Sunday, December 2, 2012
W2W4: Cowboys vs. Eagles
By Calvin Watkins
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Cowboys and the Eagles have their rematch at Cowboys Stadium. Unlike the first meeting, when the Eagles felt they had playoff hopes, this time, at 3-8, the hopes are gone. The Cowboys aspire to make the playoffs, and as the December portion of the schedule starts Sunday night, this is a chance to move forward.
The series: The Cowboys haven't faced any team more than they've faced the Philadelphia Eagles (107 times). A victory for the Cowboys would give them the series sweep, the first time that's happened since 2009 and the 18th time overall. Of the 107 games between the teams, 48 were decided by two or more touchdowns and 40 decided by a touchdown or less.
The return of DeMarco Murray: After missing six games with a sprained foot, starting running back DeMarco Murray returns to the lineup. The Cowboys' running game has gone badly without him. Felix Jones replaced Murray in the starting lineup. Murray was averaging 4.4 yards per carry on the season before his injury and rushed for 93 yards on 14 carries in his last game, a loss to Baltimore on Oct. 14.
Nick Foles again: Michael Vick won't play because of a concussion, so the Cowboys face Nick Foles. After Vick went down in the first game with the Cowboys, Foles completed 22 of 32 passes for 219 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Eagles won't change their offense just because Foles is on the field. So expect spread formations and deep passes.
Morris Claiborne's rematch: The rookie cornerback allowed a touchdown and four receptions and was penalized five times in the first game. It was a rude welcome to the Eagles rivalry. Claiborne said he won't let that game bother him going into the rematch. The Eagles won't have the speedy DeSean Jackson, who beat Claiborne on a 31-yarder in the first meeting.
Sunday night troubles: Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has dismissed the Sunday night losses, now at eight straight, because his team beat the New York Giants in the regular-season opener on a Wednesday night. The Cowboys haven't won on a Sunday night in a while and are 20-24 in Sunday night games.
December to remember: As great as Tony Romo has been in November (21-4), he's bad in December. Romo is just 8-13 in December. Playing at Cowboys Stadium isn't a special place for Romo and his team, either. The Cowboys are just 1-4 in December at Cowboys Stadium.
Last time you see Andy Reid? The Eagles' coach is on the hot seat because of how bad the Eagles have been. Injuries, inconsistency and poor decisions with the personnel have hurt Reid this season. In 14 NFL seasons, Reid is 129-89-1 with an impressive 52-35 record in the NFC East. Regardless of what happens Sunday night, this appears to be the last time Reid will coach against the Cowboys as the head coach of the Eagles.