Philadelphia Eagles fans now know who will be under center when the Birds host division rival Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Michael Vick and Nick Foles created a rare setting where both QB’s took to the podium to answer questions. Both smiling ear to ear as a way to show their mutual respect for one another, Vick revealed he will not be starting for the second consecutive week.
He still is not fully recovered from his week 5 hamstring injury he suffered against the Giants, therefore, Nick Foles will get another chance to shine.
But where is the real challenge for Nick Foles against the Cowboys? Is it against a Dallas defense that is just slightly better than Philadelphia’s in terms of rankings and game averages? No, at least it shouldn’t be. Last week Foles faced a Buccaneers defense that some have pegged as a top 10 defense in the league. Foles hit eight different receivers en rout to the Eagles third win of the season.
Also, Philadelphia is likely to get (T) Jason Peters back which will be needed to cover Foles’ blindside and create running lanes for (RB) LeSean McCoy.
The challenge for Nick Foles this week isn’t going to be facing the Cowboys defense. He is going to need to keep up with Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense.
As much as it pains me to say, the Cowboys offense has been impressive so far. But with their starting RB, DeMarco Murray, out for the matchup the Eagles will be looking at inexperienced rushers in Dallas’s backfield. Rookie Joseph Randle has just 11 carries in his young career for 17 yards, but does have a TD. And third-year player Phillip Tanner has just five carries for three yards — you do the math.
The answer to that equation is Philadelphia can make this a one-dimensional game in a heartbeat, forcing Tony Romo to try and defeat the Eagles through the air. The problem is Romo has the weapons to play that game if needed.
Dez Bryant has become the dangerous receiving target the Cowboys drafted him to be. He currently leads the Cowboys in receptions (34), yards (459), and TD’s (6). Tight end Jason Witten is known to have his way with the Eagles defense in the past and is second on their offense with 31-340-3 respectively. Dallas will also be getting Miles Austin back after a two week stint with a hamstring injury.
But the real sleeper is rookie receiver Terrence Williams. The Cowboys third-round pick has been doing a fine job and has quietly become a very reliable option for Romo. Williams has recorded 18 receptions for 309 yards and two touchdowns. Those aren’t eye-popping numbers, but Williams’s YPC is pretty impressive ringing in at 17.2.
This is not going to be a blowout game. It’s likely to become an offensive explosion of yards and points that will come down to a key turnover or late field goal to win. Nick Foles needs to continue spreading the ball around, make accurate reads, and hit his targets. And Philadelphia’s defense is going to have their hands full all game, even if they do make it a one-dimensional game.