Sunday, February 14, 2016

What they're saying: Eagles vs. Cowboys

I'll try to provide a few of these throughout the week as buzz continues to build up for Sunday night's matchup.

What they're saying: Eagles vs. Cowboys

LeSean McCoy has gone over 100 yards from scrimmage in five of six games this season. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
LeSean McCoy has gone over 100 yards from scrimmage in five of six games this season. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

I'll try to provide a few of these throughout the week as buzz continues to build up for Sunday night's matchup.

And if you missed it from earlier, here's my player-by-player take on the state of the Eagles' defense after six games.

On to the roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles:

Michael Vick is more to blame for protection issues than the offensive line, writes Andy Benoit of

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Because he doesn’t read the field well pre-snap, Vick’s first meaningful read often occurs once the action starts. So already he’s a half-second behind in processing information. More damning, though, is that he doesn’t process information well when it changes. Defenses give Vick fits by rolling coverage after the snap or dropping players in and out of zone looks. By the time the dust settles, the play has been going on for two seconds but Vick isn’t any closer to throwing than he was upon taking the snap.

Brian Billick has the Eagles 17th in his power rankings:

The "Dream Team" can reclaim the title if the Eagles are able to sweep the Cowboys and Bears over the next two weeks. They are feeling better about their defense after beating the Redskins, but that may seem less impressive after watching the 'Skins lose to the Panthers. They will still need to turn their games into track meets.

Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post compares the contract situations of DeSean Jackson and Bears running back Matt Forte:

The double-edged sword for Jackson, however, remains his uniqueness. Jackson is truly dynamic; he can score from anywhere on the field and is always a threat in the return game. However, the Eagles' concerns center around his slight build and the risks Jackson faces every Sunday.

With Vick signed and the Franchise Tag available for 2012, the Eagles know they can delay the situation another year despite whatever grumblings may come from Jackson or agent Drew Rosenhaus.

The Eagles are 22nd in's power rankings:

If the Eagles can cut out the turnovers and get a few stops on defense, they are going to be a factor.'s Peter King has the Eagles 14th in his power rankings:

LeSean McCoy/Mike Vick: 150 carries, 941 yards, 6.3 per rush. No team has a better 1-2 run threat right now, even if the Eagles don't want Vick exposed as much as he has been (7.5 rushes per game).

Pete Prisco of has the Eagles at No. 21:

They come off their bye with a huge game against the Cowboys. Win it, and they're in it.

Meanwhile, in Dallas, Felix Jones is doubtful for Sunday, and DeMarco Murray is expected to get his first career start, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Murray broke out with 253 yards on 25 carries Sunday, but prior to that game, he was averaging only 13 snaps per game, according to Pro Football Focus.

Jerry Jones has his concerns about using dynamic wide receiver Dez Bryant as a return man:

"Now, the game is one that you risk injury on every play, but because he just refuses to go down – which is a great thing about him – then you’ve got to watch using that in situations like kick returns," Jones told KRLD-FM, per "We’ll monitor that as the year goes. We’ll play that by ear as to when he’ll actually return the ball. We’ve got to watch him."

Todd Archer of wonders how this week would be different if the Cowboys were preparing to face Rob Ryan's defense:

I wonder what the Cowboys would have to do if they had to prepare to play against a Rob Ryan defense this week. Not long after he agreed to become the Cowboys defensive coordinator, Philadelphia made a call to Ryan to see if he would be interested in becoming its coordinator. His father, Buddy, talked about it in a Sports Illustrated article, but Rob stuck to his word and remained with the Cowboys. So that means the Cowboys were able to keep two people away from the Eagles in the offseason. Philadelphia came after left tackle Doug Free hard and were prepared to move him to right tackle to protect Michael Vick’s blindside. Free has had some good games against the Eagles in the past and Andy Reid noticed. The only one that got away was cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who took Philly’s money despite the best efforts of Jones and Ryan.

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About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for 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 or by clicking here

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