A Circus Of Many Rings

about these two teams? The Eagles have beaten three teams - Green Bay on Monday night, Houston and San Francisco. Whoop-de-do. All three teams own 1-3 records, for a combined total of 3-9. Even less impressive was blowing a second-half lead at home to the Giants for their only loss, thus losing to what's now a 1-2 team. 

The Cowboys have beaten Washington and the winless Tennessee Titans. Their combined record now is 2-6 - not much better. They have lost to Jacksonville, which at the time seemed to be a creditable loss after the Jaguars beat Pittsburgh the following week. But now, the Jags are 2-2, last losing to Washington in overtime. So who knows? 

"It will be bigger than last week," says Cowboys veteran nose tackle Jason Ferguson, who knows the circus which came to town following what turned out to be Owens' accidental overdose was quite large in itself. 

Now the talk about Philadelphia's offense already has begun. Yep, the Eagles lead the league averaging 426.5 yards a game. Their 117 points in four games is second by four points to the NFL-leading Colts. 

The healed and obviously emotionally-rejuvenated McNabb is the NFC's QB-rating leader at 106, behind only the renowned David Carr (108.9) and Damon Huard (106.9) in the NFL. And Brian Westbrook, who didn't even play Monday night, leads the NFL in scoring among non-kickers with 30 points. 

Pretty heady stuff for the Cowboys to worry about, but then, I'm guessing Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells, who already set the tone this week by saying he "needs a little more" from several players and that he told his team on Monday, specifically the younger guys that "there are enough jobs to go around if some of you guys would just step up," won't tell them this: 

The four defenses the Eagles played to carve out this No. 1-offensive ranking heading into just Week 5 of the season (Houston, the Giants, San Fran and Green Bay) are ranked 32, 27, 24 and 31, respectively. Should be nothing to shudder over come Sunday afternoon. 

And get this, the Eagles are but the 21st defense, and the only offense they've played ranked higher than 12th is New York's, and, ta-dah, they lost that game to the No. 2-ranked Giants. 

Now the Eagles do have to deal with the No. 5 defense, your Dallas Cowboys, who have managed to hold two of their three opponents to no more than 14 points and no more than 245 yards of offense. And even in their only loss, Jacksonville gained just 307 yards and was helped along by two turnovers to its 24 points. 

And while the Jacksonville offense now is ranked just 18th, and Tennessee a woeful 27th, Washington, by the way, after Sunday's performance has moved up to No. 3, behind only Philly and the Giants. 

Come again? The NFC East with the top three rated offenses in the NFL, with only New England and Indianapolis breaking up a top-four sweep since the Cowboys are sixth? 

So see, this should be quite a game for the Fox national doubleheader television audience, with Buck and Aikman on the call, to witness. And it doesn't have everything to do with Owens making his return to Philadelphia in a Dallas Cowboys uniform. 

That's just the Tabasco on this football jambalaya. 

"There is nothing that says it's a small game," says veteran kicker Mike Vanderjagt, who has kicked only twice in Philadelphia but not yet at the Eagles' three-year-old Lincoln Financial Field. "It just gets your blood flowing. There are millions of people who would like to be on the sideline for a Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles game, much less in a uniform." 

Let's get it on, and as former San Francisco and Owens coach Steve Mariucci recently said on the NFL Network,  

"I just can't wait for the game and talk about who won. I'm going to dread this week with all of the distractions that are going to go on. I just want to see the game . . . let's play some ball." 

Step right up, no playbills really needed.                     

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