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Your Eagles vs. Cowboys Week 9 Preview

It’s the revenge match the Philadelphia Eagles have been waiting quite sometime for. In week two, they were embarrassed by the undermanned Dallas Cowboys in their home opener. Now the Eagles have a chance to prove they’re better than what they put on display against the Cowboys earlier in the regular season.

This time around, both teams look significantly different. The Eagles will likely be without starting left tackle Jason Peters, leaving Lane Johnson to flip sides and fill his spot. Speaking of the left side, Johnson will likely see a whole lot of Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy , who has been on an absolute tear since he returned from his suspension. The Cowboys will also have star wide receiver Dez Bryant back this week as well.

But the biggest difference between the Cowboys in week two and this Sunday night will be their quarterback. Matt Cassel will get the start in place of Tony Romo and he’s failed to make much of an impact. The Eagles defense should be able to force a few turnovers and have their way with Cassel. Now let’s dive a little deeper into some storylines to watch for on Sunday night!

Three Storylines To Watch For

1) DeMarco Murray returns to his old stomping grounds

It’s no secret that Murray’s career with the Eagles hasn’t gotten off to the start that some expected. He’s battled nagging injuries but just doesn’t look like the player we all saw last season. While many expected the drop-off in production, it’s still tough to see it actually happen. But will Murray bounce back on Sunday night when he returns to his former home stadium? It’ll be interesting to see how he performs against his former team in round two.

2) How will the Eagles implement all four inside linebackers?

It’s a great challenge to have but still a challenge nonetheless. Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis will be tasked with trying to implement all four of the team’s impressive inside linebackers. DeMeco Ryans, Jordan Hicks, Mychal Kendricks and Kiko Alonso have all played here and there throughout the season. Yet Sunday night will likely mark the first time that all four of them will be active.

Here’s what Davis had to say regarding the situation at Inside linebacker during his press conference earlier in the week:

“Well, with the nature of the injuries and how they are coming, we need them practicing again to take that first step kind of like LB Mychal Kendricks did two weeks ago. So if they pass the test during the week, then we will be excited about having all four of them up.

Again, we’ll use them as their health allows us to use them; how much and how well they did. We’ll put them in certain packages and see who the healthiest are.

The other factor is when you have those four healthy players, they also have some special teams contributions that they have to do. If, for instance, somebody just covered a kick and is winded from that, we’ll put the other guy in. So, there’s a rotation that’s kind of fluid during the game on their health, stamina, and special teams involvement, which we need a big role from all of them in that also.”

3) Offensive line shuffled around again

Just when the Eagles offensive line was starting to gel, they’ve suffered another injury. Starting left tackle Jason Peters will likely miss Sunday night’s game and that means there will once again be some shuffling around up-front. Lane Johnson will start at left tackle for the first time in his career while Dennis Kelly will get the start at right tackle. It was going to be tough to defend the Cowboys front seven prior to Peters’ injury, now it’ll only be tougher for Philadelphia’s offensive line.

Key Matchup To Watch For

Lane Johnson vs. Greg Hardy

If Jason Peters truly won’t be able to play on Sunday night, it’ll be time for Lane Johnson to step up. When the Eagles drafted Johnson in 2013, it was obvious that they believed he would eventually replace Peters at left tackle. Sunday night could prove to be Johnson’s audition for that job. But he’ll have a tough task at hand, considering he’ll spend most of the night attempting to block Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy.

Hardy is known more for his off the field issues than his performance on the field. Yet his ability is what has kept him employed, he’s just that good. As much as it pains me to say this, Hardy is a beast on the field and will likely give Johnson a fit for most of Sunday night’s game. I’ll be genuinely shocked if Johnson manages to shut down Hardy and prevent him from getting a single sack.

Bettor’s Odds

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The Eagles are currently favored over the Cowboys by 2.5 points, according to Covers. It’s somewhat surprising considering what the Cowboys were able to do against the Eagles in their first matchup. But then again they have failed to win a single game this season without Tony Romo. The over/under is set at 44.5 points and I’d personally take the under considering how inconsistent each team’s offense has been as of late.

My Prediction

This truly will be a gritty, grind it out kind of game. Neither team’s offense has been on fire as of late and we’ll likely see a good ol’ fashion defensive battle. If that’s the case, I somehow see the Cowboys making more mistakes than the Eagles. Matt Cassel has coughed the ball up quite a few times and I think Philadelphia’s secondary will get an interception or two. I’ll take the Eagles in a close one on the road.

Final Score Prediction: Eagles 23, Cowboys 17

That’s all for my Eagles vs. Cowboys preview, be sure to check back here at for all of the latest news regarding your beloved Birds and everything else happening in Philadelphia!

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