Blue Star
The center of the Dallas Cowboys universe

On Deck: Eagles

Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    DeSean Jaskson scored his first touchdown since Week 5 in Buffalo.

    On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every Cowboys game during the 2013 season.

    The Opponent: Despite not being very overwhelming and doing it quletly if you take over the first half of their season-opening win over Washington, the Eagles are actually in a tie for first place with Dallas after a pretty dominant win over Tampa Bay on Sunday. They played that game without Michael Vick, who was injured the previous week, but backup quarterback Nick Foles had a stellar game.

    Past Meeting: The teams met twice in a four-week span last season as Dallas scored its first season sweep over Philly in quite some time as Andy Reid's swan song with the Eagles got increasingly ugly. The Cowboys won the last meeting, 38-33, after taking the first one 38-23.

    Key Matchup: PHI WR Desean Jackson vs. DAL CB Brandon Carr: Jackson proved last week that he doesn't need Vick throwing him the ball to be a top-flight receiver this year. After suffering through several injuries in 2012, Jackson has emerged as one of the league's top pass-catching threats this season and is doing so with almost incomparable speed and quickness at the position. Carr is Dallas' best cornerback and is coming off one of his best games of the season in Sunday night's win over Washington.

    Who's Hot: If there's a better return man in the NFL than Dwayne Harris, we'd like to see it. Don't forget, Harris has been doing this for years going back to his days at East Carolina where he was a return man extraordinare and was the most valuable player of Conference USA. He had a big kickoff return and a huge punt return in Sunday night's win that contributed to Tony Romo's deflated stat line. The Cowboys' offensive line deserves a lot of credit and has done a complete 180 from the past couple of seasons, mainly thanks to the drafting of Travis Frederick and the signing of Brian Waters. The Cowboys secondary, led by Carr and Morris Claiborne, had probably its best game of the season in Sunday night's win. And that makeshift defensive line? Wow. Great performance by a bunch of no-names.

    Nick Foles made his case to be the Eagles' starting quarterback, even when Michael Vick does return, and head coach Chip Kelly made no indications that the job is definitely Vick's when he returns. The second-year backup threw for 296 yards, three touchdowns and no picks in Sunday's win over Tampa Bay and two of his touchdowns were to Desean Jackson. Riley Cooper, who made headlines for the wrong reasons this offseason, had a huge day, catching four passes for 120 yards and a score. LeSean McCoy continued to show why he's one of the league's best running backs, racking up 116 yards on the ground.

    What's Not: There really isn't much here based off Sunday night's dominant victory, but there is one guy who's been noticeably absent. Miles Austin returned from his hamstring injury to be held catchless in Sunday's win while he watched Terrance Williams continue to cut into his targets as the rookie from Baylor had two catches, including one for a touchdown.

    Brent Celek was supposed to be a force this season at tight end, but whether it's his performance or the new system implemented offensively, he's been very quiet this year, including his one-catch game last week.