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Cowboys vs. Eagles: What They're Saying

This week's edition of What They're Saying for one of the wildest, wackiest games you'll ever watch.

Some housekeeping to take care of; Roy Williams fractured his forearm and will miss at minimum three weeks. The early leader to replace Roy is Pat Watkins. Watkins had his problems in coverage as a rookie, we all remember his game against the Eagles that year, but he says he's learned a lot in the intervening years and is ready to go.  

"There are a lot of things you learn," Watkins said of his NFL maturation process since that rookie-year demotion. "I learned you have to have a short memory. I used to take it so personal when I would get beat. But at the same time I wouldn't take my studying seriously. I didn't know how to take it to the next level like I have now.

"I've come a long way from my rookie year."

Time to see just what we have in Pat Watkins, this will be a very important stretch for him in determining just what kind of player he'll be in the future. Is he a backup/special teams stand-out or is he a guy who can play in the starting lineup? The Cowboys will also get a look at life without Roy and can decide if they need him or are they paying too much for a guy that could be replaced.

Felix Jones gave us a glimpse of the future with his 98-yard kickoff return for a TD. El Gato certainly showed that his kickoff-return prowess witnessed in college translates to the NFL-level. The guy had over 240 yards in kick returns. Wowza!

"It feels good," [Felix] Jones said after the game. "It really couldn't get any better than what it is - a Monday Night Football game, and my first one, my first Monday Night game, so it was real big for me."

On every kickoff return, they have only one idea in mind.

"To break our huddle, we say, 'Take it to the house,'" Jones said. "And we plan on doing that every kickoff return."

El Gato is the vato!

Donovan McNabb played an outstanding game. He looked better in this game than he has at any time since the Eagles heyday when they were making runs at the Super Bowl on a regular basis. He looked strong and nimble, well, nimble for a guy his size.

"I was chasing that guy all day," said an exasperated Ware. "He's probably one of the most elusive quarterbacks I've ever seen in the league, other than (former Falcons quarterback Michael) Vick. He's a great player, and when you can take somebody down like that, it's a big accomplishment."

"When you get on him, he's not going to say, 'OK, well they got me. I'm just going to go down,'" said Ellis, who finished with two sacks. "He stays in there as long as he can and tries to deliver that pass or tries to get out and make something happen with his feet. He's an outstanding football player."

"[McNabb's] bottom half is so strong," defensive coordinator Brian Stewart said. "He's got Jim Brown legs. We were getting to him, but he kept shaking us. But I'm not going to look at the stat sheet after this one. We're glad to have a win."

One thing the Cowboys have to work on is the penalties. Once again, Dallas shot itself in the foot repeatedly and it will catch up with them before long unless they do something about it.

"You don't want negative plays, and you don't want plays that take it back, and penalties are certainly things that do that to you," Garrett said. "They just make the down-and-distance situations that much more difficult. You want your team to play aggressively and free, but you don't want to have those penalties. So those are things that we'll continue to try to work on and hopefully clean up."

Click the link below, there is much more to What They're Saying.

Adam Jones is still working off the rust, and it showed when he and Roy Williams were severely burned by rookie DeSean Jackson.

"I'm feeling a whole lot (more) comfortable," [Adam] Jones said. "Certain sets are giving me trouble, like in that bunch set (where the Eagles receivers lined up in close proximity to each other), I've just got to remember to stay high. (The receiver) jogged off to the safety, and I just let him go."

Granted, that wasn't exactly airtight defense we were playing last night. I don't think we can go the whole season giving up yards and points in bunches and be championship material. But where you do have to credit the defense is in the way they stepped up at the end of the game and put the clamps on Philly. Down the stretch, the defense shutout the Eagles offense when the game was hanging in the balance.

"It was on us," said Bradie James. "If they don't score, they don't win. It's what champions dream about."

"Those last two or three possessions, the defense stepped up and won the game," Jerry Jones said. "We've had some games where we had good stats, and when it came time to stop somebody at the end of the game, we were disappointed."

Much praise for the defense at the end but let's see if we can get it together a little earlier in the game from now on.

In the first half of the game, the Cowboys running game was a total dud with the Eagles bottling up MB3. But it didn't last, in the second half the Barbarian showed his mettle and dominated, along with Jason Witten to will the Cowboys to victory. 

"That's how a game typically goes," Gurode said. "It may not work out that well in the beginning, but as you go on, Barber is the type of guy who is going to wear you down. It may be 2 or 3 yards in the beginning, but it may be 5, 6 yards in the end."

The offensive line, like the rest of us, love MB3.

"Awesome," Colombo said. "I love blocking for the guy."

OK, so Tony Romo had a fantastic game if you throw out those 14-seconds or so in the first half where he gift-wrapped 14 points for the Eagles. But Romo never lets that stuff bother him and his teammates had his back, even if they don't say it. Miles Austin sat next to a lonely Romo on the bench after his brief meltdown.

"I didn't say a word to him," Austin said. "I just wanted him to know I was there. If he throws a touchdown, he's my teammate and if he throws a pick, it's the same deal."

Romo knew he gave away points.

"The game is not without human error," Romo said. "It was nice that we came back from some adversity I put us in."

Romo persevered and got the ‘W' and he praises his offensive line for the help.

"They do so many good things defensively that you have to be prepared for a lot on every play," Romo said. "The O-line was outstanding tonight."

It's kind of a weird stat to look at after the game but the Eagles ended up with no sacks for the game. Considering the pressure Romo was under on occasion, that's miraculous. We did pay the price in terms of hurried throws but Romo was determined not to lose yards by being sacked.

Jason Witten dominated the second half of the game along with MB3. But it almost didn't happen as he went to the locker room with a separated shoulder in the second quarter. No problem for Witten, they just popped the shoulder back in place and shot him up with some pain killers. It didn't kill the pain for the Eagles. 

"It was really sore and I just landed right on it," he said.

"Just to be able and come back and make some plays and help your team win, I think it's a big part of it," he said.

"I wanted to get back out there as quick as I can," Witten said. "I think I got it good. We'll look at it (Tuesday morning) and see what happens."

As usual, let's give the last word to Wade Phillips. 

"Well, it's one in the bank," coach Wade Phillips said. "You never know which one is going to come back and mean a lot for you, so it's a good win at home, a big win in the last Monday night game at Texas Stadium."


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