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Mailbag: Matching Up With Philly's Defense?


Opposing teams have shown that if they can stop the run, there is a good chance they can beat the Cowboys. If the Eagles sell out and stop the run, is their secondary strong enough to slow down the passing game enough to defeat the Cowboys? - JIM WHATLEY / HENDERSON, TX

David:I don't think so. Yes, the Cowboys prefer to have balance, but this Eagles' secondary is not very good. They give up a lot of catches and a lot of yardage on the perimeter. You can ask Washington's Terry McLaurin about that, given that he went off for 130 yards last week. Obviously, it'd be better if Ezekiel Elliott has some room to run. But I think Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup are more than good enough to take advantage of this secondary.

Rob:The Cowboys are averaging 134 rushing yards a game, sixth best in the league. They're 2-7 this season when they don't reach that number. That's a little misleading because they've gotten behind early and had to pass in some games. But I agree that they've got to establish the run. That's when they're at their balanced best. The Eagles have allowed nine different 100-yard receivers this season and injuries have been a problem for their secondary. But this is the biggest game of the year for both teams and I anticipate the best from both.

First, congratulations to Travis Frederick for being named to this year's Pro Bowl. Is it not a foregone conclusion that he is also the Comeback Player of the Year? Is he eligible? Because if he is, would you all agree that he wins that award hands down? - JOHN WALKER / AUSTIN, TX

David:Frederick is eligible, and you'd have to think he's one of the favorites to win it. There are always other candidates, but most of those guys are coming back from Achilles injuries and broken bones. And while that's commendable, it's not quite the same as bouncing back from a neurological disorder that threatens your ability to walk — let alone play football. I don't get to vote on the award, but there's no doubt I'd vote for Frederick if I could.

Rob: I can't think of a more deserving candidate. Any player who returns from a serious injury deserves a ton of credit. But Frederick was dealing with an illness that seriously impacted his quality of life last year. A lot of credit goes to the Cowboys' medical and athletic training staff, but most of all to Travis for battling back and beating GBS.

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