The League

Matthew Bonesteel
Dilettante Fan

Matthew Bonesteel

Washington Post Editor and Football Guru

Philadelphia at Dallas, Week 2

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8:30 p.m. Monday
ESPN

Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was sacked 44 times last season, second most in his career. Last week against the Rams, he wasn't sacked at all. He had only three games with at least three touchdown passes last season. He already has one in 2008. The boos from Philly fans were frequent last season. They were absent last week (don't expect that to last).

Yes, McNabb seems to be back, perhaps not to his old, pre-ACL surgery form that had him scrambling all over the field to make plays, but at least back to the quarterback who led the Eagles to four straight NFC title games and one Super Bowl earlier this decade.

Of course, those early superlatives came against a team that ranked 21st against the pass last season.

Quoth Cowboys defensive back Adam Jones, in the Dallas Morning News, "They played the Rams, dude."

Dallas is not St. Louis. The Cowboys held Cleveland's Derek Anderson, a Pro Bowler last season, to 114 passing yards last week. And while Dallas only sacked Anderson once (the Browns often kept six and sometimes seven players in pass protection last week, and Anderson often utilized a three-step drop to get rid of the ball quickly), the Cowboys have retained most of the weapons on a defense that registered 46 sacks last season, third most in the NFL.

Eagles running back Brian Westbrook always has been McNabb's favorite safety valve, and in two games against the Cowboys last season, he touched the ball 57 times (including a 16-rush, 14-catch game on Nov. 4). However, Philadelphia showed it could spread the wealth against the Rams, with eight players catching passes (Westbrook only had two) and three -- rookie DeSean Jackson, Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett -- topping the 100-yard mark.

The Cowboys' defense could get a boost by the return of cornerback Terence Newman (four interceptions last season) from a groin injury.

By Matthew Bonesteel  |  September 11, 2008; 10:00 AM ET  | Category:  Post Gameday Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Eagles 28 Cowboys 24

Posted by: FAB88 | September 12, 2008 10:21 AM

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