— If Jason Garrett beats the Eagles after beating the Giants in New York and the Colts in Indianapolis, would that be enough to lock up the Cowboys job for next year? My guess is no. The Cowboys job is THE job in the NFL. Jerry Jones could get almost anybody to take it.
Has Jason Garrett turned the team around? Yes. You can see it within the first 10 seconds of watching practice. What was once nothing more than a jog through on Fridays under Wade Phillips, is now a crisp, well organized practice that is getting results.
But, will a win over the Eagles, a team the Cowboys beat three times last year, lock down the job? NOT IN BIG D! With a possible work stoppage ahead, NFL fans will need to be extremely motivated to buy advertising, tickets and luxury boxes. Will Dallas fans be significantly excited by Jason Garrett to turn those wallets inside out? Not yet, but he is starting to get their attention.
Beating the Eagles will help, but with Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher out there, Jerry will do a little shopping first.
1) Mike Vick is second only to Tom Brady in the MVP race. Brady has a higher QB rating and his team has the best record in football, but Vick has a comparable rating and is the leading rusher amongst QBs again. The Patriots will have a great challenge against the Bears in Chicago, and Dallas' defense should allow Vick some big play opportunities. Vick could level this race by the end of the night.
2) The Eagles defense has to stop the run. If the Cowboys can continue to run the ball on first and second down the way they have, the Eagles blitz scheme will not be as effective. The Eagles money down is third and long, but the Cowboys have been avoiding those situations lately with a strong running game. Jon Kitna has benefited, and his numbers have improved in the last four weeks. Plus, without Asante Samual, the Eagles turnover machine has stalled. Nobody has more interceptions than Samual's 36 over the last five years.
3) The Cowboys defense led them to the playoffs last year, allowing just 15.9 points per game, only the Jets were better. This year the Cowboys are allowing 28 points per game and only the Arizona Cardinals are worse. DeMarcus Ware has 9 1/2 sacks, but Anthony Spencer has not produced the way he did last year and the secondary has not been nearly as effective. The Cowboys running game has also failed for most of the year. The Cowboys averaged 4.8 yards per carry in 2009 and just 3.9 this year. With the return of Kyle Kosier the Cowboys offensive line is finally what they thought it would be and is healthier than it has been all year. If the Cowboys win, it will be because their offensive line dominated the way the did last year against the Eagles. The Cowboys swept the Eagles last year 3-0.
Come back to FootballPros.com after the game and we will break it down together.