Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Cowboys' next opponent. This week, that opponent is the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Opponent: The Eagles last won a game on September 30. The Phillies last won a game on October 1. It should probably go without saying that it is a bad thing when your city's baseball team has the more recent win when you're about to play your first game of December.
Record: 3-8 and riding a seven-game losing streak.
The Line: Cowboys by 9, which seems massive given the way the Cowboys have played this season until you take another look at the opposition.
Last Game: The Eagles lost to the Panthers 30-22 on Monday night thanks to three turnovers and an inability to stop Cam Newton. Everyone has been able to stop Newton this year, which is why the Panthers have fired their general manager and probably will axe their coach come the end of the season.
The Coach: It's a weekly habit now for someone with the Eagles to leak word to a reporter that Andy Reid will coach the team in that week's game. When the Eagles stop having games to play every week, Reid will stop having a job to go to everyday. So enjoy Sunday night (seriously, you couldn't flex this one out?) because you won't have Reid to kick around any more. Hopefully he'll botch a challenge for old time's sake.
The Offense: Michael Vick could return this week, but it looks like another week without LeSean McCoy for the Eagles. Bryce Brown ran for 178 yards and two touchdowns on Monday night, which would look a lot better if not for his two lost fumbles. Nick Foles didn't look quite so overmatched against Carolina, but playing behind that makeshift offensive line means that it is just a moment or two away.
The Defense: There's not really any phase where the Eagles defense does its job well, but the most galling deficiency is with the pass rush. For years, the team has ridden a deep group of edge rushers to great success but its disappearance is one of many signs that the long run of success under Reid has come crashing to a halt. Now the Eagles defense is just another unit with some big names and no production. Sort of like the offense, in other words.
Key Matchup: Dez Bryant vs. Nnamdi Asomugha/Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - Two of those aforementioned big names on defense whose play hasn't lived up to par. Bryant has been almost unstoppable the last two weeks and the Cowboys should by now be comfortable with using him like the elite receiver he has proven to be.