In the first matchup in Week 7,
This time around, the playing status of Lee and Romo are in serious doubt while
“We have to do it again,” said defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. “They’re better now, because they’ve learned the system. They’ve gotten better and better. Their quarterback, that day, he got banged up or whatever early, and they put in young (Matt) Barkley, so that made a big difference. But no, they’ll be better this time.”
Foles attributed that first matchup, in what was his worst performance of the year, to just not playing well. He said that film was tough to watch back after finishing 11-of-29 for 80 yards and getting forced out of the game in the second half after taking a hit. While crediting the Cowboys for bringing different looks, he said he failed to execute and missed his receivers.
After another week off, Foles returned to action with a vengeance. He threw for more than 400 yards against the Radiers and helped the Eagles score 49 points. Since he returned, the Eagles have gone 6-1 and scored at least 24 points in every game.
“He knows the offense really well and coach (Chip) Kelly’s done a good job with him,” Kiffin said. “He’s reading the coverages really well. It’s quite evident, he’s not throwing many picks. He’s on fire, there’s no doubt about it.”
It also helps him how LeSean McCoy’s played of late, running for 217 yards against the Lions in Week 14 and 133 yards last week against the Bears. The Cowboys’ defense held McCoy to 55 rushing yards earlier this season.
A major component of that was Lee’s presence on the field and his ability to read. Now, that job will belong to
“I know that they’ll rally around him not being there,” Foles said. “A lot of teams when you lose a player like that you’ll rally, because you know you need to up your level even more.”
The Cowboys will need to rely on the other veterans they have on the defensive side to create the same pressure that bothered Foles in the first matchup.
His focus is on containing McCoy once again.
“We’ve just got to continue to contain 25 and don’t let him get loose, because he’s the best running back in the league,” Hatcher said. “He can do some awesome stuff. I saw him do a run in the snow against somebody, I forgot who it was, it was unbelievable. We’ve got our work cut out.”
With Lee, Romo and Sims potentially out and Holloman,
“There are some new faces on the defensive side of the ball that we didn’t see last time,” Kelly said. “Obviously, in the first game, DeMarco Murray didn’t play against us, so that’s different. We just can’t look at them offensively against us the last time and say this is what they are going to do again, because Murray didn’t play. And we don’t know what Romo’s status is.”