Game of the Week: Cowboys-Eagles
The guy has eight touchdowns against the combination of Tampa, K.C. and Seattle this year -- big whoop. Look at the three biggest games of his career. In two playoff games, against Seattle in 2007 and the Giants in '08, Romo averaged less than 200 yards passing with just two touchdowns. He sealed the former with a fumble, the latter with an interception. And in his shot at redemption, in the '09 finale against Philly with a playoff berth on the line, he coughed the football up three times, one of which was returned for a score. You get the idea.
Could we see something to the contrary Sunday night? Perhaps. Romo is on a relative tear (consider the competition), with three straight interception-less games. He recently said, "I'm seeing things. It's as simple as that. I'm not throwing and hoping." Add to the equation this simple fact: he hasn't lost a game in November since 2006, in his second career start.
Alas, Romo's facing an uphill battle against a Philadelphia secondary that -- despite dramatic changes in the past 11 months -- has harassed opposing quarterbacks into a cumulative passer rating of 68.5 (fifth best among NFL secondaries) while limiting huge plays. The Cowboys have pulled off eight 40-plus yard plays all season; the Eagles have only allowed one. Something's gotta give.
All of which goes to suggest that, yes,
Matchup-wise, keep an eye on Jackson against his likely draw, fellow NFL sophomore
Can Dallas pull off the same trick? They certainly have the pass rushers to rattle McNabb. The Cowboys have logged nearly a sack per quarter over their last 4.5 games, including five in the last three games from 2008 sack-leader
The bigger question is, Can Dallas scuttle Philly's running game, forcing the sort of pass-pass-pass attack that Ware can do the best damage against? With Westbrook healthy and McCoy in relief, I don't like the chances.
Every week, I lend my thoughts on a few particularly startable or sit-worthy players. Here's who's I like in this Week 9 matchup:
What a mess the NFC East has become. Some might believe there are three playoff contenders in the bunch. I'd argue there might not even be two. By whipping the Giants last week, Philly made the first claim to legitimate division dominance -- tallest midget in the room I say -- and I don't see the Cowboys being able to prove otherwise. Romo's three biggest games came against Tampa, Kansas City, Seattle and against an Atlanta secondary that was, and still is, hurting. Yards won't come in such bunches against the Eagles, who can make Dallas abandon its running game very quickly with some quick-strike points. And when that happens, it's over.