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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: It's Eagles Week, Supplementing Losses and More...

The Cowboys cannot dwell on their costly win against the Giants. Another division foe is just around the corner and nobody gets a break in the NFL.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Sturm's Marinelli Report: How Cowboys Morris Claiborne, Byron Jones Fared vs. Giants -Bob Sturm- Dallas Morning News
Sturm takes a hard look at the Cowboys defense as a whole and particularly how the defensive backs fared in week one.

The Cowboys defense is under construction.  They are trying to add new toys (Byron Jones, Randy Gregory, Sean Lee, and soon Greg Hardy) to the 2014 defense that was plucky and opportunistic to see if in fact they can build a defense that is a bit more menacing and effective.  This, of course, like everything in football, is a process.  Especially if main pieces from the 2014 defense are gone - Orlando Scandrick, Henry Melton, Justin Durant, Anthony Spencer, Bruce Carter, Sterling Moore, and George Selvie were all in the Top 15 defenders last season - and Rolando McClain is missing for 3 more games.

Cowboys Extra: With control in Philly, Kelly Pushes Chips All In - Drew Davison- The Star-Telegram
This is a big year for Chip Kelly as he was granted his wish for more control and if it doesn't work, it could be big changes again for the Eagles.

It hasn’t taken long for Chip Kelly to become a polarizing person in the NFL. Just about every person who follows the sport has an opinion on whether Kelly deserves the label "genius" or not.

Eagles RB DeMarco Murray: 'I'm Very Emotionless' About Dallas Rivalry - Phil Sheridan- Philadelphia Eagles Blog - ESPN
Coming up on his first meeting against his former team, Eagles running back DeMarco Murray talks about what it will be like to face the Cowboys.

"Not at all," Murray said. "Not from my end, at least. 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 aspect of the NFL. It's all about finding guys who are right for your system.

"I feel like I'm here and this is the best place for me. This is where I want to be and this is the team that wanted me."

Studying NFL Game Film With Cowboys Tight End Jason Witten - Andy Benoit- The MMQB with Peter King
Just some more praise thrust onto the shoulders of our great Cowboys' tight end. As the Cowboys prepare for the Eagles, Benoit offers some insight on how Witten can still dominate.

We kick off our film-study series with the Jason Witten, a 10-time Pro Bowler who fits the mold of a throwback tight end. As the Cowboys prepare for the Eagles on Sunday, we take a look at their Week 15 matchup from last season and every aspect of his game.

With Gregory Sidelined, It’s "Next Man Up" For Cowboys’ Pass Rush -Rob Phillips - Dallas Cowboys
There is no true timetable for Randy Gregory and his high ankle sprain but time waits on no man and neither will the Eagles.

"It’s just the next man up," defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford said. "Randy did a really good job last week and he did his thing, he was rushing well. Unfortunately we couldn’t get him a sack – we messed up a couple times. And hopefully when he gets back we can get him that first sack."

Could Dez Bryant's Absence Aid Dallas Cowboys' Offense? -Todd Archer- ESPN
Dallas Cowboys tight end Gavin Escobar has offered up a different take on the impending absence of Dez Bryant.

"Receivers will play, we'll play different personnel groups and different guys will step up," coach Jason Garrett said. "There are so many plays in a game and we need guys to come in and be productive with those plays. We'll throw the football and when we're not throwing to the outside receiver somebody else has got to catch it. Escobar has certainly proven when we've given him opportunities over the course of his career he's pretty darn productive."

Cowboys Extra: Spotlight On Eagles Running Back Darren Sproles -Charean Williams - The Star-Telegram
Another scouting look at Darren Sproles, by far the most fitting back for the Chip Kelly offense.

The Eagles have vowed to use him more as a receiver this season, and he had seven receptions for 76 yards in the season opener. Despite his size, Sproles has been extremely durable with 138 games. (He missed 2006 with a broken ankle.) Sproles has excellent burst, and he still has good speed, though not the 4.48 he ran for scouts in 2005. Defenders can lose him in traffic. He always has been strong for his size, with 23 reps in the 225-pound bench press at the combine. He is a threat as a kickoff and punt returner, with seven returns for touchdowns in his career.

Cowboys Keeping Focus Internal Ahead Of First Meeting With Murray - Dave Helman - Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys know a thing or two about facing All-Pro running backs for the Eagles. That's why it's business as usual as Dallas prepares for Philly.

It matters to a lot people that the running back in question this season is DeMarco Murray – who was drafted by the Cowboys, who authored one of the best rushing performances in franchise history last fall and who set the tone for the team’s first division title since 2009. Not surprisingly, Garrett isn’t one of them.

Tale Of The Tape: Mo Claiborne (Part I) - Blogging The Boys
Our friend neithan20000 takes a look at the tape to determine how old Mo' Claiborne looked in his chance as a starter. Spoiler: not too bad actually.

After losing Orlando Scandrick for the year, pressure for Claiborne to finally live up to his draft status only increased.

And, at least for one game, he delivered.

In fact, he more than delivered. Despite his low PFF score, after watching the first half coaching film I came away thinking Claiborne was the best player on our defense.

After Missing 8 Weeks With Similar Injury, Lawrence Feels Bryant’s Pain -Nick Eatman - Dallas Cowboys
Having suffered similar injuries, DeMarcus Lawrence knows exactly how Dez Bryant feels but states that he sees no reason why Dez won't be back better than ever.

The injuries are similar, but one of the biggest differences is how the Cowboys are handling the issue. Lawrence was placed on short-term injured reserve, which is a minimum absence of eight weeks. Lawrence returned for the ninth game and played the second half of the season.

The Cowboys have elected not to put Bryant on the same list, obviously hopeful the star receiver can return before that.

10 Things You Might Not Know About New Cowboys Receiver Brice Butler | Dallas Morning News
The Cowboys just agreed to send a conditional 2016 draft pick to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for wide receiver Brice Butler. Here are a few things you might not know about the newest Cowboy.

He is not the first member of his family to make the NFL. Butler is simply following in his father's footsteps in the National Football League. His dad Bobby was a cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons for 12 years after being a first-round pick out of Florida State. Butler's gotten some wise words from his father about being a professional athlete. Bobby told the San Diego Tribune before Butler was drafted that he tells his son, "Continue to work out and be ready. And from a mental standpoint, don't listen to what anybody says."

Eagles Coach Chip Kelly: Tony Romo 'As Good As Anybody Playing Right Now' -Jon Machota- Dallas Morning News
Count Chip Kelly as one of many coaches who believe that Tony Romo is a marquee, franchise-type quarterback.

"Tony has been an elite quarterback for a long time," Kelly said during a Wednesday conference call. "He's as good as anybody playing right now. I've always been a big fan of Tony and just how he plays the game at quarterback. He has an unbelievable understanding of what they're doing. He gets them always into the right play, always in the right protection and he can make all the throws. He's playing as good as any quarterback in the National Football League."

Scout's Eye: Dealing With Fletcher Cox; Scariest RB On The Eagles Roster - Bryan Broaddus -Dallas Cowboys
Everyone is billing this as DeMarco Murray versus his old team but not Broaddus. He wants Cowboys fans to really pay attention to three guys not named DeMarco.

We’ll have plenty of other opportunities to discuss the Cowboys’ old bell cow running back, but for my first preview of the week I wanted to focus on some other names.

Given the intensity of the two division clashes between these two teams last year, you should be familiar with all three of these guys. All three will give the Cowboys a unique set of challenges to overcome.

Babe Laufenberg: I Would Fill The Dez Bryant Vacuum With Gavin Escobar And Cole Beasley- Babe Laufenberg - Dallas Morning News

Babe looks at the many ways the Cowboys can supplement the loss of Dez Bryant with other weapons on the team. It's all about the mismatches.

Escobar really looked like he made a major jump in training camp this year. You could almost feel his confidence growing. If I was game planning this week (which I have not been asked to do as of this moment) I would be filling the vacuum created by Dez with Escobar and Beasley being on the field more. I would not just say that we will plug Devin Street in where Dez used to be. It’s all a part of coaching. You always need to adapt.


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