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Thursday, December 22, 2011
Five-star: Dallas D will give, needs to take

By Tim MacMahon

Five-star question: Will the Eagles hit their average of six plays of 20 yards or more Saturday against the Cowboys?

The Eagles are going to get their share of 20-plus-yard plays. The key for the Dallas defense is to make some big plays of its own.

The Cowboys operated in fear of the big play during the blowout in Philly. Their safeties played so far back that Michael Vick needed binoculars to read their eyes, so the Eagles just tore the Cowboys up with the running game and the intermediate passing game in the middle of the field.

DeSean Jackson didn’t get behind the secondary, but the Eagles still had four 20-plus-yard passing plays. And LeSean McCoy had runs of 35, 22 and 21 yards, plus a few more double-digit gains.

However, the most alarming stat might have been the Eagles’ zero turnovers. That can’t happen again for the Cowboys.

The Eagles have committed a league-high 35 turnovers. It’s been proven that Vick will make poor decisions under pressure. The Cowboys have to press the issue.

Playing conservatively against the Eagles sure doesn’t work. The Cowboys painfully learned that lesson in the previous meeting.