FRISCO, Texas –As bad as things looked last Sunday in Atlanta, the road hasn't gotten any easier for the Cowboys.
And they're even at home for the next 25 days.
But injuries on defense, especially to linebacker Sean Lee, will make this week's challenge even tougher for the Cowboys, who welcome the Eagles, who have the NFL's best record at 8-1.
They also have the most explosive offense with arguably the best young quarterback in the league in Carson Wentz.
Yes, it appears to be an ever tougher matchup for a Cowboys team that lost 27-7 last week in Atlanta. But don't expect anyone on this defense to back down.
"It's a chance for us to shine, that's the way I look at it," said rookie cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who admitted he's not too familiar with the Cowboys-Eagles rivalry. "It's not really about that for me. I'm sure there's some history there. But they're a really good team and we have to play well against them. They have a great offense. That's really all that matters. But I'm looking forward to it."
One player who might have an expanded role this week is linebacker Anthony Hitchens, who would move to the weak-side spot if Lee can't play. Regardless what side he lines up on, the veteran linebacker is expecting a physical matchup.
"That's always the case with division games, especially with the Eagles," Hitchens said. "Overall, the focus is what we can do and that's get better as a defense and better as a team. The task will be tough for us. But I'm looking forward to it."
The Cowboys as players might be looking forward to facing the Eagles, but the defensive coaches might not be as excited to face this Wentz-led offense that ranks first in many statistical categories in the league.
One of the those stats is points scored as the Eagles have put up 267 points. The Eagles also lead the league in big plays, with 137 of at least 10 yards or more.
Wentz leads the NFL in touchdown passes with 23 and ranks third in the league in QB rating at 104.1.
"He's ballin' … it's evident. He's a really good quarterback," said defensive tackle David Irving of Wentz. "You have to be able to get after him. But with every team, we have to stop the run. We have to control the game up front. We need to make them one-dimensional just like any other team. If they can run and pass on us. It'll be a really hard day."
The Cowboys just had one of those on Sunday. While it might hard to think an even tough task is awaiting them, that's the way it appears on paper, and in the standings.
The Eagles have a three-game lead on the Cowboys and could virtually bury them in the division lead if they can extend it to four games with six to play.