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Eagles-Dallas: Predictions, key matchups

Here are selections for tonight's game from the Daily News staff:


I'm looking at two factors here to outweigh my misgivings about Asante Samuel being out: I think the Eagles will score a lot of points on this Dallas defense, and Andy Reid with extra days to prepare is money in the bank.

Yeah, it bothers me that under Jason Garrett, the Cowboys are playing like the team they were supposed to be this season. And at some point, the things that caused Dallas to start out 1-7 will start to matter again, when the Garrett adrenaline wears off.

This is a big game for the Eagles, in a year when somebody seems likely to go 10-6 and miss the playoffs in the NFC. They've responded well this season when Reid circles the date.

Prediction: Eagles 31, Cowboys 29.


A few weeks ago, when the Cowboys were foundering, the games against Dallas looked like two to put in the win column for the Eagles. Now, not so much.

Since Wade Phillips' firing and Jason Garrett's promotion to interim head coach, the Cowboys have won thre of four.

It helps the Eagles that Tony Romo still is out with a broken clavicle and that Dez Bryant is out for the season with a fractured fibula. And it helps that the Cowboys defense gives up gobs and gobs of passing yards and touchdowns.

If the Cowboys run against the Eagles as effectively as they have the last four games and force a few turnovers, it could be a long trip home for Andy Reid's team. But I don't see Michael Vick and Co. becoming a turnover machine 13 games into the season. The Eagles are 51-2 under Reid when they score 30 or more points.

Make it 52-2.

Prediction: Eagles 38, Cowboys 28.

Other selections:

Ed Barkowitz: Eagles, 28-27

Bill Conlin: Eagles, 28-17

Marcus Hayes: Eagles, 35-28

John Smallwood: Eagles, 27-20

Vegas Vic: Eagles, 31-30


Here are selections from the Dallas Morning News:

Tim Cowlishaw: Eagles, 27-17
The run of Cowboys facing NFL elite QBs (Brees, Manning) continues as Michael Vick proves tough to force into mistakes.

Gerry Fraley: Eagles, 35-24
Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson claims this is what he meant in January's vow to "sting they ass."

Rick Gosselin: Eagles, 24-20
Michael Vick is making a run at MVP.

David Moore: Eagles, 31-27
Michael Vick helps Eagles leave memories of last year's sweep behind.

Bill Nichols: Eagles, 33-27
Eagles have plenty of motivation and Cowboys have no answer for Michael Vick.

Rainer Sabin: Eagles, 31-24
The Cowboys continue to put up points, but Michael Vick is the difference as he bedevils a defense that is hurting.

Kevin Sherrington: Eagles, 28-21
Michael Vick reminds Jerry Jones of why he drafted Quincy Carter and why Jerry should be locked out of the War Room.

Jean-Jacques Taylor: Eagles, 31-20
Go ahead, you tell me how in the world the Cowboys are going to slow down the Vick Experience.


1. Eagles RDE Trent Cole vs. Cowboys LT Doug Free: Free, in his first season as the starting LT, has played pretty well. Cole is on the verge of notching his third double-digit sack season in the last 4 years. Advantage: Eagles

2. Eagles WRs DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin vs. Cowboys CBs Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick: Cowboys have given up 25 TD passes and have a 98.4 opponent passer rating. Advantage: Eagles

3. Eagles MLB Stewart Bradley vs. Cowboys TE Jason Witten: Bradley still isn't all the way back from his ACL injury. Witten has been targeted 20 times in the last three games and has 19 receptions, but is playing on a tender ankle. Advantage: Cowboys


If you are looking from some potential pregame programming, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is profiled on "60 Minutes" tonight on CBS.

Asked to grade his performance this season, Jones gave himself an F, or "maybe a D-minus."

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