PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 27: Brian Westbrook #36 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs the ball against the Denver Broncos on December 27, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Broncos 30-27. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Just how much of an effect Eagles running back Brian Westbrook will have on Sunday's game is wholly unclear, and it will remain that way until the clock in JerryWorld runs to zeros on Sunday; however, it is certain that it will be greater than his effect last time the teams met, in Philadelphia.
Westbrook sat out that game with a concussion, one of eight contests the oft-injured veteran has missed this season. Given the nature of his injury, Dallas didn't have to prepare much for the former Pro Bowler, as his absence from the game, in the week prior, was all but certain.
This round, the Cowboys will at least have to prepare for Westbrook, who was not listed on the Wednesday injury report; Andy Reid said on Wednesday that they have "a nice little package" for him, a statement suggestive of some degree of involvement for the 30-year-old.
In his return against Denver last week, Westbrook gained 32 yards on nine carries, for a 3.6 average; he also caught two passes.
Just what this mystery package will entail, no one knows. But we have a sneaking suspicion the the Eagles will use Westbrook--who will split carries with rookie LeSean McCoy and fullback Leonard Weaver--will be used heavily in the screen game.
The Eagles are arguably the best team in the league at employing the screen pass effectively, and Dallas's defense has proven liable, at times, to get 'slashed,' so to speak, on such plays.
"It's so good to have him back," said offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg recently. "I'm so happy that he's back. ... He's important [in our screen game] and all the little details within the little screens we run."