Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Bill Davis on Cowboys: Eagles' Minnesota lesson still fresh

Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis said Tuesday that he doesn't think the Cowboys' offense will change dramatically if Kyle Orton is calling signals instead of Tony Romo. He feels losing to Matt Cassel taught the Eagles not to worry about name of QB.

Bill Davis on Cowboys: Eagles' Minnesota lesson still fresh

Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis.  (Clem Murray/Staff Photographer)
Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis. (Clem Murray/Staff Photographer)

Bill Davis's week was not thrown into disarray, the Eagles' defensive coordinator said, when a report surfaced Monday afternoon that a back injury will keep Tony Romo from facing the Birds in Sunday's season finale, with the NFC East title and a playoff berth on the line.

"It wasn't earth-shattering," said Davis, who added that he always keeps in mind that early week injury news can change. Indeed, the Cowboys, possibly trying to create confusion, have refused to confirm ESPN and NFL Network reports that Romo is out with a herniated disk, and owner Jerry Jones went so far as to say that Romo might be able to play, on Jones' radio show Monday night.

Davis said preparation would be more difficult if the QBs had vastly different styles, but he said Romo and Orton are pretty similar, except for Romo's excellent ability to extend plays. Davis said the Cowboys might feature running back DeMarco Murray a lot, but he was thinking they might do that anyway against the Eagles, who didn't face Murray in the teams' first meeting.

It should go without saying that with their season on the line, the Eagles aren't about to take Orton lightly, but Davis said it anyhow: "We learned a valuable lesson in Minnesota, and it's still fresh in our mind," he said.

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The Eagles saw Matt Cassel tear them apart week before last in a 48-30 Vikings victory that prevented the Birds from clinching the NFC East Sunday against the Bears.

Davis called Orton, 31, a "highly efficient quarterback who's started (69) games in the NFL. He has a great presence and he sees the field well. He's always distributed the ball equally to the open guy ... I think Kyle Orton is a great system quarterback in that he understands the coverage, and what position in the routes, and he does a great job of getting the ball out of his hands and accurately throwing to the open guy ... Kyle Orton could start for a lot of teams in the NFL."

Davis said the Eagles "are prepared to get the Dallas Cowboys' absolute best, no matter who's at quarterback."

***

Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur lauded QB Nick Foles, saying he thought Foles might have played his best game of the season against Chicago. (Presumably, that includes the seven-TD-pass game.)

Shurmur spread the blame for the Eagles' Oct. 20 loss to Dallas, Foles' worst game. "We dropped balls, weren';t on the same page, didn't coach well.'

Shumur said he doesn't think any setting is too big for Foles. One theme that emerged from the Dallas loss was that Foles stumbled, when given an opportunity to unseat Michael Vick and put the Eagles on top of the NFC East.

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