Monday, September 15, 2008

Cowboys vs Eagles preview/prediction

Ted Sundquist, former Broncos' G.M. and current contributor to Pro Football Talk, listed his keys (for both teams) to tonight's match-up as follows:
  • KEY #1 for Philly will be slowing down the Dallas pressure on McNabb. If the Cowboys can pressure and or sack McNabb on early downs and force the Eagles to throw on third, it could open up some turnover opportunities for the talented Dallas secondary.
  • I’ll pin the success of the Eagles on their defensive front getting to Romo and helping out the secondary to blanket the Dallas receivers. Cole and Patterson are the two best run stuffers; look for Dallas to go to their right behind big OG Leonard Davis aligned over Bunkley.
  • ...the Philadelphia defense has an excellent history of shutting down opponents’ TE’s. This could be a big week for WR Patrick Crayton. The Eagle defense swarms the primary receiver, but struggled to shut down the second and third options last season.
  • KEY #4 will be how well Dallas ILB’s Zach Thomas and Bradie James can contain Brian Westbrook. The Eagles tied for second with thirty-three 10+ play drives in ’07...
  • KEY #5 for me is the punting of Matt McBriar (DAL) versus Sav Rocca (PHI). Look for the resulting field position battle to be a key factor in the final outcome.
Although I hate calling a week 2 matchup a huge game, the NFC East is going to be a dogfight by all early indications. After tonight's game, the only 2 losses by this division will be against division foes (Redskins against the Giants and yes, the Eagles against the Cowboys).

My prediction is Cowboys 27, Eagles 21.

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