Eagles-Cowboys: 3 things to watch

This is the last chance (well, not mathematically) for the Eagles to save the season and contend for the NFC East title. Here’s what to look for when the Eagles host the Cowboys Sunday (4:15 p.m., FOX) at Lincoln Financial Field:

1. Keeping everyone in line. The Eagles are down to one projected starter along the O-line, Evan Mathis. After surrendering seven sacks last week — and losing Todd Herremans — everyone is under the microscope. They’ve had less than a week to practice together, not a good sign for a unit that was truggling before Herremans went down. The Eagles should lose the empty-back sets and keep tight ends in to block … they should, but will they?

2. You must respect this house. Todd Bowles’ defense, especially the secondary, has been shredded over the past two weeks (246 yards vs. ATL, 231 yards vs. NO), with a lot of that the direct result of sloppy tackling. A few Eagles admitted that opponents think they’re soft and “don’t want to hit nobody.” That should inspire them, right?

3. Don’t forget about Witten. Dez Bryant (when he feels like running routes) might be the most explosive weapon the Cowboys have, but when the game tightens up Tony Romo will be looking for his beefy tight end. Jason Witten has averaged 63.4 yards and scored seven TDs in 17 career games vs. Philly. This could be the perfect assignment for Mychal Kendricks to redeem himself. mike greger

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