Eagles-Cowboys: temperature gauge

DeMarco Murray performed well beyond expectations in his first career start in Week 7. (Brandon Wade/AP)

Every week we take a look at who's hot (5) and who's not (1) heading into Sunday's game. We'll have our full preview in the Inquirer and here online Sunday, but here's a glimpse of some of the players to watch:

Mike Vick – 3 – Unremarked upon during the Eagles start has been Vick’s rather unremarkable play. He’s not the reason the Birds only have two wins, but he hasn’t put a charge into the team, either. Nine touchdowns and eight interceptions are unexciting results for a quarterback signed to be electric.

Todd Herremans – 5 – Give credit to the guy who has been the team’s best offensive lineman, no matter where they put him. Herremans faces another test against one of the league’s best pass-rushing defenses.

Jeremy Maclin – 4 – After making one catch in the season opener, these are Maclin’s week-by-week reception numbers: 13, 5, 7, 6, 5. That’s some nice production, though the Eagles need more from him when it comes to putting up points. Maclin has just three touchdowns.

Kurt Coleman – 4 – Three interceptions in a game is a mighty achievement, even if it was against a quarterback who was handing out picks like Halloween candy. More important this game, though, will be Coleman’s tackling in run support.

Jamar Chaney – 3 – The middle linebacker improved last week, but this Sunday he faces a more dynamic offense. Chaney will have a big role in trying to slow down running back DeMarco Murray and, at times, cover tight end Jason Witten.


What will be the result of Sunday night’s grudge game between the 2-4 Eagles and 3-3 Cowboys?

Chas Henry – 2 – The Eagles rookie punter ranks in the bottom third in the NFL in average punt, net average and kicks downed inside the opponents’ 20. This isn’t what they expected when they signed Henry.

Tony Romo – 3 – What other score could we give the quarterback who can rate a 1, a 5 and a 1 again, all in the same quarter? Romo has thrown for more than 300 yards four times this season. In typical Romo fashion he has managed to lose three of those games. Which Romo will play Sunday? And for how long?

DeMarco Murray – 5 – If our scale went to six, we’d give it to the rookie who last week ran for more yards than either Emmitt Smith or Tony Dorsett ever managed. It’s safe to assume that Murray won’t match his 253-yard performance against the Rams. But even if he runs for half that, it would be an impressive day.

Jason Witten – 4 – The tight end leads the Cowboys in catches (36) and yards (449), ahead of Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, and he’s caught a touchdown in each of the past three games. At 6-foot-6, Witten could be a matchup nightmare.

Sean Lee – 4 – Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware has eight sacks, second in the NFL, but Lee is the do-everything ‘backer whose 51 total stops (17 assisted) make him the Cowboys’ most prolific tackler. He’s added a team-best three interceptions – or one more than Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel combined.