Looking Ahead

Against the Cowboys last year, Michael Vick was 16-of-26 for 270 yards with two TDs and two picks.

WHAT: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 30, 7:20 p.m. (CST), FOX *
WHERE: *Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia

SERIES: Cowboys lead series 59-45

  • The Real Mike Vick - Last season Michael Vick had reinvented himself as an efficient passer. He really looked the part. But the one-year blowup is a fairly common phenomenon in sports, so the Eagles' success will depend on whether or not he can keep it up. * Free Birds - With money to spend, the Eagles have promised to make a big splash or two in free agency and go for the Super Bowl this year. They could end up in a bidding war with the Cowboys for the services of at least one big-named free agent cornerback, and Philadelphia also has a pretty big trade chip in backup quarterback Kevin Kolb, for whom they are said to be seeking an impact player in return. * TV Stars - Despite their 6-10 finish last season, the NFL schedule-makers again granted the club the maximum of three Sunday Night Football appearances. The Eagles and Cowboys have already met four times on Sunday night, including three times since the primetime contest moved to NBC in 2006. * Creating Momentum - After playing the Eagles, the Cowboys will have five straight games against teams who finished 2010 with a losing record. It would be much better if they could hit that stretch on a high note. Matchup Worth Watching:
    Over the last two years, the one to watch has been Philadelphia wide out DeSean Jackson going against Cowboys corner Mike Jenkins. Jenkins' success against him in 2009 seemed to frustrate Jackson, who engaged in some trash talk on Twitter before the NFC Wildcard matchup between the two teams, when the Cowboys defense again got the best of the Eagles. Last year, it Jenkins' fault when Jackson got loose for what turned out to be a 91-yard catch-and-run touchdown, the play of the game in the first meeting between the two teams, a Philly win at Cowboys Stadium.

Eagles' Draft Review:
First-round pick Danny Watkins, already 27, is expected to be an impact player at guard from Day One, but they also selected 10 other players, probably more than will fit on what is a pretty deep roster already. They chose a safety in Round 2 for the second consecutive year, following up the 2010 choice of Nate Allen by tabbing Jaiquawn Jarrett of Temple, creating a duo that could start together in the not-too-distant future. Two more intriguing names picked up were Oregon inside linebacker Casey Matthews, brother of Green Bay's Clay Matthews, and scatback Dion Lewis of Pitt. Fourth-round kicker selection Alex Henery of Nebraska may have been the most intriguing choice, perhaps signaling the end of David Akers' highly-consistent run in Philly.

Last Meeting: For the third straight year the NFL scheduled the Cowboys and Eagles to close out the regular season against one another, but it didn't create such high drama in 2010. When they met at the end of 2008, a playoff spot was on the line, the Eagles trouncing the Cowboys 44-6. The next year, the matchup was for the NFC East title, with the Cowboys notching their second straight shutout. But 2010 turned out to be a real dud, as the Eagles came in with nothing to play for and benched all their starters, while the Cowboys (led by third-string quarterback Stephen McGee) were just lucky to get the year over with. Narrowly, the Cowboys won, McGee finding Jason Witten for a touchdown in the final minute.

One To Remember:
In a mid-November Monday night matchup between these two in 2005, Philadelphia led most of the game, and appeared to be easily in control late, but the Cowboys ended up winning in shocking fashion. First Drew Bledsoe connected with Terry Glenn for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 3:04 to play, shortening Philly's edge to 20-14. Given the fact the Eagles rushed for 181 yards on the night, it would've made all the sense in the world to force the Cowboys to burn their timeouts by keeping the ball on the ground, but instead Donovan McNabb came out inexplicably firing. On Philadelphia's second play from scrimmage after taking over possession, McNabb looked to his right for receiver Reggie Brown, but his pass was essentially a gift-wrapped interception for safety Roy Williams, who returned it 46 yards for the game-winning touchdown. Making matters worse for the Eagles, McNabb hurt his groin while giving chase, landing on the season-ending Injured Reserve.

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