Well, here we are a week 17 game for the NFC East, same old story right? Not really, unlike the previous 2 season finales, this one will be played in Dallas. Another big difference is the likely absence of Tony Romo, who is extremely doubtful with a herniated disk in his back. The Cowboys were going to have a hard-enough time with Romo.
Sean Lee is also expected to miss this game with a neck injury, so the Cowboys are toast, right? Not so fast. There are jobs on the line for Dallas and I expect them to find a way to make this a game. Expect to see a lot of DeMarco Murray, who is the key to this game for Dallas. If the Cowboys can’t find a way to move the ball on the ground and have to rely strictly on Kyle Orton, well it could be over before half.
Orton will have to hit the passes when they are there or the Eagles will stack the box and make it hard for Murray and this offense to achieve anything. On defense, for the Cowboys to have a chance in this one, no-shows such as DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher and Brandon Carr MUST bring their best. Carr has had an awful stretch as of late, same with Hatcher, Ware’s whole season has been a wash.
In the first meeting this season the Dallas defense held LeSean McCoy to 55 yards on the ground, they will be hard-pressed to achieve anything close to that but they can’t let him dominate this game. If the Cowboys can somewhat slow down the run game and cause at least two turnovers on defense then they will have done their part on defense.
At Stake: Aside from the division title and a playoff birth, there is a lot for the Cowboys to play for. Main-stays such as Miles Austin, DeMarcus Ware, and Jason Hatcher could be playing their last game in a Cowboys uniform. With a loss this Cowboys coaching staff could get blown up, although, I think that Jason Garrett should get one more year.
Key Cowboy: DeMarco Murray has to have the game of his life against the Eagles. With this terrible defense and questions at QB, Murray has to carry the team in this one.
Prediction: Kyle Orton plays a solid game but this defense stinks again leaving huge question marks all over that side of the ball. Eagles beat the Cowboys 34-24.