Behind Enemy Lines NFL Week 14: Cowboys vs. Eagles

By Jeric Griffin
[picappgallerysingle id=”7511416″]Mike Burke from and I have crossed enemy lines to examine this Sunday night’s matcup between the Philadelphia Eagles and your Dallas Cowboys at Jerry’s World in Arlington. We’ve discussed everything from the re-emergence of Michael Vick to the sudden success of Jason Garrett. Below are my questions for Mike and his answers. Also, be sure to check out my answers in his Invading the Nest segment.
Q: What’s the secret to Michael Vick’s success?

A: When Michael Vick played in Atlanta, the highlights you typically saw involved him running the ball.  He still has the talent to make plays with his feet, but he’s been extremely successful through the air this year.  He’s spending more time in the pocket and delivering accurate passes. He has two big play receivers in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin who love running deep routes for him, because he delivers extremely accurate deep balls with little effort.  This season, Vick has turned into more of a quarterback, rather than an athlete playing the quarterback position.

Q: How can the Cowboys slow Vick down?

A: With a very poor secondary, the Cowboys are going to need to limit Vick from completing deep passes.  The Bears did a very effective job of this by dropping their safeties back very deep and keeping everything in front of them. Vick was still able to complete a lot of passes, but he wasn’t able to hit the home-run ball. 

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Q: How do the Eagles plan to stop the Cowboys’ running attack with the recent emergence of Tashard Choice?

A: The Eagles have been pretty successful against the run so far this season.  The Cowboys torched them on the ground last year, and it will be something they look at this week.  Stewart Bradley has been up and down this season in terms of run protection, and he’s going to need to have an outstanding game.  I’d like to see the Eagles defense do a good job containing and forcing everything into the middle of the field.

Q: With Dez Bryant out for the year with a broken ankle, will the Eagles double cover Miles Austin?

A: I don’t think they’ll start out doubling anyone.  The Eagles corners play sides rather than match-ups, so Austin will see different coverage depending on where he lines up.  Asante Samuel should be returning to the line-up this week which will be a huge addition as the secondary has really struggled without him. The corners may get some help on anything deep the Cowboys try to run on them but I don’t expect them to focus completely on Austin to start the game.

Q: What’s the one thing the Cowboys must do to beat the Eagles?

A: Hold the Eagles to field goals in the red zone.  The Eagles offense has struggled as of late in converting touchdowns in the red zone.  You can leave a lot of points on the board if you do this, and the Eagles did exactly that in their loss to the Bears.  There’s no doubting that the Eagles will be able to move the football.  However, if the Cowboys can prevent the Eagles from scoring touchdowns in the red zone, it will be a huge advantage for them.

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