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The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 20-7 however the Cowboys might have lost more than just the game when in the first quarter starting quarterback Tony Romo left the game with an injury. Romo injured his throwing hand when it hit the helmet of Eagles Jason Babin. Romo was taken to the locker room for x-rays which were negative, but his hand was heavily wrapped.
Romo did return to the game and there was no point to do so since the New York Giants won earlier on Saturday making the outcome of this game meaningless, and making next weeks game a winner take all for the NFC East between the Cowboys and Giants.
Backup quarterback Stephen McGee came in to replace Romo but McGee could not move the offense against the Eagles defense. McGee threw for only 182 yards, had two interceptions and tossed a touchdown pass to Miles Austin with seven seconds left to avoid being shutout for the first time at home since 1991.
Michael Vick and the Eagles offense were able to pass and move the ball at will against the Cowboys defense. Vick was able to keep plays alive with his legs and beat the Cowboys secondary with deep passess all afternoon. On the day Vick was 18 for 32 connecting with eight different receivers with 292 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cowboys now turn their attention to the Giants in an essential playoff game because if the Cowboys win they advance to the playoffs and if they lose their season is over.
The Philadelphia Eagles have extended their lead even farther with another Alex Henery field goal early in the fourth quarter. The Eagles now lead 20-0 and the Cowboys have little to no chance at catching up this point, especially without Tony Romo.
After forcing the Cowboys into another three-and-out, the Eagles took over at their own 41-yard line. After a couple runs from LeSean McCoy and Ronnie Brown and a pass to DeSean Jackson, the Eagles had the ball on Dallas' 33-yard line. On second down, Vick dropped back to pass but was sacked by Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware for a loss of five yards. Brown was able to get those yards back on a third-down carry which put the Eagles back on Dallas' 33-yard line on fourth down.
Henery, Philadelphia's rookie kicker, was able to make the 51-yard field goal, giving the Eagles a 20-0 lead early in the fourth quarter. That was his longest kick on the year. With 20 points to make up and without Tony Romo, the Cowboys are pretty much done for in Week 16.
The Cowboys, without Tony Romo, have been unable to do anything on offense so far in their Week 16 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles in Dallas. The Dallas defense has been able to stop the Eagles from scoring a touchdown so far in the second half but the hole is still getting deeper. After a 43-yard field goal from Eagles kicker Alex Henery, the Eagles took a 17-point lead.
The Eagles were set up by a long tight end screen pass from Michael Vick to Brent Celek. On the first play of the Eagles' last drive, Vick and the Eagles offense set up on their own 41-yard line. Vick dropped back and hit Celek on the screen and Celek was able to take the ball all the way to the Cowboys' 20-yard line for a gain of 39 yards.
The Eagles went backwards five yards after a failed bubble screen pass to Chad Hall, a backwards run by LeSean McCoy and an incomplete pass, but they were still in Henery's range. Rookie kicker Henery sent the ball through the uprights with just over four minutes left in the third quarter.
It has been all Eagles so far in Dallas as the Cowboys trail Philadelphia 14-0 in their Week 16 matchup. The Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs by the Giants, who beat the Jets earlier in New York, so they have been taking their frustrations out on the Cowboys.
After throwing only two passes, Tony Romo had to leave the field with an injured throwing hand after a hit by NFL sack leader Jason Babin. Stephen McGee came into replace Romo and has completed 11 of 14 passes for 91 yards but the Cowboys haven't been able to do anything on offense so far without their starting quarterback.
Both teams went scoreless through the rest of the first quarter and most of the second. With just 10 seconds left Vick found Jeremy Maclin in the end zone for his second touchdown pass of the night to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead.
McGee will have an uphill battle in the second half to get the Cowboys out of a 14-point hole, but, luckily for them, they can still lose this game and play for a playoff spot next week against the Giants in New York.
Rob Ryan's defense simply isn't working against Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick led the Eagles on a six play, 87 yard drive to end the first half, culminating with a five yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Vick's second touchdown pass of the day has given the Eagles a 14-0 lead.
Vick has had his way with Dallas' defense in the first half, completing 13-of-20 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns. LeSean McCoy leads the Eagles in rushing, with 33 yards on eight carries.
Both of Philadelphia's scoring drives so far have been at least 80 yards, with the Eagles needing just eight plays for an 80 yard touchdown drive on the game's opening possession.
Luckily for Cowboys fans, this game is meaningless as it pertains to the playoff picture. The Eagles were eliminated from playoff contention earlier on Saturday after the Giants defeated the Jets. Next week's Week 17 showdown between the Giants and Cowboys will decide the NFC East.
Romo's X-Rays came back negative but the Cowboys will not risk further injury to his throwing hand on Christmas Eve. Stephen McGee will attempt to lead the Cowboys to a win over the Eagles as Dallas trails 7-0 nearing the end of the first half.
There's at least some good news for Cowboys fans on Christmas eve. According to Tim MacMahon, X-Rays on Tony Romo's right hand were negative. Romo suffered the injury after pressure from Jason Babin forced Romo's throwing hand to slam into a defender's helmet, causing a substantial amount of swelling on the back of Romo's right hand.
Romo exited the field and underwent X-Rays on his right hand, but did return to the sideline. Romo's hand has since been taped on the sideline and is almost certainly not going to return to the game against the Eagles. Stephen McGee will take over at quarterback for the rest of the game.
While fantasy owners might be unhappy, there is no reason for Romo to return to this game. The result of this game is meaningless, thanks to the Giants defeating the Jets earlier on Saturday. Dallas' Week 17 game against the Giants in New Jersey will determine the winner of the NFC East.
This isn't the start Cowboys fans wanted to see. First, the Eagles march down the field to jump out to an early 7-0 lead. Then, the Giants defeat the Jets, rendering Dallas' game against the Eagles irrelevant. Shortly thereafter, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo left the game in the first quarter after injuring his right (read: throwing) hand after getting crushed by Jason Babin.
Romo was taken to the locker room following the hit, but has since reemerged on the sidelines and has been throwing warmup passes. Whether or not he comes back into the game is likely a decision to be made by Jason Garrett, and if he wants to risk further injury to Romo in a meaningless game.
Win or lose, the Cowboys will be playing for the NFC East crown next Sunday, on New Year's Day, in New Jersey against the Giants. The Eagles were eliminated from playoff contention earlier on Saturday after the Giants beat the Jets.
So far, Jerry Jones was right to be fearful of the Eagles. Philadelphia marched down the field 80 yards on just eight plays on the first possession of the game en route to an opening drive score. Michael Vick connected with tight end Brent Celek on a 13 yard touchdown pass to cap off the scoring drive.
Vick completed four of six passes on the scoring drive for 56 yards, including a 28 yard pass to wide receiver Riley Cooper.
It's certainly worrisome that the Eagles marched down the field with ease against the Cowboys. Rob Ryan's defense was shredded by the Eagles in their first meeting earlier this year, and it is certainly not off to a good start here on Christmas eve.
Will the Cowboys and their fans lock up a playoff spot for a Christmas present this year? The staff at SB Nation Dallas picks each and every game, including the Jets/Giants and Cowboys/Eagles.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin is another player that had a poor performance against the Philadelphia Eagles back in Week 8. Miles was held out of the end zone and had three catches for 27 yards. In Austin's last two games since he returned from a hamstring injury he has nine receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
Since Austin's return he has reclaimed his status as Tony Romo's top receiver. Austin was targeted 15 times in the past two games with the next closest receiver being tight end Jason Witten who was targeted 10 times during that same stretch.
SB Nation's Fake Teams put Austin as the highest rated Cowboy side receiver this week at No. 10, and numberFire puts Austin one spot higher at No. 9.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten will be looking to bounce back from his poor performance from the last time when he faced the Philadelphia Eagles. In that Week 8 game Witten had only four receptions for 28 yards and it was his second worst performance of this season.
Normally the Eagles are a tough matchup for receivers and tight ends, but with the Eagles down their top cornerback Asante Samuel to a hamstring injury it should open up more opportunities for Witten to redeem himself from his lackluster game he had against the Eagles earlier this season.
Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones is back in the starting running back roll since rookie DeMarco Murray is out for the season with a broken ankle. Jones was the starter prior to his own ankle injury that sidelined him for most of October, however in the last two games when Jones was the starter and rushed for over 100 yards in each game but he did not see the endzone in those games.
Normally, Jones would be a no-brainer to start but he only practiced on Thursday and that was on a limited basis, however Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones said he would be "surprised" if the Jones does not play:
"It would surprise me if Felix does not go," Jones said, per the Dallas Morning News. "That would surprise me. On the other hand, it would be madness not to recognize he hasn't practiced this week, so you better have another plan in place.
"The point is these things are something that you gauge that has anything to do with how much he exerts and then how he feels after the exertion. He did it yesterday, he's doing that today. We'll have a much better feel at game time tomorrow on just how much he can get."
The official Cowboys injury report lists Jones as questionable with a hamstring injury.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has been on fire the past two weeks by throwing for seven touchdowns and 580 yards. In fact Romo has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks for fantasy this year and has thrown for two or more touchdowns in six of his last eight games.
One of those single touchdown games came against the Eagles back in Week 8 and that game against the Eagles which was one of Romo's worst outings of the year where he only threw for 206 yards as well as tossing one interception. However, this week the Eagles are missing stating cornerback Asante Samuel who is out with a hamstring injury, and that could open things up in the passing game for Romo to have a good game.
Asante Samuel is out for the Saturday game between the two teams, thanks to a hamstring injury. That may spell trouble for Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who will have to deal with Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and Laurent Robinson.
OUT: CB Asante Samuel (hamstring).
QUESTIONABLE: DT Trevor Laws (knee).
The Dallas Cowboys face the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday in one of the most important games of Week 16. The NFC East duel may be short a few important Cowboys; at least, they won't be at peak condition.
DeMarcus Ware, Felix Jones, and Laurent Robinson are all listed as questionable for Week 16's tilt with the Eagles, with all three players still dealing with nagging injuries. Of the three, Jones' may hurt Dallas the most, considering his backup, DeMarco Murray, is out for the rest of the year, leaving the Cowboys dangerously thin at running back.
Here's the rest of the Cowboys injury report for Week 16:
OUT: WR Andre Holmes (hamstring), DT Josh Price-Brent (knee)
The Cowboys do expect Felix Jones to play on Christmas Eve against the Eagles, but with only Sammy Morris – who has only been playing football this year for two weeks – behind him, they decided to add a little depth by signing Chauncey Washington off of their practice squad.
Washington has been bouncing around practice squads and getting a few carries here and there since 2008. He was also with the Cowboys in 2009 and was added to the practice squad three weeks ago after depth issues at running back started to crop up. Guard Brandon Loper was released to make room on the active roster. Loper had not made a 45-man game day roster yet this season.
With this week's closing of the Pro Bowl Balloting, a lot is being made of the fan's impressions of who is putting in that work on the field. What better time to revisit the individual player power rankings!
I'll attempt to slot the Top 25 players based on several factors: overall career performance, season performance, recent performance and probably most importantly, overall worth to the team. Again, these are completely subjective, but to balance that out, I'll include their Pro Football Focus cumulative grades. PFF breaks down film of each play for every player in the NFL and assigns it a grade ranking from -2.0 to +2.0. A players individual grade is the accumulation of every snap he's taken for the 2011 season.
Here's a look at one man's opinion on the pecking order inside the Dallas circle and at the dinner table. Who deserves the big piece of chicken?
|Position||Player||Prev. Rank (Week 14)
||PFF Cumulative||2011 Snaps||PFF Position Rank||Note|
|1||Tony Romo||1||+11.4||927||8 (QB)||22 TDs and 4 INTs since the Lions game. Masterful.|
|2||Tyron Smith||7||+18.7||944||2 (OT)||The best rookie tackle since Jake Long|
|3||DeMarcus Ware||2||+24.4||792||5 (3-4OLB)||Stinger is hurting him, but when healthy he's the best.|
|4||Jason Witten||3||+7.2||944||8 (TE)||Tough year in blocking for The Senator.|
|5||Jay Ratliff||4||+13.5||661||13 (DT/NT)||Rib injury hurting, but still a monster in the middle.|
|6||Sean Lee||5||+9.1||755||16 (ILB)||Get Chuck Norris some help in the middle, please.|
|7||Dez Bryant||6||+10.0||679||10 (WR)||One of the most gifted athletes in the league, how hard is he working to improve his routes?|
|8||Miles Austin||9||+2.8||444||35 (WR)||Getting ready to return to elite threat.|
|9||Felix Jones||18||+6.2||322||25 (HB)||Showing first round talent, but dinged up again.|
|10||Laurent Robinson||11||+5.2||510||21 (WR)||Best FA scrap-heap pickup in team history?|
|11||Mike Jenkins||15||+1.7||524||38 (CB)||Quietly having resurgent year amidst numerous injuries.|
|12||Anthony Spencer||10||+10.6||815||10 (3-4OLB)||No respect Anthony.|
|13||Sean Lissemore||12||+13.0||253||6 (3-4DE)||Lisssssyyyyy! This year's Stephen Bowen.|
|14||Gerald Sensabaugh||13||+3.8||872||12 (S)||Had a couple questionable performances since contract.|
|15||DeMarco Murray||8||+9.4||390||17 (HB)||Sorely missed, would have given Dallas best back combo?|
|16||Jason Hatcher||16||+6.2||362||13 (3-4DE)||Hit or miss 3-4 DE|
|17||Dan Bailey||17||+15.2||N/A||17 (K)||The return of Mr. "Split'Em"?|
|18||Montrae Holland||19||+8.0||587||16 (OG)||Lumpy Returns and performs admirably.|
|19||Victor Butler||NR||+5.6||212||14* (3-4OLB) [not enough snaps]||Doing well in subbing for injured Ware.|
|20||Kyle Kosier||24||-1.0||950||33 (OG)||We thank you for your service, but will be looking elsewhere.|
|21||Doug Free||25||-3.4||950||31 (OT)||Get ready to return to the right side, Doug.|
|22||Terence Newman||21||-5.2||714||82 (CB)||It's so haaarrdddd… to say good-byeeeeee….|
|23||Tony Fiammetta||22||-6.8||204||29 (FB)||Had a horrible game against the Bucs, cost Felix.|
|24||Orlando Scandrick||23||-1.6||573||52 (CB)||Still trying to explain his early extension.|
|25||Mat McBriar||14||+11.6||N/A||17 (P)||Recent kicks say he's still injured but not letting on.|
Per NFL.com on Samuel's hamstring issues:
Samuel, who sat out the team's first practice of the week, left last Sunday's win over the New York Giants with a hamstring injury and didn't return. Eagles coach Andy Reid said Monday the injury didn't appear serious and indicated the three-time All-Pro would play against the Dallas Cowboys.
Full participants in practice:
Limited participants in practice:
Full participants in practice:
During the Cowboys win over the Buccaneers on Saturday, Felix Jones' hamstring tightened up on him. Jones had tied his career high with 22 carries in the win. Since DeMarco Murray was lost for the year, Jones had 38 carries for 214 yards and nine catches for 54 yards in two games.
Here is the full injury report for the Dallas Cowboys in week 16:
Held out of practice:
Limited in practice:
While the 8-6 Cowboys have a two-game lead over the 6-8 Eagles, the teams are much closer in terms of point differential, with Dallas at +53 and Philadelphia at +31, while the Eagles have dominated two solid AFC East teams with star QB Michael Vick in the line-up in the last two weeks.
For the Cowboys, Saturday's game is a chance to make up for their worst performance of the season, an embarrassing 34-7 loss to Philadelphia on national TV on Week 8.
The Eagles rush defense, ranked 17th in the NFL, is much weaker than their pass defense, rated 10th, which features one of the league's best collection of defensive backs in Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Dallas will depend on Felix Jones, who has stepped up in the absence of rookie star DeMarco Murray, to anchor a strong ground game. Jones, who missed practice on Tuesday with a hamstring injury, has rushed for 552 yards and 1 TD on 4.7 yards per carry this season.
Philadelphia has one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, with Vick, RB LeSean McCoy and WR's DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin all threats to break out big plays at any time, which could be a problem against a Cowboys secondary that has been repeatedly burned in recent weeks.
With two strong offenses going toe-to-toe, the odds-makers have set the over/under for the game at 50.5.
The NFC East title is up for grabs between the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys take on both the Giants and Eagles in the final two weeks of the season. This week the Cowboys take on the Eagles and a win for the Cowboys will eliminate the Eagles from the division title race.
While the Giants need to get pass their in-town rival the New York Jets to set up a winner take all showdown for the NFC East title against the Cowboys. The Giants beat the Cowboys in Week 14 so they hold the tiebreaker and will win the division if both teams finish 9-7.
|New York Giants||7||7||0|
(updated 12.20.2011 at 2:20 AM MST)
According to VegasInsider.com, the Dallas Cowboys are favored to beat the Philadelphia Eagles by 3.5 points when the two teams face in Cowboys Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Cowboys are currently 8-6 and are holding on to the NFC's fourth seed as the top team in the NFC East. If they win out they're guaranteed a playoff spot and if they beat the Eagles and the Giants lose to the Jets they get a playoff spot regardless of what they do in Week 17.
After a terrible start, the Eagles now have a 6-8 record and are, surprisingly, in the hunt for a wildcard spot. They need some help but if they can tie the Giants and Cowboys at 8-8 for the division lead, they would have the tie breaker.
The Dallas Cowboys are gearing up for their Week 16 home game against division archrivals the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Eve. Weekday practices have gotten underway and there is some early news about at least one Dallas player nursing an injury.
On Tuesday, Cowboys beat writer Clarence Hill sent out the following tweet about running back Felix Jones:
Jones had racked up 131 yards in the Week 15 Cowboys win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his third game of the season with 100 rushing yards or more. Head coach Jason Garrett stated that holding Jones out for the practice was strictly a precautionary measure due to a day-to-day hamstring injury. If he is able to practice the rest of the week he will be good to go for Saturday's game.
The Cowboys can eliminate the Eagles from playoff contention with a win on Saturday, and can clinch the division title with a win and Giants loss.
Dallas takes a one game lead in the NFC East after New York's upset loss to the Redskins. The Cowboys still have divisional games remaining against both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Giants.
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