Dallas Cowboys: Keys to Victory Over the Philadelphia Eagles

Chad HensleyCorrespondent INovember 3, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 08:  Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles is sacked by DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on October 8, 2006 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys (5-2) play the Philadelphia Eagles (5-2) this Sunday in a matchup of the leaders of the NFC East.

Here are five keys to victory for the Dallas Cowboys.


1. Contain Donovan McNabb

The Eagles quarterback is most dangerous when he is extending plays with his legs. Demarcus Ware and company must contain while still pressuring the All-Pro quarterback.


2. Bracket Cover Desean Jackson

The extremely fast Jackson has followed up a great rookie year with an even better sophomore year. While Cowboys cornerback Terrence Newman should be in his hip pocket all night, I don't believe Newman can keep up with the younger, faster Jackson without help on some plays. It only takes one big play by Jackson to kill momentum and steal the game, so the Cowboys should force someone else to beat them.


3. Find Mismatches with Eagles Linebackers

Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett should utilize the two tight end sets with Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett to create mismatches with the Eagles linebackers. Running backs Felix Jones and Tashard Choice out of the backfield would also be a matchup I would look for.


4. Establish the Running Game

This should be done in every game, but it is especially important against the Eagles because of their tremendous secondary. It not only controls the clock, keeping McNabb off the field, but also helps the Cowboys passing game. Playaction with Marion Barber III, Jones, and Choice can help wide receivers Miles Austin and Roy Williams get that extra separation for quarterback Tony Romo to get them the ball.


5. Use a Protection Scheme That Focuses on Quick Drops and Passes

The Eagles are going to blitz, early and often. Garrett must understand this, and have a plan in which his receivers break off their routes to help out Romo. Barber, Jones, and Choice have all done a terrific job in blitz pickup this year, and they will need to continue that this weekend.