Cowboys vs. Eagles: Breaking Down Epic Week 10 NFC East Battle

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 04:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys yells to the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 4, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

When the Dallas Cowboys (3-5) travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles (3-5), it will be the ultimate battle of which team can get their ship heading in the right direction first.

One of these teams will walk away from their Week 10 matchup with a new hope, and the other will walk away with their playoff dreams shattered.

Nothing says Sunday like a good, old-fashioned NFC East battle!


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) 


Eagles Player to Watch: Michael Vick, QB

After failing to fully capitalize on his opportunity against the putrid New Orleans Saints defense, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick will have to be almost perfect against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10 to save his job as the team’s starter.

Vick will have almost no time to make decisions in the pocket, as the team’s most versatile guard/tackle Todd Herremans joins the long list of injured starting offensive lineman that won’t be able to save the star QB from DeMarcus Ware and the Cowboys pass rush.

The veteran QB must keep his drops quick and utilize the short-pass attack and the elite pass-catching abilities of young star LeSean McCoy to keep the defense from sending blitzes on every play.

If the play-calling can buy Vick time early in the game with screen passes and running plays, there will be a chance for the QB to stand in the pocket and deliver the ball cleanly. Whether head coach Andy Reid keeps the offense balanced, though, is another story.


Cowboys Player to Watch: DeMarcus Ware, LB

While the Cowboys will never get elite tackle numbers from DeMarcus Ware, that’s not the kind of linebacker the veteran is; Ware is the kind of outside linebacker that Michael Vick has nightmares about.

Ware’s unmatched ability to shed blocks—even against the best offensive linemen in the league—will spell trouble for Philadelphia all day Sunday. With replacements all along the line, it’s just a matter of time before Ware gets a shot on Vick untouched.

The only solution for the Eagles would be to double team Ware, but that opens up young or inexperienced linemen that are forced to go one-on-one with the experienced defensive linemen and blitzing linebackers and cornerbacks.

Even if Ware isn’t in on the sack, he will be causing enough havoc to open up the void his teammates take advantage of.


Prediction: Dallas 24, Philadelphia 17

After a back-and-forth game highlighted by strong play from each team’s defensive unit, it will be the Dallas Cowboys that score the final touchdown of the game and finish off the Eagles' playoff dreams in 2012.

While both offensive units are due for big days, it will be the third-ranked Dallas pass attack (299.1 yards per game) that puts the Cowboys over the top Sunday.

With Philadelphia allowing 229.4 yards per game through the air (14th in the NFL), quarterback Tony Romo will have the chance to make the big plays down the field.

If Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten all ensure they catch the passes thrown their way, the Eagles don’t stand a chance against the Cowboys in Week 10.



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