I don't like saying nice things about the Cowboys, but in the interest of science I decided to give it a try. I'll now make the case for Dallas winning on Sunday.
First, this is a good team. They are 10-5 and they've earned that. The team has been fairly consistent. Their longest win streak is 4 games. Longest losing streak is 2 games. All teams have ups and downs, but Dallas never got sky high or hit rock bottom. Their biggest loss of the year is only by 10 points.
Dallas plays good defense. They are 3rd in the NFL in scoring D. In 3 of the last 6 games Dallas has held teams to 7 points or less. We've only done that once all year. Any team that can keep people out of the end zone like that is playing pretty darn good football. Their defense is a bit like the '07 Eagles. They are really tough, but don't come up with takeaways. The Cowboys have 11 INTs this year. Asante Samuel has 9. Takeaways are gold in the NFL and that is a weakness.
Dallas has been building a strong team for really the last 4 years. The one problem was that Jerry Jones didn't understand the importance of character and chemistry. Unfortunately he seems to have figured that out this year. Gone are TO, PacMan, and Tank Johnson. Miles Austin emerged at WR. CBs Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick have played well on defense. A young D-lineman like Stephen Bowen has emerged with extra playing time.
The '09 Cowboys feel much more like a team than a circus. Jerry Jones embraced controversy in the past because it kept Dallas in the news and that was a good thing in his mind. He now seems to at least somewhat understand that controversy and football don't always mix well.
There are still elements of...bizarreness. Wade Phillips came across poorly when talking to the media about December losses a few weeks back. He didn't seem like the leader of a football team so much as a White House spokesperson trying to manage a media crisis (either party...this isn't a political statement). Phillips is now a cheerleader with his team having won 2 games. WR Roy Williams stays relevant by talking to the media about his failure to play WR well. Only in America...
Tony Romo is having a good year. He's only got 24 TDs, but he's cut down on his INTs. Tony has only been picked 8 times so far this year. He's only fumbled 6 times this year. He had 32 coming into the year. Tony seems much more at ease now with a stable clubhouse and huddle.
We all know that Tony hasn't won any playoff or January games. This is a different Tony and a different team. They can win defensive battles (7-6 over WAS). They can win ugly games (26-20 over KC). They can also win on the road (at PHI, NO). Dallas did break through their December hex and win consecutive games. This Dallas team has a tougher feel because of all these things. They do play at home this Sunday, which gives them another advantage.
The offense is versatile. They run the ball better than last year. The Cowboys can also beat you in the air. Miles Austin is a big play WR. Roy Williams makes a big play at least once a month. Jason Witten is still among the best TEs in the league. Points aren't as abundant as last year, but the offense can move the ball.
Enough. I can't go on. Must change back to Eagles talk...
Quintin Demps is saying that he will play Sunday. Great news. We need him as the KOR. Macho's mistakes killed us last week. Demps is very good on KOs and field position could be important. Also, you may remember that we ran back a KO for a score vs Dallas in the first game, but a penalty nullified it.
Mike Vick will reportedly play. I hope this is a valid report and not just the Eagles saying that to give Dallas another situation to prepare for.
The team recently checked out some players. Teams are always looking for guys to add once the season ends or in case a roster spot comes open. Here's the story:
One of the items covered in there is that we lost PJ Hill of the Practice Squad. He was signed away by WAS. We added RB Allen Ervins to replace him. I need to check my computer at home for notes on him and S Brandon Harrison, another player we just recently signed.
I will put up a Strategy & Matchups post tomorrow. I've got plenty of thoughts on beating the evil Cowgurlz.