For the third straight season the Dallas Cowboys control their own destiny to win the NFC East and make the playoffs in the final regular season game. This time they will most likely have to do so without starting Quarterback (QB) Tony Romo!
For the Philadelphia Eagles they are seeking their first Division Title since the 2010-11 season, which is also the last time they made the playoffs.
Dallas will also be without star Linebacker Sean Lee ( 99 tackles, 4 Interception in 11 games) due to a lingering neck injury. In the previous meeting between the two, Dallas came away with a 17-3 win. Nick Foles had to leave the game early due to a concussion. Foles has been able to bounce back by throwing for a total of 25 touchdown (TD) passes and over 2,600 yards, having only been picked off twice. He and Running Back LeSean McCoy (who leads the league in Rushing with 1,476 yards) look to take advantage of a Dallas defense, which ranks amongst one of the worse statistically (29th Pass Defense, 26th Rush Defense) and exploit its weaknesses.
With Tony Romo out, Running Back DeMarco Murray, who missed the first match up between the two teams this season due to a knee injury, may have to increase his workload by supplementing in his receiving game to go along with his ground game. Dez Bryant had a huge performance in the same game with 8 receptions going for 110 yards, but with Kyle Orton starting this time around, it will be interesting what kind of approach the Cowboys will take with Bryant in the receiving game. One thing the Cowboys can take advantage of is knowing that the Eagles defensive game is not any better than theirs statistically speaking, (Eagles- 30th in total defensive yards allowed, Cowboys- 32nd or last in total defensive yards allowed via NFL.com ) but again, how Dallas approaches its offense and Quarterback situation will be intriguing as to what kind of game plan and strategy it will use against the Philadelphia defense!
Dallas hopes the cliche "third time's a charm" rings true, as mentioned earlier, this will be the third straight year that in the final game of the season the Cowboys have an opportunity to win the NFC East and make the playoffs! This time around Dallas will have home field advantage and considering the circumstances, will take anything and everything that puts them in a better position to come out on top of Philadelphia!
*Note- The Cowboys have played for the NFC East Title each of the last 3 seasons against all divisional opponents! (2011- NY Giants, 2012- Washington Redskins, 2013- Philadelphia Eagles)
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Source(s): (1.) http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tabSeq=2&defensiveStatisticCategory=GAME_STATS&conference=ALL&role=OPP&season=2013&seasonType=REG&d-447263-s=TOTAL_YARDS_GAME_AVG&d-447263-o=1&d-447263-n=1
Image Source(s): (1.) http://mightydamnfresh.com/sports-eagles-vs-cowboys-nfc-east-title-game/watch-dallas-cowboys-vs-philadelphia-eagles-hd-live-stream-20th-oct-2013/