The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles are both 3-5, both have head coaches on the chopping block and both have QBs that turn the ball over faster than the speed of light.
It's no wonder the football gods have matched them up in Week 10.
It's win or go home for Dallas and Philly. The winner still has an outside shot at making the postseason, while the loser moves to 3-6 and a distant memory in the history books of 2012.
These two NFC East rivals have a storied history and Lincoln Financial is one of the most hostile fields in the league. It should be a great one on Sunday, and we've got you covered with everything from television schedules to players to watch in this preview.
When: Sunday, November 10 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Where: Lincoln Financial Field; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Watch: FOX, NFL Sunday Ticket (Live Stream)
Listen: Cowboys Radio Network; Eagles Radio Network
Betting Line: Cowboys -1 (according to Vegas Insider)
What's At Stake: NFC Playoffs
The Cowboys and Eagles are both in position to lose out on a playoff bid come December. Six losses in nine games would make things virtually impossible for both teams the rest of the way. Simply put, it's win or miss the playoffs for both.
Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
|QB||Tony Romo||Back||Injured Last Play vs. Falcons|
|LB||Dan Connor||Neck||Didn't Play Week 9|
|RB||DeMarco Murray||Foot||Didn't Play Week 9|
|S||Nate Allen||Hamstring||Didn't Play Week 9|
|WR||Mardy Gilyard||Hamstring||Didn't Play Week 9|
Tony Romo has been a great fantasy option this season despite all the turnovers. His league-high mark in interceptions (13) haven't slowed down his ability to throw for big yardage.
Michael Vick also has some of those chops, though he's going against a hungry Dallas defense that just saw New Orleans demolish the Eagles' defensive line. Start Romo, Jason Witten and a Cowboys defense that will surely grab a turnover. Sit Vick down, and look out for LeSean McCoy to have a big day with two linebackers on the shelf in Sean Lee and Dan Connor.
What They're Saying
According to ESPN's Ed Werder, it's looking like DeMarco Murray will miss his fourth straight game with the foot injury he suffered against the Baltimore Ravens.
I'm told Cowboys not concerned about Tony Romo's slight back strain but DeMarco Murray probably won't play against Eagles #cowboys— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) November 6, 2012
With that injury looming and the running game a major concern right now, ESPN Dallas' Calvin Watkins wonders why the team isn't looking more towards Dez Bryant, easily the team's most explosive player with Murray sidelined.
"Dez Bryant is a talented player who needs the football. Tony Romo targeted Bryant four times during Sunday's game, but he should have gotten more throws his way. Bryant looked open numerous times as the Falcons played off coverage. It seems Romo isn't confident enough to give Bryant a chance to make catches while defended."
Even though both teams have problems, it's Philadelphia that will enter the game as a home underdog. Sports personality Skip Bayless thinks the Cowboys are the lesser of two evils.
Eagles are an even a worse mess than Cowboys. I'd still take Romo over Vick, Cowboy D over Eagle D, Dallas red zone over Philly dead zone.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) November 6, 2012
Cowboys Player to Watch: CB Brandon Carr
Carr has been worth every bit of the five-year, $50.1 million contract he got this offseason. He's a big reason why the defense is only giving up 205 yards per game through the air, good for fifth in the league.
He'll have a major challenge this week in DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin, both of whom can break a big play at any time. Dallas will likely stick him on the more physical Maclin, who had two touchdowns in two games against the Cowboys last season
Eagles Player to Watch: QB Michael Vick
Facing a new-look Dallas secondary, Vick's primary job will be to avoid turnovers. Since Dallas has a top defense but doesn't create turnovers with the regularity of the elite teams, it's easy to reason that Vick could be in line for a big day.
It's also easy to reason that he will reverse that trend for Dallas. Which Vick will show up on Sunday, the one that turned the ball over at the start of the season or the one that's been productive despite the lack of an offensive line with a pulse?
Key Matchup: Dallas LBs vs. LeSean McCoy
McCoy is one of the hardest one-cut runners in the NFL. He can make guys miss, break away and run in between the tackles, and is bordering elite status.
Sean Lee is out for the season. Dan Connor is iffy, so Bruce Carter, Ernie Sims and Orie Lemon are in charge of the linebackers. Who, you might be asking?
Carter and Sims have played well in the absence of Lee; Sims was signed off the street after Connor went down against the Carolina Panthers. They'll have a big challenge containing McCoy, especially if the Eagles decide to pound the rock early and often.
On the Hotseat: Jason Garrett/Andy Reid
Both head coaches find themselves in a position of uncertainty. Fans are calling for a coaching change in each city after a slow start has crippled these two NFC East foes to make the playoffs.
Reid is in more trouble than Garrett, especially if you believe Jones' latest comments detailing his support for Garrett. Still, a sixth loss in nine games will only further push both teams to make a fundamental change.
It starts at the top for most teams at the professional level. These two franchises are two of the most storied in NFL history, so it's never a surprise when the heat is turned up on the head coach when things aren't going well.
This game is a toss-up. You have to throw everything out the window in these NFC East matchups, and the identical record and turnover issues only further cloud this week's matchup.
With the O-line problems in Philly and Dallas a more complete team on defense, I'll give the edge to the Cowboys on the road in a tight one.
Dallas 28, Philadelphia 23
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report and the Dallas Mavericks, as well as a member of the Breaking News Team.
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