2, meaning nine full days to prepare for this matchup?
Yeah, trouble in Mid-Cities. Folks, there would seem to be a bad moon rising.
So just what's happened to this Cowboys defense? Were they doing this defensively with smoke and mirrors last year? Again, same guys on this defense, right, save Alan Ball replacing Ken Hamlin at free safety, and that can't be considered any worse than a push, and then losing defensive end Marcus Spears four games ago.
Ask, and basically you receive nothing more than I dunnos. Same 3-4 alignment. Seemingly same schemes. Did I mention same players?
Or maybe that's it, stayed the same, didn't get better so got worse, my same conclusion for that 1-7 mess after eight games. Nothing has been added to this defense - that is until Sean Lee emerged in the Indianapolis game. And because of the sameness, maybe these other teams with seven months to study had figured the Cowboys out. Too simple?
That is why give credit to Paul Pasqualoni or whoever might have influenced him to change their ways after Phillips gave way to Garrett. You can tell. More zone defenses. Less gambling with blitzes. Linebackers dropping seemingly deeper into coverage. Saw Anthony Spencer lurking around the line of scrimmage this past Sunday on the nickel, standing up between the tackles sometimes, sometimes rushing, sometimes dropping off.
When asked what's changed over the past month, James says, "We got a lot of schemes now. We're multiple." But when pressed for specifics, he would only say, "It's different different. It's multiple."
Good, it's not the same, because after giving up just 250 yards in the season-opening Washington game they managed to lose, the Cowboys have only held one other opponent to less than 308 yards, and that was Minnesota (188), yet they still lost, 24-21, back when they were figuring out ways to lose instead of like now, figuring out ways to win.
Well, if the pregame chalk holds for Sunday night, meaning the Eagles offense is what it has been and the Cowboys defense is what it has been, then yes, the Cowboys must be ultra-creative to figure out ways to win this game. Just as they were in Indianapolis with two picks returned for touchdowns; or as they were against Detroit with Bryan McCann's 97-yard punt return for a touchdown; or as they were against the Giants with McCann's 101-intercepiton return for a touchdown. And think about it, that 60-yard end-around by Miles Austin for a touchdown was almost enough spice for a victory over the Saints.
Gotta get you something out of the ordinary. Hey, who knows, maybe it will be a full moon rising Sunday night instead.
Because in this one, with that offense and this defense, status quo won't do for the home team.