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Eagles-Cowboys scouting report

Recent history: The Eagles routed the Cowboys at the Linc on Oct. 30, 34-7. Dallas leads the series, 59-46.

(Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
(Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)Read more

Recent history: The Eagles routed the Cowboys at the Linc on Oct. 30, 34-7. Dallas leads the series, 59-46.


Eagles: 400.7 yards per game (3rd)

Cowboys: 390.7 yards per game (6th)


Eagles: After a horrible game against the Dolphins, Michael Vick rebounded with a solid performance against the Jets. He displayed much more patience in the pocket than the week before. Vick has thrown at least one interception in nine of 11 games. He's thrown six picks on third down and four in the red zone.

Cowboys: Tony Romo's biggest flaw as an NFL quarterback has been his penchant for interceptions. He threw six picks in the first five games, but has thrown just three since. He's extremely accurate - he's completed 70 percent of his passes the last six games - and has the mobility to get out of the pocket and extend plays.

Pick: Cowboys

Running back

Eagles: LeSean McCoy has scored an NFL-best 17 rushing TDs and is second in the league in rushing yards. He rushed for a season-high 185 yards in the Week 8 win over the Cowboys. McCoy has been money in short yardage, converting 28 of 36 situations of 2 yards or less over the last nine games.

Cowboys: Felix Jones is a breakaway threat who has rushed for 100-plus yards in the last two games, but is nursing a hamstring strain after getting a season-high 22 carries last week. There is little depth beyond Jones; rookies DeMarco Murray and Phillip Tanner both have been placed on IR, leaving 34-year-old Sammy Morris.

Pick: Eagles


Eagles: TE Brent Celek is on a tear. In the last nine games, he's been targeted 61 times and has 45 receptions for 600 yards and three TDs. He and WR Jeremy Maclin have been the Eagles' top red-zone receivers. Maclin has seven catches for 50 yards and four TDs in the red zone, Celek seven for 48 yards and two TDs.

Cowboys: The top three wideouts - Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Laurent Robinson - all are big and fast. Throw in Pro Bowl TE Jason Witten and you're talking major matchup problems for a secondary. Robinson is a vertical threat who has nine touchdowns in the last eight games and is averaging a team-high 16.2 yards per catch.

Pick: Cowboys

Offensive line

Eagles: Eagles are playing their third straight 3-4 defense, which is a benefit in a short preparation week. It should cut down on recognition adjustments. After a poor performance 2 weeks ago against the Dolphins, this unit played very well vs. Jets. They didn't allow Michael Vick to be sacked a single time.

Cowboys: The Cowboys have given up 30 sacks, but just eight in seven home games. Tackles Doug Free and rookie Tyron Smith struggled against the wide-nine in their late-October loss to the Eagles, giving up three sacks to Jason Babin and Trent Cole. Cowboys are averaging a respectable 120 yards per game on the ground.

Pick: Eagles


Eagles: 327.4 yards per game (10th)

Cowboys: 333.4 yards per game (13th)

Defensive line

Eagles: DEs Jason Babin and Trent Cole have combined for 27 sacks and 71 hurries. Last year, the entire defense had just 39 sacks and 117 hurries. Eagles' d-ends will need to be careful in dealing with Tony Romo, who is a lethal passer when he can get outside the pocket and extend plays.

Cowboys: Jay Ratliff isn't your prototypical nose tackle. He's 6-4 and just 287 pounds, but is strong enough to hold the point of attack and has excellent quickness. He's only got two sacks, but is third on the team in QB pressures with nine. Ends Kenyon Coleman and Jason Hatcher are block occupiers for the linebackers.

Pick: Eagles


Eagles: Replacing SLB Moise Fokou with Akeem Jordan after the Week 9 loss to the Bears helped stop the bleeding with the run defense. In the six games since the switch, the Eagles have held opponents to 3.6 yards per carry. Pass defense has improved with additions of Casey Matthews and Keenan Clayton to nickel package.

Cowboys: DeMarcus Ware is third in the league in sacks with 16, behind only Jason Babin and the Vikings' Jared Allen. In the last couple of games, the Eagles have been relatively successful neutralizing him with wham blocks by the tight ends. Sean Lee is an outstanding three-down 'backer.

Pick: Cowboys


Eagles: Despite the additions of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Eagles have given up 25 touchdown passes, just six fewer than last year's franchise-record 31. Asante Samuel's hamstring strain could be a problem against the Cowboys' deep and talented receiving corps.

Cowboys: The Cowboys have three quality corners in Terence Newman, Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick. Newman, who has four interceptions, is a tough, complete corner with good instincts. Jenkins is a bit more athletic and physical, but also more prone to mistakes. Scandrick has excellent short-area quickness.

Pick: Eagles


Eagles: Bobby April's units have turned the ball over twice and had a punt blocked in the last two games. They continue to get little from their return game. Rookie KR Dion Lewis is averaging just 21.6 yards per return. PR DeSean Jackson has just two returns longer than 15 yards all season.

Cowboys: PR Dez Bryant is only averaging 6.9 yards per return, but his rare combination of size and speed make him a tough matchup for any coverage unit. PK Dan Bailey has made 32 of 36 field-goal attempts, including five of 48 yards or longer. P Mat McBriar's 36.5-yard net average is the lowest of his career.

Pick: Cowboys


1. Eagles TE Brent Celek vs. Cowboys LB Sean Lee: Lee left the first game early with a wrist injury and Celek caught 7 passes for 94 yards and a TD. Advantage: Eagles

2. Eagles LB Jamar Chaney vs. Cowboys RB Felix Jones: Jones has put together back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances. Chaney and the rest of the undersized LBs still have problems getting off blocks. Advantage: Cowboys

3. Eagles CBs Asante Samuel, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie vs. Cowboys WRs Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Laurent Robinson: Austin, Bryant and Robinson all are 6-2 and have combined for 24 touchdown catches. Samuel, Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie all have had up-and-down seasons. Advantage: Cowboys



Eagles: DE Jason Babin. Has eight sacks in the last three games.

Cowboys: QB Tony Romo. Has thrown 18 touchdown passes and just two interceptions in the last seven games.


Eagles: WR Jason Avant. Has just three receptions for 45 yards in the last three games.

Cowboys: LB Anthony Spencer. Has just three sacks in the last 11 games.