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Cowboys News: Cowboys forced to shuffle starting defense against Eagles

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The Cowboys will have a lot of shuffling on the defense in preparation for the 8-1 Eagles.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dak, Wentz Have Mutual Respect, And A Lot At Stake In Sunday’s Showdown-Rob Phillips-Dallas Cowboys
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz catches Dak Prescott highlights on film as much as he would watching SportsCenter.

“I see him on film here and there and I’m impressed. He’s done well,” Wentz said Wednesday via conference call. “I’ve got a lot of respect for what he’s done, and I know him personally, I know he’s a great dude. I think it’s cool to go up against him hopefully for a long time.”

Cowboys vs. Eagles: Can the Dallas offense recover its mojo? - Dave Halprin- Blogging The Boys
It will be an uphill battle for Dallas on offense, especially if they are missing a key piece.

A lot depends on the status of Tyron Smith. If he can go, there is a chance the Cowboys can establish their normal run game, even though against Philly that’s a tough task. The strength of Philly’s defense is the defensive line, with Smith, the Cowboys have a shot at neutralizing that. Without him, the Cowboys will have to sacrifice a running back or tight end on a lot of plays to stay in and block. This will make a successful passing game tough.

NFL owners to hold Dec. 13 session dealing with Roger Goodell's impending contract extension-Todd Archer-ESPN
An owners-only session that will deal with commissioner Roger Goodell's impending contract extension has been set for Dec. 13 in Irving, Texas, after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had requested a sit-down in front of owners Nov. 28, sources told ESPN.

The session was made after Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones requested a special meeting in front of the full ownership group on Nov. 28 in New York. The Wall Street Journal first reported Jones' request. Jones' meeting request was denied, but owners will make time for a session two weeks later, sources said.

Cowboys TE Jason Witten on Zeke ending legal fight: It's up to us be in the playoff hunt when he gets back-Kate Hairopoulos- SportsDay
The Cowboys now know for certain that they won't have running back Ezekiel Elliott back until the Dec. 24th game against Seattle.

"I know it wasn't easy for him, he's a young player, a young guy to be thrown in that, out in the public eye. I really do respect how he went about it the entire time as it went back and forth. These things happen, and he'll be better because of it."

Dallas Cowboys: Anthony Hitchens in leadership role -Drew Davison- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee is nursing a hamstring injury and that means Anthony Hitchens will start in his place..

“Communication is huge, getting the guys lined up, and I’m going to be the guy making the calls if he’s out,” Hitchens said. “I’ll just try my best to imitate him and get everyone lined up. He’s going to help me throughout the week. At the end of the day, if he’s out, I’ve got to step up and play the Sean Lee role.”

Writer's Blocks: On An Un-Fun Season, And The Concept Of "Must-Win" Games -David Helman- Dallas Cowboys
I don’t think I’ve ever had so little fun covering a football season. The beauty of being a sports writer is in the work – or “work,” I should say. It’s not the most lucrative industry in the world, but it sure is fun.

All of that said, this just isn’t what we thought we were signing up for during that long offseason, was it? Between the Ezekiel Elliott drama, the national anthem debate and the seemingly endless line of disputes in the news, this whole season has felt like such a slog. And that doesn’t even include the 5-4 record on the field – the mark of an average football team.

Cowboys can’t seem to go to playoffs in back-to-back years, which is exactly what the NFL wants -Tom Ryle- Blogging The Boys
Parity is a desired goal for the league, and that is what they have.

For some time now, the playoffs have seen roughly half of the teams that made the postseason in one year fail to make it the following year. And it is much more pronounced in 2017. The AFC is right on track for a 50% turnover, with 2016 playoff teams the Houston Texans, the Miami Dolphins, and the Oakland Raiders all on the outside looking in. (It is also worth noting that the AFC as a whole has fallen on hard times, with ten of its teams currently below .500 in the standings.)

Justin Durant ready to step in if Sean Lee is out for Cowboys- Todd Archer-ESPN
Linebacker Sean Lee, who has been inactive for the past four games, said he's been preparing for when his number is called.

“I’m ready,” he said. “I’ve just been trying to stay on top of my conditioning and keeping my eyes on everything that’s been going on in the past few weeks.”

Is the Eagles' strength the Cowboys' weakness? Philadelphia insider scouts the matchup-Jori Epstein- SportsDay
The Cowboys host the 8-1 Eagles on Sunday Night Football this week at AT&T Stadium. Ahead of the matchup, we caught up with Eagles beat writer Zach Berman.

The Eagles' defense is built around the defensive line. They rely on a four-man pass rush, and they have the pass rushers to be effective doing so. The Cowboys usually have one of the NFL's best offensive lines, although injuries are obviously a factor. If they're not on top of their game on Sunday, that could be the difference in the game. It's a big part of the Eagles' 8-1 start.

Xavier Woods might start at safety- Clarence Hill- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Starting safety Jeff Heath is in concussion protocol and that will give way to the rookie Xavier Woods making his debut as a starting safety.

Woods, rookie sixth-round pick from Louisiana Tech, would get the start if Heath can't play against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, according to defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.