For many football fans in both Dallas and Philadelphia, Sunday's game is the real season opener, when the two favorites for the division meet for the first time this season. And while we're waiting for that game to start, we take a look at what Eagles personnel is saying about the Cowboys.
No Dez, No Problem? Kelly Says No Way - Paul Domowich, Philly.com
Dez Bryant's injury may be getting all the headlines, but Chip Kelly understands like few in Philly do that the Eagles' No. 1 concern has to be Tony Romo.
"He’s as talented a receiver as there is in the league,’’ Kelly said of Bryant. "But saying that, it’s not like they don’t have other weapons. They have Jason Witten and Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams. And they have one of the best quarterbacks in the league running the show.
"So, you’re losing a dynamic football player. But it’s not like there’s a huge discrepancy (in their offense) when they have other people in there.
"The key to that offense is the quarterback. He’s playing at a really high level right now.’’
Eagles know Cowboys will adjust without Bryant - Zach Berman, Philly.com
The absence of Dez Bryant means a lot more guesswork than usual for the Eagles as they try to figure out how the Cowboys will play without Bryant.
"You can't sit there and say, 'Well, Dez is out, they're going to do this,' because we don't dictate what they do, we have to react to what they do," Kelly said. "That's the one thing with their depth that can make it difficult for you. . . . They can move Beasley outside or they can play with Terrance Williams still and just play with two tight ends and that becomes a different game for us in that aspect."
With Dez Bryant out, Philadelphia Eagles' coverage plans might change - Phil Sheridan - ESPN
The Eagles secondary is trying to recover from a nightmare game against the Falcons.
- $63 million man Byron Maxwell gave up 10 completions on 11 attempts and was abused for 179 yards and a touchdown for a near-perfect 149.1 passer rating.
- The secondary showed once again that it can't stop the opposing team's top receiver, an issue dating back way into last year.
- Against the Falcons, the Eagles once again insisted on having their corners play their sides of the field instead of matching up a specific corner on a specific receiver.
So is any of that going to change against Dallas, now that Dez Bryant is out?
"It’s not just, 'Dez is out, the other receiver comes in the game,'" Kelly said. "They don’t have to do that. They can move Beasley outside or Terrance Williams, and play with two tight ends. That becomes different for us.
"What are they doing? Who is that guy? Is it [tight end Gavin] Escobar? Is it Beasley? Depending how they deploy their guys, that will dictate how we deploy our guys."
Brandon Graham on playing Dallas Cowboys: 'We'll see who's better Sunday' | Matt Lombardo, NJ.com
Just as Cowboys fans are tired of hearing about the genius of Chip Kelly, Eagles fans are tired of hearing how good the Cowboys O-line is. Brandon Graham is no different.
"Last year we were hearing the same talk," Graham said of the Cowboys' highly touted offensive line. "This year we know what to expect from them. We just have to do our job and not really worry about who's this and who's that. Come Sunday, we'll see who's the best."
"You've just gotta work together as a defense against them," Graham said. "Them guys work together real good. That means we have to work together real good up front. They do have a great double-team with some of the guys inside. We just need to disrupt them by coming off the ball and getting our hands on them."
Brandon Graham on Cowboys O-line: "We need to disrupt them" - Les Bowen, Philly.com
Bowen explains the issues the Eagles face with the Cowboys O-line, and Graham explains what the Eagles plan to do about it.
Romo is capable of carving up a secondary as well as or better than Matt Ryan did Monday night. The Eagles' pass rush seldom hindered Ryan, as he mixed in quick throws with longer deep crossing patterns.
Outside linebacker Brandon Graham - already two behind his stated goal of getting two sacks a game - said "it's tough to get home" when the other team is max-protecting the way the Falcons did.
"I don't think they will," Graham said, when asked if he expects to see max protection from the Cowboys. "They might chip a little on the outside, but I think they trust their o-line a lot."
Dallas' offensive line is much more highly regarded than the makeshift unit that handled the Eagles so easily in Atlanta.
"Those dudes have great double-team, with some of the guys inside," Graham said. "I think we need to disrupt 'em by coming off the ball and putting our hands on 'em."
Eagles Notes: Murray downplays reunion with Cowboys - Zach Berman, Philly.com
Murray said there are no hard feelings entering his first game against Dallas.
"Not from my end at all," Murray said. "This is a true business. I'm very emotionless when it comes to a lot of things - especially the business side. I understand the business side of the NFL. It's all about finding guys who are right for your system.
"I feel like I'm here, this is the best place for me, this is where I wanted to be, and this is the team that wanted me. I'm not worried about those guys. Great group of guys, great organization, have a lot of respect for them. But I moved on a long time ago, and I'm happy to be here."
Were Eagles overconfident against the Falcons? - The Morning Call
For people watching from the outside, the overconfidence in an old hat, so it's a little surprising that even the Philly players fall for the same old same old.
"We just came out and got hit in the mouth," wide receiver Josh Huff said after a light, non-padded practice. "I guess you could say we maybe had too much confidence going into the game. In a way, we thought we were going to come out, hit them in their mouth before they hit us in our mouth. But it didn't work like that. It took us a while to get going."
Developing Eagles storylines - Les Bowen, Philly.com
The running game for both teams will be under a lot of media and fan scrutiny in the coming days, and Les Bowen finds something positive about LeSean McCoy's departure.
Sure glad we don’t have to worry about LeSean McCoy dancing around on those negative-yardage runs anymore. It was much more exciting to see DeMarco Murray run backward for a minus-12 after being hit as he took the handoff. I think the implicit part of that "north-south" runner bit was that Murray would eschew "south."
Week 1 NFC East Recap: Dallas backs into first | Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
A guy called Eric Marmon explains why it sucks to be an Eagles fan, but also offers an upside.
The Cowboys are in first place, and for the 39th consecutive week, Dallas fans are feeling better than I am. That stinks.
If the Cowboys come to South Philly and knock Chip’s squad down to 0-2 without Dez, rest assured it’s only 155 days till pitchers and catchers report.