Everything can be had. Anything can happen.
This 6-8 Philadelphia Eagles team is a statistical anomaly that is all to familiar with beating itself.
The Dallas Cowboys will come into today’s game dealing with their own issues, though. As a football team, they have reached their pinnacle. There is no getting better. This is the team they are. They went head-to-head with the Patriots in Week 6, which is an eternity ago in football. To give you a frame of reference, the Eagles were sitting at 2-4 heading into a bye week, following a win against the Redskins.
Dallas was in that Patriots game until they decided it would be a good idea to give Tom Brady the ball with two minutes and 31 seconds left.
They were in that Arizona game, too… until Jason Garrett decided to ice his own kicker.
Oh, and that Giants game.
Notice a pattern?
They are a team that comes up small in big moments. Their poor coaching has given this all hype Eagles team a fourth chance. Tony Romo is still that guy who sat on his ass in Seattle– heads in hand. Somebody who couldn’t make it work with Jessica Simpson, but had his wide receiver cry over him. He played hide-and-go-seek at his bachelor party… A star NFL quarterback searched for other grown men at a party designed to mark his exit from single life. Searched… other grown men.
This isn’t Aikman, Smith and Irvin.
This is Romo, Jones and Bryant going against an Eagles team who have finally put together back-to-back weeks of strong play (withstanding the Andy Reid bye week statistical anomaly).
That Eagles team you saw on Sunday was built to play that way. Get out to a quick lead with an explosive opportunistic offense, and let your “fastballs” go to work. This defense can look real good when its only playing half the game and can key-in on the pass. We finally saw something new out of Castillo’s defense– he moved his players around on the field, blitzed more and completely confused another team’s offense. Feliz Navidad, Juan.
He moved Jason Babin off the line and had Casey Matthews looking like he belongs in the NFL (editor’s note: eh?). I have been hard on Matthews for his play from day one, but I’m happy he has found his role as a nickel linebacker.
Working at WIP, I am privy to some information that isn’t always for public consumption. What happened on that day when a fan made Casey Matthew’s fiancée cry… well, um, she had good reason. Let’s leave it at that.
This offense has re-found its tight end, Brent Celek. Andy Reid may have reinvented the wheel when it comes to the passing game, but you’ll always need that axel. Celek is able to go out into patterns because the offensive line has finally come together. Give Howard Mudd the credit for that one. And Jason Peters isn’t just an announcer’s talking point, anymore. He is playing like the player the Eagles traded for.
Most people will judge an offensive lineman by how often you hear their names– Danny Watkins is starting at guard, by the way.
So there you go. Everything is in place for a late December run.
I’m still afraid to completely hop on, because I’ve witnessed 13 weeks of inconsistency. But it’s Christmas– let’s stomp on Dallas.
Follow Adam on Twitter (@adamreigner)