Nick Foles: How Eagles, Rookie QB Can Upset Cowboys in Big D

John RozumCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 11: Quarterback Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to pass against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on November 11, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles will face a colossal challenge in the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

Riding a seven-game losing streak and sporting a dismal 3-8 record, Philadelphia sits in the spoiler role. Dallas, on the other hand, enters at 5-6 and alive in the NFC playoff picture.

Unfortunately for Philly, the Eagles are also dealing with an abundance of injuries. Per Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press via Yahoo! Sports:

Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy are still sidelined by concussions. Vick, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, is missing his third straight game and McCoy, the All-Pro running back, his second in a row.

Additionally, per Reuben Frank of the CSN Philadelphia:

Andy Reid: DeSean two broken ribs. Out for the year.

— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) November 27, 2012

All that said, let's move onward and see how Foles can move the rock against Dallas and what else the Eagles have to do in order to pull off the massive road upset.


Run At DeMarcus Ware

Philadelphia must run right at DeMarcus Ware for any chance to establish the run.

Neglecting to do so simply puts a restriction on the Eagles' ground game opportunities and where to attack Dallas up front. Therefore, gearing blocking schemes to kick out Ware and go off-tackle will set up a counter-trap to the opposite side.

The next door opens in running up the middle and away from Ware to counter back his direction.

In short, a variety of plays to manipulate Ware and block the rest one-on-one must happen. We saw Bryce Brown's potential with 178 yards, and a 9.4 yards per carry average with two scores on Monday vs. the Carolina Panthers.

Although that insane production is unrealistic against Big D, a similar impact can be established by refusing to abandon the run and slamming at Ware. In turn, the passing game gets set up.

Attack the Intermediate Level

This is where Dallas is most vulnerable against the pass.

With standout secondary players in Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, Philadelphia is not going to see much success on the outside and downfield. Also, because of the Eagles' weak pass-blocking expect Dallas to blitz early and often.

That aspect itself is why Philly must hit on the ground and attack Ware up front. The play-action pass thereafter becomes a greater threat, because any sort of balance forces a defense to stay honest.

The Cowboys are also not ridiculously dominant against the pass. Yes, Rob Ryan's crew ranks No. 9 in pass defense; however, Dallas has recorded only five picks and still allows a 62.5 completion percentage.

Obviously part of that is attributed to the pass rush and forced fumbles, but it does provide Philly with some hope. Not to mention, Foles is emitting added confidence as well. Per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Foles stated:

"Just playing in games, you can't beat that experience," Foles said. "The improvement has been everything: footwork, fundamental, reads.

"It's little tiny, tiny details that to a normal eye, you wouldn't recognize it. It's not going to be a big jump."

Brent Celek is also one of the more dependable tight ends around and he can beat linebackers one-on-one.

Courtesy of Foles' size he can read even better pre-snap with a strong running game. Targeting Celek over the middle will just accumulate yards after the catch and allow Philly to control the tempo. In short, that balance will put Dallas on its heels and the Eagles in Sunday night's driver seat.


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