Last night, the Philadelphia Eagles were supposed to beat up on a lesser Minnesota Vikings team, and continue their efforts at securing a #2 seed in the NFC when they played the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. That didn't happen; the Eagles laid an egg on Tuesday night and were pounded by the Vikings, with Michael Vick taking his fair share of abuse in the game. By the end, he was clearly hobbling. He was sacked six times and hit on numerous other plays. So by virtue of their 24-14 loss, the Eagles are locked into the #3 seed in the NFC.
So you know what that means. It basically changes the whole landscape of the Cowboys and Eagles matchup. Why would Philly trot Mike Vick out onto the field with nothing to play for and with him clearly beat up from the physical pounding he's taken this year. Vick's style of play leads to big hits, and he was getting murdered on Tuesday night. Bleeding Green Nation, our fine sister blog under the SB Nation umbrella, thinks there's no way that the Eagles play Vick on Sunday. But they also think plenty of other Eagles will be riding the pine this weekend.
Michael Vick will assuredly sit next week. Ditto that for Asante Samuel, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Trent Cole, and so on...A week off at this point in the season is huge, whether you get that via a first round bye, or via sitting all your starters in a meaningless game Week 17.
Basically, it will be all about Kevin Kolb and the reserves. This hasn't been confirmed yet, but it makes all the sense in the world.
On the other side of the field, the Eagles should find a Dallas squad that is fired-up to close out a bad season on a high note. Beating one of their NFC rivals, no matter who is on the field, is something that will resonate with Jerry Jones and the fanbase. And you can bet that Jason Garrett will want to partially erase the debacle from last week by going out on a win as he tries to secure the head coaching position.
The players themselves should be disgusted by last week's loss, they should be ready to dump that baggage by closing out with a win over the hated Eagles.
So we have an interesting mix of circumstances for this game. A Philly squad with nothing to play for, that will likely be led by its back-up quarterback, minus many of its stars. Dallas will be playing for pride, for Jason Garrett's coaching quest, and will likely be led by its back-up back-up quarterback, Stephen McGee.
It won't be your typical NFL game, but it sure will have some interesting storylines. Then again, it is the Eagles and Cowboys.