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Why the Cowboys will beat the Eagles
The Eagles are red-hot, winners of their last two games and finally playing like the team everyone expected they would be when they signed half the league’s high-priced veteran free agents back in July. Andy Reid might have saved his job with those wins, Juan Castillo might saved his, and LeSean McCoy may have earned himself a spot on the first-team All-Pro squad. Vegas is high on Philly, too. Following the Eagles’ 31-14 loss to the Seahawks two weeks ago, Philadelphia’s Super Bowl odds were listed in Vegas sports books at 2,000/1. Following Sunday’s blowout of the Jets, their odds were bumped up to 30/1. Yep, everyone’s back on the "Dream Team" bandwagon, gushing like they were back in August when they salivated over the thought of Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel in the same defensive backfield and Ronnie Brown still being able to carry the rock 15 times again. Hey, that’s all well and good.
Enjoy the ride now, though, because it officially ends Saturday in Big D.
The Cowboys are two wins away from an NFC East division crown and control their own destiny. Without the same media love affair that Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady are receiving in their respective cities, Tony Romo’s had one heck of a dream season, too. Romo’s errors have made lots of news this season. Whether it be the collapse vs. the Jets in Week 1, the late-game interceptions against the Lions in Week 4 or the inability to put the Giants away in Week 14 — the media’s focused primarily on the negative.
And that’s a shame. Tony Romo’s had a huge year in 2011. In Saturday night’s 31-15 blowout of the Buccaneers, Romo became the first quarterback in Cowboys' team history to throw for three touchdowns and run for another in the first half of a game. Romo, who made his 75th career start, also passed for 249 yards. His 20,283 passing yards are the third-most for any player in NFL history through his first 75 starts (behind Dan Marino and Kurt Warner). This season, Romo’s made great strides under some precarious circumstances. He’s overcome those rough fourth-quarter collapses to have big games in the weeks that followed, he’s coped with injuries to just about every receiver and running back on his team, and he’s done it all with an incredibly shoddy offensive line. Oh, and he broke some ribs earlier this season. Minor detail.
It know it’s not popular to praise Tony Romo, but the guy’s having a wonderful season. A win Saturday — avenging that early season 34-7 no-show in Philadelphia — might get him some of the respect he deserves.
There’s this sentiment that the Eagles own the Cowboys of late. It’s not how I see it. Two years ago, Romo led the Cowboys to their first playoff win since the Barry Switzer era with a victory over Philadelphia in the wild-card round. And last year, the Cowboys — without Romo — beat the Eagles in Week 17.
I know an Eagles win makes the NFC playoff picture a whole lot more interesting for Week 17. And I know this one’s not going to be easy.
But in a must-win with the season on the line, give me Romo. He’s got nothing to prove to me. He’s done enough already in both his career and this season to show he’s one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
Sunday’s just another game; a game the Cowboys will win over a 6-8 opponent.