Philadelphia Eagles' Defense Faces Huge Test on Sunday

By Matt Shaner
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Billy Davis and his crew will face one of their harder challenges on Sunday in the biggest game so far on the Philadelphia Eagles‘ schedule.  It is Dallas Cowboys week, and you can’t get a greater feeling than a division rival coming to town to finally decide sole possession of first.  The Washington Redskins could have settled the issue Sunday night with a victory in Dallas, but failed to do so, leaving the tie and keying up the anticipation for this game. If there is any game that the defense must be ready for, this is it.

The Eagles and Cowboys rivalry is one of the best in football, going back to years of mutual dislike between the teams.  Tony Romo is a veteran quarterback who can keep plays alive with his legs and he arrives with weapons Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Miles Austin. Early injury reports have DeMarco Murray out of the game and that should help preparation against the run.  The linebackers will need to be on their coverage of Witten and the middle of the field. They need to stop giving up the crossing and underneath routes, and if the defensive line has issues creating pressure, Romo will make them pay for it.

Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, and Brandon Boykin must all have solid games against the Cowboys’ receivers. Boykin has, by far, put on the best performance of the group this far in the season. Williams and Fletcher will need to step it up and make plays.

On Sunday, this defense must be ready to defend their house.  This is the Cowboys coming to town; the team of the famous 4th-and-1 debacle, the Donovan McNabb fifteen-minute scramble on Monday Night Football, cheering Michael Irvin‘s injury and every sack of Troy Aikman, the huge victories and the brutal defeats that ended Andy Reid‘s time with the Eagles. This is the team that every Eagles’ fan is raised to hate, the ones we despise with a passion that makes us cringe every time we see Jerry Jones buying another subpar coach or free agent.  This is the time to make a statement and show the league the Eagles are contenders, fighters who are moving to take the division and make a run. If the defense steps up their game, Philly can finally get over the hump and get a valuable home win to sit alone in first place and ride the momentum into more winnable games in the near future.

Matt Shaner is a Philadelphia Eagles writer for Follow him on Twitter @MDShanersports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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