless which doesn’t have a defense worse than ours or riddled with MRSA.

  • Jordan Stuart

    I hope Joseph Randle is not the next James Mungro vs. the Birds.

  • Yuri

    Did you notice that the Cowboys’ video site has fun shows titled “Jerry’s worst decisions”–impressive for the ‘partisan’ site!
    http://www.dallascowboys.com/multimedia/videos/Roundtable_Jerrys_Worst_Decisions_Randle_More/609bd9e6-8596-4334-8c05-396ee3cb09bd

  • Weapon Y

    I feel like I’m on an emotional roller coaster for this game. I feel like we’re either primed on Sunday to see Nick Foles turn into the next great up-and-coming quarterback or we’re going to become majorly disappointed by him. It’s amazing how much the future depends on how he does this season. That 1st round pick next year is extremely important because there are many weaknesses on this team. If Foles is very good, the Eagles are free to take an edge rusher, a nose tackle, a cornerback, a safety, an inside linebacker if Kendricks never progresses, a wide receiver, a young offensive lineman, or a freakish back like De’Anthony Thomas. Obviously if Foles isn’t good, it’s important to take advantage of the deep group of quarterbacks next year, but it would be so nice to finally not have to worry about the QB position. I am exceedingly impatient with the Eagles’ inability to rebuild a good defense and would hate to have to wait another year to do so because we don’t have a good quarterback.

  • Media Mike

    I’m feeling strong due to the lack of Murray and Ware for the Cowboys. The Cowboys D lacks any ability to threaten our ability to score, so I’m seeing a 31-24 or 31-27 Eagles win. Dallas will score a ton as well, but they’re simply short a few too many impact players.

    • OregonDucker

      While I agree, the Eagles must avoid turnovers. The kicking game scares me as does the blitz on Foles. If we avoid turnovers, and cause a few by the Cowgirls, then this game is a win.

      • Media Mike

        Then can feel free to blitz……..touchdown Jackson. touchdown McCoy.

  • Anders

    Scary thought, but Troy Aikman in this interview was actually very pleasant to listen too.

    http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/multimedia/videos/In-Studio-Troy-Aikman/073a0054-55dd-4941-bb0a-e16a15e90e4a

    • Vick or Nick

      He’s one of the better analysts in the game.

      Aikman>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>collinsworth.

      • A Roy

        Actually, I think both Aikman and Collinsworth are two of the better analysts. They both add insight. My negative on Collinsworth is that he appears to think he’s the smartest guy in the stadium.
        I have more of a problem with play by play hacks like Joe Buck that act like they know everything when they don’t. Especially when getting the job based on daddy’s name/reputation.

      • BlindChow

        The one I can’t stand is Mayock. He’s one of those guys who makes every comment really be about himself. Just count how many times he says either “I” or “me.” Plus, he can single-handedly fill up half the cliches on the football commentator bingo card by the end of the first half (“quicker than fast” “he’s got to make that catch”).

        He’ll also use the word “special” an inordinate amount of times, which would make a good drinking game, if you’re finding it tough to endure the sloppiness of TNF.