Patrick Causey is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @InsdeTheHuddle.
The Dallas Cowboys are the team that the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans just love to hate. And for good reason.
The Cowboys have a cast of characters that raise blood pressure in the 215 area code: Jerry Jones. T.O. Emmitt Smith. Troy Aikman. Deion Sanders.
Now, it's Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Greg Hardy – who will miss the game on suspension — and arguably the most underwhelming running back in Cowboys history, Joseph Randle.
Kickoff in the Eagles home opener against the Cowboys is set for 4:25 p.m.
The Cowboys enter the game 1-0, after having their game against the New York Giants handed to them on a silver platter. But they are not at full strength: Hardy, Orlando Scandrick, Randy Gregory and Rolando McClain will all miss the game on Sunday.
The Eagles, meanwhile, come off a disappointing loss to the Atlanta Falcons. It is the Eagles first home game, and is as much of a must-win game as there can be only two weeks into the season.
Earlier this week on Eagledelphia, we wrote about the importance of establishing the run game after their running backs only received 16 carries last week. DeMarco Murray, set to face his old team, says it's just another game, but you just know that he has this game marked on his calendar.
The Cowboys made the business decision to value Bryant over Murray, and Murray should be out to make them regret that decision with hopes of a huge performance on Sunday.
Another key area to focus on is the battle of the lines. The Cowboys enter with one of, if not the, best offensive lines in football. And if the Eagles defensive front seven does not get pressure on Romo, they could be in for a long night. Getting to Romo early and often will be a key to the game.
But the Eagles offensive line needs to play well too. Last week, the two new guards, Andrew Gardner and Allen Barbre, turned in horrible games. Ditto, Jason Kelce. The offensive line needs to rebound and validate Chip Kelly's decision to not draft or sign any new offensive lineman after releasing long time starters, Todd Herremans and Evan Mathis.
Finally, both teams enter with question marks in the secondary. Dallas lost its top cornerback in Scandrick for the season after he suffered a torn ACL, leaving an already weak secondary even weaker. Meanwhile, the Eagles revamped secondary looks is certainly new, but not improved.
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