Each week, Daily News football writer Paul Domowitch will tell you the things he will be keeping his eyes on during that week’s game.
Get Heat on Jess’ Boyfriend. In their Week 2 meeting, Tony Romo enjoyed excellent protection. The Eagles had zero sacks and zero hurries. The result: Romo completed 21 of 30 passes, three for touchdowns. In the Cowboys’ recent losses to Baltimore and Pittsburgh, Romo threw five interceptions. Most of those were the result of pressure. The guy has played turnover-free football in just 6 of 38 career starts.
Keep McNabb Safe. The Eagles have allowed just 22 sacks this season, the fewest in the Andy Reid era. But they’re going up against the league’s best pass-rush. The Cowboys have a league-best 58 sacks, 25 in the last four games alone. Linebacker Demarcus Ware, who will be spending much of the day dancing with left tackle Tra Thomas, has eight of those 25.
Control Jason Witten. Witten had seven catches for 110 yards in the Cowboys’ Week 2 win over the Eagles. But the Eagles have done a much better job of neutralizing tight ends in the second half of the season. Last week, they held the Redskins’ dangerous Chris Cooley to four catches for 28 yards.
Red Zone, Not Dead Zone. David Akers is second in the NFC in field goal attempts (36). That’s not a good thing. It means a lot of offensive drives are withering in the red zone. Eagles are 24th in the league in red-zone offense (46.7) and have converted just two of their last 12 red-zone opportunities into touchdowns.20In case you were wondering, the Cowboys have the fifth best red-zone defense in the league (43.4).
Shorten Field With Return Game. Last week, the Eagles started nine of their 12 possessions at no better than their own 20. Five began inside their own 10. Return men DeSean Jackson and Quintin Demps were non-factors. Jackson has been a non-factor on punt returns for a while now. He’s averaged just 5.5 yards per return in the last 6 games. He’ll have some opportunities Sunday. Cowboys are 23rd in punt coverage.