It is the only event that can make a Philadelphia resident’s blood boil faster than the “how many rings do you have” debate.
We hate the Dallas Cowboys.
However, this year just does not have the same feeling. Why is it that way? This is supposed to be a game that makes you anxious as a fan. It is supposed to be a game that you analyze and then over-analyze in your head until you become insane. On top of that, it is a prime time game with huge implications. The fact of the matter is, this Eagles team gives you many reasons to not feel this way.
The biggest difference between this year and last year is that this team is just not fun. In the past two seasons, you would get excited for this up-tempo offense that you just knew would put up points left and right. Those teams at least gave you, as a fan, the hope of a playoff run because of their elite-level scoring. At this point in 2015, the Eagles offense would not even be able to score on the dumb girl at the bar. It is simply embarrassing that this team has scored a total of 10 first quarter points this year. This is the worst in the NFL and has a lot to do with the lack of talent on the offensive side. Quarterback Sam Bradford, who has had the third best protection in the NFL, has the third worst quarterback rating in the NFL. Not to be outdone, Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor have been rated as the two worst wide receivers in the NFL so far this season according to Pro Football Focus.
The team they are battling Sunday has not exactly set the world on fire either, but the circumstances are much different. There is no doubt in my mind that the Dallas Cowboys would be running away with this division if Tony Romo were healthy. Unfortunately for the ‘boys, Romo injured his collar-bone in a week two win over the Eagles and will not be able to play until week 11 at the earliest. As poor as the Eagles have been on offense, The Cowboys have been even worse. I mean, at least they have scored more than ten points this year in the first quarter, but I digress. Matt Cassel currently has the worst completion percentage in the NFL of any quarterback that has started. Outside of the obvious quarterback issues the biggest issue for the Cowboys is their “leadership.” Now I put this in quotes because the Cowboys have some of the worst character players leading them. Everyone has seen the video of Greg Hardy’s confrontation with the special teams coach. No player should ever disrespect a coach like this but the worst part was Jerry Jones‘ comments, “He’s one of the real leaders on this team & he earns it. That’s the kind of thing that inspires.” Are you kidding me? How can this guy be a leader? I understand having his back but to say that about a guy with his off-the-field issues is simply ridiculous.
The big match up to watch in this game is the Cowboys offense against the Eagles defense. This Eagles defensive front has been one of the best in the NFL and they will be going up against the best offensive line in the NFL for Dallas. If the Cowboys can find success running the ball, it could become a long night for Philadelphia. If they can’t, this opportunistic Eagles defense will have a field day against Matt Cassel. This battle in the trenches should be a treat to watch all night.
Even with how poor these teams have been this season, there are major implications for this game. For the Eagles, it will be very difficult to win the NFC East if you drop to 1-3 in the division. For the Cowboys, a sixth straight loss would be demoralizing and make it very difficult to make the playoffs. It may not have the same flavor as past meetings, but when these two teams square off, things always get interesting.