It doesn't really matter whether Jason Peters has played like a Pro Bowl offensive tackle this season.
It's more important now for the Eagles that he plays like a Pro Bowl tackle Sunday against DeMarcus Ware and the Dallas Cowboys. Peters, who was named to his third straight Pro Bowl on Tuesday, said Ware is "most definitely" a "top five" pass rusher in the NFL.
"He's big and quick," Peters said. "He plays real low, so he gets good leverage. He can get up under your pads and push you into the quarterback."
Peters said he feels "almost 100" percent going into the game, a good sign for a player who has had a nagging right ankle injury for much of the season.
"This is the best you're going to get in Week 17," he said.
Peters and fellow offensive tackle Winston Justice prevented Ware from recording a sack in the Eagles' first meeting against the Cowboys, but Dallas still recorded four sacks in the game, including two by nose tackle Jay Ratliff and one by inside linebacker Keith Brooking.
That means most of the damage was done on the inside and that was with Jamaal Jackson playing center and Nick Cole at right guard. With Jackson lost for the season, Cole will be at center and Max Jean-Gilles will be at right guard.
Peters said he believes Cole can get the job done.
"Nick knows all the calls," Peters said. "Nick makes the calls even when [Jackson] was there. Nothing is going to change."
Cole, who was listed on the injury report with a sore knee, apparently worked overtime in preparing for Sunday's game. He never made an appearance in the locker room while it was open to the media yesterday, but he was a full participant in practice.
Though this is the third time Peters has been selected to the Pro Bowl – he also was chosen twice in Buffalo – he has never played in the game. He missed the first two because of injuries. He's hoping he misses this one, too, but only because the Super Bowl is the following week.
Asked how he'd describe his first season with the Eagles, Peters said it was OK.
"I've been getting into a new system," he said. "I'm going to try to be better next year."
Running back Brian Westbrook, who returned Sunday against Denver after missing six games because of multiple concussions, said he felt good after the game against the Broncos and is ready for the game against the Cowboys and the team's postseason run.
"I'm just ready to play," Westbrook said. "I'm glad that our team has been able to play so well in my absence, but I'm just ready to play."
Coach Andy Reid was asked if Westbrook's workload might increase in his second game back.
"We have some flexibility there with what we do," Reid said. "He feels pretty good. We'll just see how things go and take it day by day."
Macho Harris was fined $7,500 for the bone-rattling block he laid on Broncos tight end Tony Scheffler in the Eagles' win over Denver on Sunday. The rookie safety said that he received notice from the NFL yesterday.
"I didn't even read it," Harris said. "I just checked the amount. Hopefully, I get to appeal it."
Harris was flagged for unnecessary roughness in the third quarter when he dropped Scheffler just after Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel picked off Denver quarterback Kyle Orton. Scheffler was the intended receiver, but instantly became a would-be tackler after Samuel's interception. An NFL spokesman, however, said that Harris was penalized because he hit a defenseless receiver near his head with his helmet.
"It's tough, but it's part of the game," said Harris, who also lost a fumble on a kick return Sunday. "Can't happen again, though."
Quarterback Michael Vick did not practice yesterday as he continues to be hindered by a bruised thigh muscle that kept him out of Sunday's game against Denver. Safety Quintin Demps (sprained ankle) did practice, but Reid still isn't sure if he'll be able to return kicks against the Cowboys. Wide receivers Jeremy Maclin (foot) and Reggie Brown (shoulder) were also listed on the injury report, but both were full participants in practice. . . . The Eagles signed running back Allen Ervin to the practice squad after losing P.J. Hill, who signed with the Washington Redskins. Ervin spent last season on Detroit's practice squad but was released by the team at the end of the preseason. He played collegiately at NAIA Lambuth.