Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys Matchup Preview

Darren GrossmanCorrespondent IOctober 26, 2011

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys Matchup Preview

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    The Eagles host the Dallas Cowboys on national TV this week against the Cowboys. 

    Andy Reid is 12-0 all-time coming off the bye week, which bodes well for the Eagles. 

    The Cowboys are coming off a win against the Rams and are sitting at 3-3. 

    An Eagles win would put them in a tie with Dallas at 3-4.  A loss would really damage the Eagles postseason chances. 

    This column almost always picks the right winner, posting a 2-0 mark this season.  This is the third week I have done this column this season, so lets get started.


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    This matchup is interesting. 

    Tony Romo is a solid quarterback for Dallas, but Romo has a tendency to disappear in big games or down the stretch.  Romo is also inconsistent at times. 

    Michael Vick is a dynamic runner and a dangerous quarterback but he has turned the ball over too much this season.  Vick has to take better care of the ball. 

    Still, if you asked me who I would rather have on my team, the choice to me is clear—Michael Vick.

    Advantage: Philadelphia

Running Backs

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    DeMarco Murray ran for over 200 yards last week in a Cowboys win vs. St. Louis. 

    He averaged about 10 yards a carry. 

    It was an impressive game filling in for the injured Felix Jones. 

    Tashard Choice is an underrated back as well, so the Cowboys have a lot of depth at running back. 

    Although none of them are as good or as dynamic as LeSean McCoy who is a threat catching the ball out of the backfield and an excellent runner. 

    McCoy is having his best season rushing wise, and that is why the Eagles have the edge here. 

    The Eagles also have depth with Ronnie Brown.

    Advantage: Philadelphia

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

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    This matchup is close, the starting wide receivers are about even, as Miles Austin and Dez Bryant cancel out DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. 

    The Eagles have the edge in depth at wide receiver with Jason Avant and Steve Smith. 

    However, the Cowboys have a slight advantage overall here because of the tight end position. 

    The Cowboys have one of the league's best tight ends in Jason Witten, who traditionally gives the Eagles fits. 

    Witten, Austin and Bryant are a force, and that is why, it is a slight advantage, but I have to give this category to Dallas.

    Advantage: Dallas

Offensive Line

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    Honestly, I am not a big fan of either line. 

    Jason Peters should return along with Winston Justice, which gives the Eagles more depth on the offensive line. 

    Todd Herremans and Jason Peters are better than anyone Dallas can offer.  However, the Cowboys line looks great one minute, then terrible the next. 

    It's really hard to get a handle on both of these lines, as they have both been inconsistent. 

    I have to call this one even.

    Advantage: Even

Defensive Front Seven

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    Since the Cowboys play a 3-4 and the Eagles play a 4-3, I did not think it was fair to compare defensive lines and linebackers, so I have grouped them together to compare front 7. 

    The Eagles defensive line is solid with Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin and hopefully a returning Trent Cole. 

    The linebackers are not very good, with Jamar Chaney the best of the bunch.

    The Cowboys have great linebackers with Spencer and Lee. 

    Ratliff is a force in the middle.  DeMarcus Ware is an excellent player. 

    The Cowboys have about four or five studs in their front seven, and that is why they have the advantage here. 

    How the Eagles do protecting Vick will go a long way on who wins the game.

    Advantage: Dallas


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    The Eagles have three dynamic corners, which we all know about. 

    The safeties are the question, though.

    Kurt Coleman had his best game of the season two weeks ago, intercepting Rex Grossman three times. 

    The Cowboys secondary is led by Terrence Newman, who is a solid corner. 

    Still, there are not many teams who can match up with the Eagles here.

    Advantage: Philadelphia

Special Teams

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    The Eagles have a rookie punter and kicker in Alex Henery and Chas Henry. 

    Henery has showed cracks in his armor already, missing two key kicks against San Francisco the last time the Eagles played at Lincoln Financial Field. 

    Matt McBriar is a solid punter and Dan Bailey has hit 17-of-18 field goals this season. 

    This category is easy, as I have no confidence in Henery at this point.

    Advantage: Dallas


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    I admire the job Jason Garrett is doing in Dallas, I really do. 

    I think Garrett is doing a good job. 

    However, Andy Reid is the more experienced coach, and has a good track record in this type of game. 

    Reid coached his best game of the season against Washington two weeks ago, and even the defense seemed to figure things out a bit. 

    Coming off a bye, the Eagles should be ready, and I would rather have the more experienced guy running the show.

    Advantage: Philadelphia


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    The Eagles are coming off a bye week, which is an advantage. 

    They are also home, which should be an advantage, although they are 0-2 at home this season so far.  That could mean they are due.

    Andy Reid is 12-0 all-time coming off the bye week. 

    All of those things bode well for the Eagles. 

    The Cowboys are coming off a win and should be coming into this game with confidence. 

    Still, the intangible edge has to go to the home team coming off a bye with a coach who has never lost in this spot.

    Advantage: Philadelphia


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    The Eagles had two weeks to prepare for a division rival that they know well. 

    They are coming off their best game of the season. 

    The Eagles should win this game, and I believe they will win.

    Jason Witten will have a big game, but it won't be enough.

    Eagles 31, Cowboys 21