Sunday, December 2, 2012
Halftime adjustments: Eagles 17, Cowboys 10
By Calvin Watkins
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Philadelphia Eagles lead the the Cowboys, 17-10, at the half at Cowboys Stadium.
The Eagles jumped out to a 14-3 lead before DeMarco Murray's late touchdown plunge cut the Cowboys' deficit to 14-10. The Eagles added a 43-yard field goal from Alex Henery as time expired to extend the margin to seven midway through the game.
Here are our halftime adjustments:
1. Pressure, pressure, pressure. Rob Ryan doesn't trust the pass rush. He's not sending more than four defenders after rookie quarterback Nick Foles. It seems Ryan is treating Foles like Michael Vick, who isn't playing due to a concussion. Foles is getting plenty of time to look down field, and he's making big plays. Foles is 10-for-15 for 136 yards and doesn't appear concerned about the Cowboys' pressure. Dallas needs to get after him in the second half. If the Cowboys can knock Foles down, maybe they can rattle him.
2. Get the ball to Jason Witten. The Cowboys tight end finished the first half with five catches for 72 yards. He was wide open on a 28-yard reception that set up DeMarco Murray's 1-yard touchdown run that cut the deficit to 14-10. The Eagles are taking Dez Bryant and Miles Austin out of the game with tight pressure, so that's leaving Witten open or in one-on-one coverage where he can beat a linebacker. Nothing against Bryant or Austin, who combined for two catches in the first half, but Witten is the lone playmaker moving the ball down the field.
3. Bench Doug Free. It might be time to sit the starting right tackle. He's been called for holding twice (one was offsetting because of a pass interference call against the Eagles) and has allowed at least one sack. Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham is pushing Free back into the backfield and forcing Tony Romo to move up in the pocket. Maybe Jermey Parnell should get a chance. He played for Tyron Smith at left tackle last week when he was out with an ankle sprain. Free, from what we've been told, is healthy. He did have a slight ankle problem that forced him to get some treatment, but if he's healthy his play hasn't been up to par.