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Out of the Chute: Cowboys at Eagles

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Cowboys' next opponent. This week, that opponent is the Philadelphia Eagles.

    The Opponent: It would be a really fascinating experiment to see what would happen if you traded Andy Reid and Jason Garrett straight up. We know the clock management would remain awful in both places, but so many other things intrigue. Would Reid get something different out of Romo? Would Garrett figure out that LeSean McCoy should be more than an afterthought offensively? Daydreaming about the entire Garrett-Eagle fan interaction part would take up the better part of an afternoon. 

    Record: 3-5. It's like looking in a mirror. 

    The Line: Eagles by 1.5. There should be a whole cottage of prop bets on this game. Who botches a challenge? Over/under pick-sixes by each quarterback? Betting on a 0-0 tie because both teams spend the entire afternoon sticking forks in electrical sockets?

    Last Game: The Eagles lost to the Saints 28-13 on Monday night. The Saints defense has proven as successful at stopping points as mesh rooves have proven at stopping the rain this season, but the Eagles still gave up seven sacks and turned the ball over twice in a game they still had chances to win. 

    The Coach: Reid's been in Philly for a long, long time but this is looking more and more like the last mustache ride. The team makes the same mistakes over and over again, he had to fire the offensive line coach he turned into a defensive coordinator and there's a stink over this team that feels too thick to wear off before the end of the season. 

    The Offense: Reid said Monday night that he's sticking with Michael Vick, which is more a sign of his desperate grasp for something to save this season than anything that's going to help the Eagles. The offensive line stinks, which doesn't do Vick any favors, but there's no way to minimize Vick's contribution to why things aren't working. The rookie Nick Foles is playing at some point, it's hard to see what waiting much longer will do for anybody. 

    What would really help is recognizing the value of McCoy. He picked up 47 yards on two carries (and had a third big gain called back because of a penalty) on one first-half drive to set the Eagles up near the goal line. McCoy didn't touch the ball again and the Eagles settled for a field goal on their way to a 21-3 halftime deficit. 

    The Defense: The Saints ran all over them on Monday night and there's been no bounce since the departure of Juan Castillo as the defensive play caller. The fearsome pass rush is nowhere to be found and the Nnamdi Asomugha signing has worked out about as well as Roy Williams worked out in Dallas.

    Key Matchup: Reid vs. Garrett - This is the single most entertaining aspect of this game. You know that one of these guys is going to wind up in front of another gaggle looking for answers that he's made it clear he just doesn't have at his disposal. The only question is what mistake is going to be the one dominating the conversation.