2011

Most recent year in which Phillies had winning record

Time to bury Cowboys

Posted by Eric Fisher On November 16

The next-best thing to an Eagles victory is a Cowboys defeat. On Sunday night, the Eagles have the opportunity to accomplish both.

Not only can the Eagles (8-1) beat the Cowboys (5-4) on Sunday, but they can also bury them.

Sunday is the Eagles’ chance to slay the beast.

A victory would virtually lock up the NFC East title for the Eagles. It also would drive a stake through the heart of the Cowboys. With four seven-win teams chasing the Eagles, and the Seahawks at 6-3, a loss would put the Cowboys on the outskirts of the NFC playoff race.

On the other hand, a victory would give the Cowboys life. It wouldn’t necessarily threaten the Eagles’ vise grip on the NFC East, although one more gain in the standings would make the season finale between the Cowboys and Eagles on Dec. 31 uncomfortably important for the Birds, but a Cowboys win on Sunday would undeniably give them playoff life.

Sunday’s game is the first of a three-game homestand for the Cowboys. The Eagles game is followed by a Thanksgiving game against the Chargers and then a Thursday night game against the Redskins. Both are winnable games, as is a Dec. 10 road game against the imploding Giants. To put it bluntly, with three teams with losing records coming up on the schedule, a Cowboys victory Sunday could easily propel them to a four-game winning streak.

All of a sudden the Cowboys would be 9-4. The beast would have new life.

The beast would also have help on the way. Only a road game against the Raiders would stand between the Cowboys and the return of Ezekiel Elliott, who has decided not to further appeal his six-game suspension for domestic violence. A motivated Elliott could spark the Cowboys as they finish the regular season at home against the Seahawks and at Lincoln Financial Field.

The loss of Elliott definitely hurts the Cowboys. They also will likely be without linebacker Sean Lee, the heart of their defense, for a few weeks due to a troublesome hamstring.

The beast is wounded, but they could survive these absences as they hit the soft underbelly of their schedule. That’s why it’s so important that the Eagles slay the beast this Sunday.

Not only will the Cowboys be without Elliott and Lee this Sunday, but all-pro left tackle Tyron Smith also is ailing. He missed last Sunday’s 27-7 loss to the Falcons. The effect was eight sacks of quarterback Dak Prescott.

Eagles defensive ends have to be licking their chops at the possibility that Smith will miss Sunday’s game. Even if Smith plays, he won’t be near 100 percent. The Eagles’ pass rush should also be aided by Elliott’s absence. Without the threat of the running game diminished, the Eagles should be able to load up on their pass rush.

While the Cowboys were losing to the Falcons, the Eagles were resting during their bye week. That has given them a chance to get healthy. Aside from the players who were already sidelined for the rest of the season, the Eagles are healthy. Even cornerback Ronald Darby, who dislocated his ankle in the season opener, is expected to return against the Cowboys.

On paper, Sunday’s game looks like a little bit of a mismatch. The Eagles are 8-1 and healthy. The Cowboys are 5-4 and plagued by key injuries.

The Cowboys appears to be reeling, with their playoff hopes on life support. But a victory Sunday could breathe new life into the beast. In addition to the difference it might make in the standings, a victory over the high-flying Eagles would be a huge psychological boost for the Cowboys.

That’s why it’s imperative that the Eagles bury the Cowboys this Sunday.

An Eagles win is always awesome.

A win over the Cowboys, particularly one that nearly ends their playoff hopes, would be even sweeter.

 

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