Cowboys vs. Eagles: A Rivalry Renewed

It use to be that I loved nothing more than to beat the Washington Redskins. Growing up as a Cowboys fan it was bred into me that the Redskins were our most hated rival. To some extent, that still holds true. But, given how bad the Deadskins have been for a while, you have to reach deep down to bring up some real hate for them. I still have casual hate for them, and I'll definitely be looking for some good old-fashioned revenge on them when we do play them again this year. Still, I long for the days when the Cowboys and Redskins ruled the division and were playing the classic games.

But this post isn't about the Cowboys and Redskins. It's about the game that has replaced that game in the hearts of many Cowboys fans. The Philadelphia Eagles have become the rivalry game for Dallas. All the way from the days of Buddy Ryan, through the "T.O. playing for both teams in a short span" era, up until last year when the Cowboys took down the Eagles three times in one season - the Cowboys and Eagles have a genuine rivalry going.

On Sunday night, that is renewed. Of course the Cowboys don't have the record we'd like for them to have this year. Because of  their early-season failings they've been cast as spoiler. Dallas and Philly enter this game with identical-opposite records; Dallas is 4-8, Philly is 8-4. The Eagles are gunning for an NFC East title and jockeying for playoff position. They've undergone a dramatic change this season, a season that was supposed to see their QB-of-the-future, Kevin Kolb, take over the reins. A funny thing happened on the way to the office for Kolb, Michael Vick stole his job. Vick is simply playing the best football of his career. He's moved on from being a running QB that sometimes threw erratic passes, to being a pocket-passer that can kill you with his legs. He's a legitimate dual-threat.

The Eagles possess an array of weapons on offense. They have an opportunistic defense. They are a very good football team. They are a true test for the rejuvenated Dallas Cowboys under Jason Garrett. It's in prime-time, on Sunday night, for the whole NFL-watching public to see. If Dallas can win this game, Garrett might become a legend after only five games. Okay, not exactly a legend, but a spoiler of the first rate.

Notes on the game below...

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-4) AT DALLAS COWBOYS (4-8)

SERIES

EAGLES

COWBOYS

SERIES LEADER

 

55-43

STREAKS

 

3 of past 4

COACHES VS. OPP.

Reid: 14-9

Garrett: 0-0

LAST WEEK

W 34-24 vs. Texans

W 38-35 at Colts (OT)

LAST GAME

1/3/10: Eagles 0 at Cowboys 24.  Dallas QB Tony Romo completes 24 of 34 attempts (70.6 pct.) for 311 yards & 2 TDs as Cowboys defense records shutout.   

LAST GAME AT SITE

1/3/10

BROADCAST

NBC (8:20 PM ET): Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Andrea Kremer (Field reporter).  Westwood One Radio: Dave Sims, James Lofton, Kevin Kiley (Field reporter).  SIRIUS: 127 (WW1), 125 (Phi.), 126 (Dal.).  XM: 104 (WW1), 102 (Phi.), 103 (Dal.).

STATS

PASSING

Vick: 171-268-2,243-15-2-105.7 (1C)

Kitna: 148-226-1,703-11-8-89.5

RUSHING

McCoy: 168-823-4.9-7 (T3C)

Jones: 133-531-4.0-0

RECEIVING

McCoy (RB): 67 (3C)-534-8.0-2

Witten (TE): 65-702-10.8-4

OFFENSE

400.7 (1L)

365.9

TAKE/GIVE

+15 (1L)

-3

DEFENSE

326.1

361.9

SACKS

T. Cole: 9 (T3C)

Ware: 9.5 (2C)

INTs

Samuel: 7 (1L)

4 tied: 2

PUNTING

Rocca: 44.8

McBriar: 48.2 (1L)

KICKING

Akers: 114 (1L) (36/36 PAT; 26/31 FG)

Buehler: 80 (32/33 PAT; 16/22 FG)

NOTES

EAGLES:  Have won 11 of past 12 in Dec…In last start vs. Dal. (12/16/06 with Atl.), QB MICHAEL VICK completed 16 of 24 (66.7 pct.) for 237 yards with 4 TDs vs. 1 INT for 121 rating.  Has 300+ pass yards in 3 of past 4.  Leads NFC with 109 rating on 3rd down…RB LE SEAN MC COY had 130 scrimmage yards & 2 TDs last week.  Had rush & rec. TD in same game for 1st time.  Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 8 of 12 games this year.  Leads NFL RBs with 67 catches… WR-PR DE SEAN JACKSON has scored 22 TDs (16 rec., 3 rush, 3 PR) in career & averages 45.7 yards per TD (1,006 yards).  WR JEREMY MACLIN had 7 catches for 146 yards & TD (76 yards) in WC.  TE BRENT CELEK had 7 catches for 96 yards in last meeting…DE TRENT COLE has 5 sacks in career vs. Dal.  DE JUQUA PARKER aims for 3rd meeting in row with sack.  CB ASANTE SAMUEL has 6 INTs in his past 5.  Since start of 2006, has 36 INTs, most in NFL…K DAVID AKERS played in 184th game last week, most in team history…

COWBOYS:  QB JON KITNA has completed 79 of 114 (69.3 pct.) for 954 yards with 7 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 107.9 rating in past 4.  Passed for 446 yards in last game vs. Phi. (9/23/07 with Det.)…Incl. playoffs, RB FELIX JONES has 9 career TDs (7 rush, 1 rec., 1 KR) & averages 49.8 yards per TD (448 yards).  Has 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 KR) vs. Phi. & averages 73.3 yards per TD.  Rushed for career-best 148 yards & TD (73 yards) in WC.  RB TASHARD CHOICE rushed for 100 yards & TD last week, 1st 100-yard game.  RB MARION BARBER rushed for 91 yards last meeting…WR MILES AUSTIN has TD catch in 2 of past 3 vs. Phi. (incl. playoffs).  TE JASON WITTEN leads NFL TEs with 65 catches.  Aims for 6th in row vs. Phi. with 6+ catches…Rookie LB SEAN LEE had 2 INTs (1 TD) last week.  CB ORLANDO SCANDRICK had 40-yard INT-TD vs. Ind.  LB DE MARCUS WARE has 8.5 sacks in 11 games vs. Phi. (incl. playoffs).  LB ANTHONY SPENCER has 3 sacks & FF in past 2 meetings (incl. playoffs).

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