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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Gearing Up For The Eagles

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Orlando Scandrick is key to Cowboys’ win; Cowboys passing game could take advantage of Eagles secondary; Defense savors chance at redemption against Eagles.

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Can Dallas Cowboys copy Seattle’s defensive blueprint against Philadelphia? | Rainer Sabin, DMN
Schematically, the Seahawks defense is fairly similar to the Cowboys defense.

"We do have similarities in our structure and I think you look at that stuff and say, ‘What was effective? Does this fit with what we do?’" Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "The worst thing you can as a coach is say, ‘That was good for them, let’s put that play in, let’s put that defense in or whatever.’ That’s not what we do. We believe in doing what we do but if some things relate and correlate to what we do, then that make sense."

"I thought they played really fast. They played extremely fast," Rod Marinelli said of the Seahawks. "When we had success against [the Eagles in last year's 17-3 victory] up there last year, we played fast. That’s a big part of it. Everybody plays zone. Everybody plays man. It just comes down to how well you can do it."

Orlando Scandrick Is Key To Dallas Cowboys’ Win Over Philadelphia Eagles | RantSports
This article argues that Scandrick will have to be the Cowboys' Richard Sherman on Sunday.

The Cowboys will be fully committed to stopping McCoy and the ground game this time around, as they feel the Eagles’ offense is centered around the success of their rushing attack. So this means that their pass rush will be even weaker than it normally is and that they will also be asking for more from their defensive backs in this game. The Eagles’ deep play threat is Maclin, so the Cowboys will need a cornerback to keep him in check and that player is none other than Scandrick. Scandrick is easily the Cowboys’ best defensive back as Brandon Carr continues to be a disappointment, giving up as many big plays as he stops.

So expect Scandrick to try and play the role of Richard Sherman as he will end up shadowing Maclin all night. The more the Cowboys are able to frustrate the Eagles in the ground game and the more they are able to keep them from making the big play down the field, the more this Eagles’ offense will look like your garden variety gimmicky offense.

Eagles expected to run it, and force Cowboys to throw | Charean Williams, Star-Telegram
The CBA onyl allows 14 padded practices through the entire regular season. The Cowboys used on of those days on Wednesday.

"Now, when you take your pads in today’s NFL, a padded practice takes on a special meaning because there are fewer of them," Jerry Jones said. "When you save that for Wednesday before we’re getting ready to play, that tells you all you need to know about where our mindset is. We certainly are focused. We’re practiced up. We are, relatively speaking, healthy, and we stand warned."

"They’re not going to do anything different than they did last time," Jones reiterated. "They’re going to try to run that McCoy. The bottom line is, we know what they’re going to do. And I would do the very same thing if I were them. They had a lot of success doing it."

Cowboys passing game could take advantage of Eagles secondary - Mike Sielski, Philly.com
Sielski argues that for all the talk about each team's ground game, the ability to get the passing game going may end up deciding the game.

Yes, the Eagles had an easy time with the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, winning by 33-10 and limiting Dez Bryant - perhaps the NFL's best wide receiver - to one significant catch, a 38-yarder early on. But Tony Romo is likely to be healthier and sprier this time, and for all the discussion over the last several days about whether the Eagles can neutralize DeMarco Murray again, Sunday's game and, in turn, supremacy in the NFC East will come down to whether the Eagles can prevent Bryant and Romo from beating them.

Tony Romo's road numbers are top notch - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
If the Cowboys make the playoffs, a big reason will be how Tony Romo played on the road this year, Todd Archer writes, and quotes ESPN Insider KC Joyner for support:

Playing away from Dallas, he has the highest Total QBR (88.2), yards per attempt mark (8.4) and completion percentage (71.8 percent). Romo also has a 15-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio in away contests, and has the No. 2 mark in vertical yards per attempt (VYPA, passes thrown 11 or more yards downfield) at 12.7. These are all key reasons why Dallas is 6-0 in away contests this year.

Scout’s Notebook: Handling the Eagles' crossing routes | Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
Broaddus argues that the key to stopping the Eagles offense is to take away their crossing routes on third down.

This might sound really simple but if you take away the Eagles crossing routes on 3rd downs you have a really good shot of handling a big part of what they do offensively. This is exactly what Byron Maxwell of the Seahawks was able to out of the slot against Jordan Matthews when he tried to run underneath. Maxwell never allowed Matthews to get up the field on him and was in perfect position to deny the ball when Mark Sanchez tried to go inside with it. When Matthews did catch the ball Maxwell was right on top of him to make the tackle short of the sticks. The Cowboys need Orlando Scandrick to have a similar type of game.

Cowboys’ defense savors chance at redemption against Eagles | Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
"One of the worst games of the Jason Garrett era" is what Orlando Scandrick says of the Thanksgiving debacle against the Eagles.

"We definitely got a chip [on our shoulders]," defensive end Jeremy Mincey said. "They had their way with us. No man on this roster likes that. We know we didn’t play up to our potential. We didn’t do what we were supposed to do.

"We are excited to have a second chance. That’s all we’ve been talking about. Even during the Chicago game, I had to [say], ‘Hey, hush, man. We’ve got to finish beating Chicago and then we’ll get to it.’"

"I know I was trying to do too much," said safety J.J. Wilcox, who typified the team’s woes with a number of missed tackles. "You have to stay in your gap and do your assignment. Do your job."

"We are definitely going to go out there and show them and everybody else who has doubts about our defense that that wasn’t our defense the last game," defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford said. "We are going to play how we like to play and how we do. Hopefully, it’s a different outcome."

Cowboys a focused group on the road; so why not at home? | Jon Machota, Dallas Morning News
The Cowboys are 6-0 on the road, so whatever they are doing on the road seems to be working, but what is it?

Jason Garrett credits his team with being more physical offensively on the road, wearing down opposing defenses with a combination of their O-line and DeMarco Murray. Stephen Jones adds that it also helps to shut up opposing fans.

"You tend to take a little energy out of the crowd when you take the ball and you have those long runs," Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said. "There’s no question that was the case in Seattle. At some point, those fans get tired of yelling when you keep the ball for an extended period of time."

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#FinishTheFight | DC.com
Dating back to training camp, the Cowboys have used the mantra of "Fight" to guide them through the season. This video does an oustanding job of bringing that idea to life. Go and watch it right now.