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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Can Cowboys End Eagles Season Early?

Latest Cowboys headlines: It's just Week 2, but the Eagles are already facing a must-win game; Reunion with Murray and Austin not a big deal; Sam Bradford is the King of the Dink & Dunk.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Fan-Demonium: Is This A Must-Win Game? - PhiladelphiaEagles.com
If this is a must-win game, what would happen if the Eagles lose it?

Week 2 might seem too early for a big game, but this sure as heck feels like one the Eagles. They are 0-1 and facing the Cowboys. Not only is Dallas a huge rival, they are the team that most experts think will battle the Eagles for supremacy in the NFC East. A loss Sunday would put the Eagles at 0-2 and two-plus games behind Dallas. So yeah, this is a big game.

Sam Bradford, Eagles have plenty to prove against Dallas Cowboys | NJ.com
It's not preseason anymore. Elliot Shorr-Parks, of brief BGN fame, writes that the Eagles have a lot to prove this weekend, and that the time for excuses may be up.

The Eagles need to win on Sunday to prove not only to themselves, but to their suddenly growing number of skeptics, that they are indeed the Super-Bowl caliber team many saw them as before their loss to Atlanta in Week 1.

While quarterback records aren't everything, seeing Bradford drop his first two starts in an Eagles' uniform would certainly raise some questions, especially since his record coming into the season is an abysmal 18-30-1.

A loss this weekend, however, would be a major red flag as to just how good this team is. Losing at home would mark two straight losses to the Cowboys, three straight losses at home and an alarming 1-5 record in their last six games

Philadelphia Eagles Facing A Must Win Against The Dallas Cowboys - Inquisitr
If the Cowboys were to win today, the Eagles would face a very bleak season outlook.

If the Eagles lose to the Cowboys on Sunday, an 0-2 start does not end their season, but it is going to make things extremely difficult. According to ESPN, only 12 percent of teams since 1990 that started the season 0-2 have made the playoffs.

Starting 0-2 would also mean a 0-2 conference record, and a 0-1 division record, both of which dictate tiebreakers for getting into the playoffs.

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Why Cowboys won't place WR Dez Bryant on injured/return list | David Moore, Dallas Morning News
The Cowboys discussed putting receiver Dez Bryant on the injured/return list but decided against it, Moore writes.

Club officials are hopeful that Bryant, who underwent surgery to repair a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot on Monday, will be able to return sooner although there are no assurances.

David Moore: No replacing Dez, but Williams is the Cowboy best suited to try | Miami Herald
Time for the other wide receivers to show what they've got, chief among them Terrance Williams.

"I look at it as our chance to step up," Williams said. "I think when you have guys like Witten, Bease and Street, and you pay attention to what is going on in the huddle, Tony will put you in the right spot to make plays. The trick is now he's going to be dependent on us a tad bit more than he was before.

"We have to lock in and continue to make plays for him."

No Bryant an advantage for Cowboys? | Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
CSN takes a look at what's being said in Dallas ahead of the Eagles' matchup, including this nugget.

Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar is looking at the glass half full. Escobar believes the loss of Dez Bryant, who suffered a broken foot in last week's victory over the Giants, could actually give the team an advantage, via the Dallas Morning News.

"I think they will be more confused because they don't know what we're going to do right now," Escobar said. "Dez is definitely a big game plan guy … So I think it's almost to our advantage."

Chip Kelly and some of the Eagles shared the same sentiment earlier in the week.

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Ranch Roundup: How Witten and Beasley see the reunion with Murray and Austin | Brandon George, Dallas Morning News
There's no doubt that the Cowboys suiting up against DeMarco Murray and Miles Austin will be milked far beyond what it's worth in the lead up to, during, and after the game, though Witten and Beasley probably won't get a lot of questions about it from breathless sideline reporters.

Jason Witten after several questions about facing former teammates DeMarco Murray and Miles Austin on Sunday: "Yeah, we are all good friends. It ain't about that. They would say the same thing. Let's not make it bigger than what it is. It happens all the time in the NFL. Let's go on. We are going up there to win a football game."

Cole Beasley's thoughts on if it will be hard seeing DeMarco Murray on the other sideline: "No, they're just all green, man."

Dallas Cowboys Cole Beasley won't play scared even after fumble - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN
Cole Beasley's fumble against the Giants won't result in his being any less aggressive on the field.

"I can only play one way," Beasley said. "I had the ball tucked away pretty good but it still got knocked out, so I need to do a better job, but you can't play scared."

Cowboys rookie La'el Collins could make debut against Eagles: 'I can't wait' | Dallas Morning News
The coaches like what they've seen form Collins lately, and that could translate into some playing time against Philly.

"You had a marked improvement this week, No. 71,'' [Jason Garrett] told him.

"LC's going to have some opportunities we think,'' offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. "He's really improved and worked extremely hard to get himself ready for this day.

"We never said it was going to be Week Two or Week Eight or whatever. But as it works out, he's possibly going to have an opportunity here.''

With James Hanna out for Sunday’s game, rookie Geoff Swaim expected to make NFL debut | The Star-Telegram
Hanna has been battling a knee injury since training camp, and his having to sit out this week is not good news.

Hanna, 26, initially injured his knee in the Cowboys’ first preseason game against the Chargers. He has since returned and was active for the Giants game, but has been slowed by it recently.

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A breakdown of active NFL quarterbacks' big-play success | Reuben Frank, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
If you rank the 33 active quarterbacks in order of percentage of career completions of at least 25 yards, almost all of the successful QBs are at the top of the list. Here are the top 5 QBs, for the rest of the list check out the original article.

25-yard completion frequency Quarterback Career playoff record
Every 14.1 pass attempts Aaron Rodgers 7-5
14.7 Russell Wilson 7-5
15.7 Colin Kaepernick 6-2
16.2 Tony Romo 2-4
16.3 Philip Rivers 4-5

In a separate article, Frank provides some additional perspective on the numbers:

The top 15 have won 86 playoff games and 12 Super Bowls. The bottom 15 have won a total of nine playoff games and no Super Bowls.

The only quarterbacks among the bottom 12 to even win a single playoff game are Rex Grossman and Alex Smith.

Sam Bradford ranks 29th on that list, ahead of only Chad Henne, Ryan Tannehill and Shaun Hill.

Eagles vertical passing game will present itself eventually - The Morning Call
In an article long on conjunctions and hypotheticals, Nick Fierro argues that the Eagles will get the vertical passing game up and running at some point.

Eventually, he will need to connect with receivers deep down the field, or the standard NFL adjustments will eventually render even this most innovative offense neutral by midseason.

NFL against the spread picks: Eagles better than the Cowboys? | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo Sports
Frank Schwab looks at the Week 2 lines, and doesn't like the line for the Cowboys @ Eagles game.

Cowboys (+5) at Eagles: So, if we assume the Eagles get three points for home-field advantage, we're saying the Eagles are two points better than the Cowboys? No. And Dez Bryant being out shouldn't move the line by two or three points either.

NFL Week 3 Lines from SuperBook in Vegas - WagerTalk.com
Take this for what it's worth: Early Week 3 Lines from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook have the Cowboys as -4.5 favorites over the Falcons and the Eagles as -3.5 favorites at the Jets. Let's see where those numbers end up next week.

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Don’t forget to resister for our Blogging the Boys meet-up!
Oct 24-25, 2015
Cowboys-Giants in the beautiful Poconos
Three awesome Cowboys-centric events!
Saturday, October 24
(8:00-10:00 PM): Dinner the night before the game
Sunday, October 25
(9:00 AM - 1:00 PM): Pre-game brunch
Sunday, October 25
(4:30-8:30 PM) Cowboys-Giants game, with free buffet
Click Here to RSVP Click here for more information on pricing, lodging, etc.