IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have faced three Eagles quarterbacks in the Chip Kelly era the last two seasons: former starter Nick Foles, who's now in St. Louis, current backup Mark Sanchez and former backup Matt Barkley.
So what makes new starter Sam Bradford a good fit in Kelly's up-tempo scheme, which relies on quick, precise throws and an element of mobility?
"He's got an elite arm – he's really accurate, can make all the throws that you ask a quarterback to make in this league," Kelly said. "He's a very good decision maker, processes things very quickly. He has a quick release and will stand in there and throw it, has a toughness about him. Just have been really happy with Sam."
The Cowboys have faced Bradford once previously in a 2013 over St. Louis, in which he completed 29 of 48 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.
In Monday's season-opening loss to Atlanta, Bradford had 52 pass attempts – the second-highest single-game total of his six-year career – and completed 36 of them for 336 yards and one touchdown.
The second of Bradford's two interceptions came on the Eagles' final drive, trailing 26-24 with just over a minute remaining, when his pass over the middle bounced off Jordan Matthews' hands and into the waiting arms of the Falcons' defense. Despite the late-game miscue, Bradford nearly led Philadelphia back from a 17-point deficit.
The 52 pass attempts were partially a product of circumstance. But even with DeMarco Murray now in the Eagles' backfield, Kelly and Bradford will test defenses downfield with receivers such as Jordan Matthews and Miles Austin and tight ends Brent Celek and Zach Ertz.
"It's been a good offensive football team and a big part of their offense has been running the football," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. "And they're in the shotgun a lot, they spread you out, they run the ball a lot of different ways with a lot of different guys, and their scheme is challenging, their players are challenging and it's certainly something we have to be our best at in defending when we go out there Sunday."