Sunday, December 21, 2014

10 observations about the Cowboys

I just watch the extended highlights of the Cowboys' win over the Seahawks last week. Here are some observations about Dallas and this weekend's matchup:

10 observations about the Cowboys

I just watch the extended highlights of the Cowboys' win over the Seahawks last week. Here are some observations about Dallas and this weekend's matchup:

1. Tony Romo had plenty of time to drop back and get comfortable. When there was pressure, it was usually off the edges, and Romo was good at stepping up and finding his receivers. He has thrown eight touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three games.

2. Romo and Miles Austin appear to have a great amount of trust. There were a couple plays where Austin was covered, but Romo threw to him anyway and allowed him to make plays on the ball. The timing was there on a couple nice slants. Austin also had a carry on an end around for 11 yards.

3. A Julius Jones fumble set up the Cowboys' second touchdown drive, which required them to go just 30 yards. In other words, let's continue to work on that ball security, LeSean McCoy.

4. The Cowboys' running backs did a good job of picking up oncoming blitzers. Fullback Deon Anderson looked like a very capable blocker.

5. Felix Jones had some very nice moments. The second-year running back had eight carries for 39 yards and also had a 30-yard reception. He could see more touches, particularly if the Eagles bottle up Marion Barber.

6. Patrick Crayton returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown against Seattle. The week before he took one 73 yards to the house. Also on the special teams front, the Cowboys have 17 touchbacks on kickoffs, the most of any team in the league. They've kicked touchbacks on 40.5 percent of their kickoffs, also tops in the NFL.

7. We all know about the problems the Eagles have had covering opposing tight ends this season. And we all know how good Jason Witten is. Obviously this will be a big factor Sunday night. But also keep an eye on the Cowboys' second tight end, Martellus Bennett. Not monster numbers, but he does have five catches in the last two games. Bennett picked up 13 yards on a screen pass against Seattle.

8. There's always talk around these parts about Donovan McNabb spreading the ball around. The Cowboys completed passes to 10 different receivers last week.

9. Don't forget that the Eagles have former Cowboys defensive coordinator Brian Stewart on their coaching staff. It'll be interesting to see how his knowledge of Dallas' schemes helps the Eagles in preparation.

10. If the Eagles can protect McNabb, he should be able to do some damage. The Cowboys' pass defense ranks 22nd in the league. They've only intercepted four passes all season. In the NFC, only Washington and Seattle have picked off fewer.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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