Sunday, November 11, 2012
Final Word: NFC East
By Dan Graziano
Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 10:
Tough times. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles will meet for the 103rd time on Sunday but it'll be just the first meeting since Oct. 28, 1990, in which both teams have sub-.500 records. The 2-4 Eagles beat the 3-4 Cowboys 21-20 that day. Randall Cunningham threw touchdown passes to Anthony Toney and Calvin Williams in that game, and the Eagles held Emmitt Smith to 52 yards on 14 carries. It's the first Cowboys-Eagles game since Dec. 5, 1965, that finds each team at least two games under .500. That day, the 4-7 Cowboys beat the 4-7 Eagles 21-19 as Don Meredith threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and Bob Hayes caught five passes for 106 yards.
Cowboys QB Tony Romo could feast against a struggling Philadelphia defense Sunday.
Could Romo get well? Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has a league-leading 758 passing yards over the past two weeks. The Eagles have allowed opponents to complete 6 of 8 passes thrown at least 15 yards down the field in the two weeks since the firing of defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, according to ESPN Stats & Info's next-level numbers. On the road this year, Romo has a 57.6 completion percentage, 14.7 yards per attempt, five touchdowns and no interceptions on throws of 15 or more yards downfield. What we're trying to get at here is that, if this is the week you see the Cowboys' deep passing game come back, don't be too surprised.
Kinda tired of packing and unpacking. The New York Giants are 0-5 all time in Cincinnati, where they'll face the Bengals on Sunday. Overall, they are 3-5 in eight meetings against the Bengals. If it's a close game, don't be surprised. The past three meetings between these teams have been decided by three or fewer points, and seven of the eight all-time matchups have been decided by a touchdown or less. Worth noting, however, is that they haven't played each other since Sept. 21, 2008, when the Giants won 26-23 at Giants Stadium.
You look familiar. The Bengals lost last week to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. On Sunday, they'll become the third team in history to play against Peyton and Eli Manning in consecutive games. The Baltimore Ravens beat Eli and the Giants in Week 14 of 2004, then lost to Peyton and the Colts the next week. The 2006 Titans beat the Giants in Week 12 and the Colts in Week 13.
Playing into their hands. The Giants are tied with the Chicago Bears for the league lead with 17 interceptions. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has thrown at least one interception in each of the Bengals' eight games this season and has a total of 11 for the year. Only the Cowboys' Romo and Cleveland rookie Brandon Weeden have thrown more. The last quarterback to throw an interception in each of his team's first nine games was the Cowboys' Troy Aikman in 1990. This is Dalton's second season in the league, and 1990 was Aikman's second, as well.