Cowboys @ Eagles Analysis: Stick a Fork in The Loser of This One

Eagle fans notorious for once booing Santa are now booing Andy Reid and Vick.

The Cowboys play their NFC foe Eagles Sunday and both teams come into this one with a 3-5 record that reflects the kind of season they have had so far. Similarities between these under achievers are easy to identify and a lot is at stake. Neither team can afford to be 3-6 after the game and have any hope of playing in the post season. This is the kind of game that can cause coaches and/or QBs to lose their jobs.

Eagles coach Andy Reid has been under fire lately and so has Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. QBs Michael Vick and Tony Romo haven’t exactly played without criticism this year either. They have not had good seasons to say the least. This game could be a turning point where one team starts going up and the other well, crashes and burns in 2012.

Both QBs Believe it is Better to Give than to Receive:

Both teams, led by poor QB play, have turned the ball over much more often than taking it away.  These two teams are at the bottom of the NFL in the give away/take away category with a -11 differential for Dallas and a -9 for the Eagles. Romo leads the NFC in INTs with 13 while Philly leads the NFC with 10 fumbles.

My Take: So far the Cowboys defense has not created turnovers. If they can’t come up with a few against this Eagles team, then it’s pretty much hopeless. Not going to get a much better chance to take the ball away. On the other hand, Romo must make sure he protects the ball. Last week Romo had no INTs against the Falcons which means he is due this week to throw about 4 or so. It’s been that kind of season. Which ever QB gives the ball away the most, loses.

QB Michael Vick Human Tackling Dummy:

Coming into the 2012 season the Cowboys offensive line was called out as the weak spot of the team. So far, while not perfect, they have been better than expected.  Vick has been playing behind an offensive line that has allowed him to be sacked 27 times which ranks 29 in the NFL.  Monday night Vick was sacked 7 times by the Saints which is not exactly the best defense in the NFL.

In comparison, Romo has been sacked 14 times which is in the top 10 in the NFL.

Dallas defense has 16 sacks while surprisingly the Eagles defense has only 11 sacks this year. That’s the lowest number in the NFC and only ahead of the Jaguars in the entire NFL. Looking at their personnel up front, that is really under achieving.

My Take: So far the Cowboys defense has not gotten a lot of sacks. This Eagles team will offer about as good of a chance to get some sacks as they will get. If they can’t get a few sacks on Sunday, then it’s pretty much hopeless. I think the Cowboys can pressure Vick relentlessly Sunday.  If Dallas gets at least 4 sacks, they win.

These 2 offenses couldn’t score in a women’s prison with a carton of Marlboros:

The Cowboys average 18 points a game while the Eagles offense has averaged 16 points a game. Both are near the bottom in the NFL in scoring for a variety of reasons. Strangely, both teams have moved the ball well but haven’t converted that into points. The high number of turnovers has contributed to that tendency. It’s not like the teams don’t have weapons because both have good WRs and RBs. My Take: First team to score 20 points wins.

Ground Game? Eagles have one and Cowboys don’t:

In the absence of RB DeMarco Murray, the Cowboys have really struggled to run the ball. The Eagles are in the top 10 in rushing yards led by “Shady” LeSean McCoy who has 623 yards and 2 TDs in 2012. The Cowboys defense has been pretty solid against the run except late in the games when it matters most (sorry, still not over Falcons loss).

My Take: Cowboys will need to run the ball at least 20 times to win the game ( I say this every week, and they don’t do it, and they don’t win) If “Shady” gets more than 100 yards rushing for the Eagles, I don’t like the Cowboys chances of winning. That will make things easier on Vick who the Cowboys need to pressure.  

Home field advantage? Cowboys feel about as welcomed in Philly as Santa Claus.

In the words of Rodney Dangerfield, “tough crowd” would be the way to describe Eagles fans who booed and pelted Santa at a game with snowballs. Now dissin’ Santa ain’t right. This is the crowd that cheered when Michael “playmaker” Irvin had a career ending knee injury. It’s been a tough place for Dallas to pick up a win in the past. Eagles always get up for the Dallas game.

My Take: Get ahead early and try to take the home crowd out of it. If Cowboys fall behind by more than 10 points at any time in this game, they lose.

Predictions?

  • Cowboys win on last second FG (16 to 13)
  • The fat guy with a beard gets booed and pelted with snowballs. No not Santa, Coach Andy Reid.
  • Vick gets benched and pelted with snowballs for fumbling. Vick throws snowballs back at fans but of course over throws them.
  • Jerry Jones tells us what a genius GM he is for hiring Jason Garrett. And declares team headed to super bowl.
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