NFL

Three things the Eagles must do to beat the Cowboys

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Throw out the numbers for this one. Sure, the Eagles have never lost on Thanksgiving (they’re a perfect 5-0). And sure they have identical 8-3 records and are vying for bragging rights in the NFC East. But this one won’t be decided by statistics.

Through all the history, hatred and analysis one thing has never been more true for the Eagles — after beating up on he NFL’s cupcakes all year, it’s time to beat a contender.

Stop Dallas on all phases

The Cowboys are truly a balanced squad. And trying to make them one dimensional (by shutting down either the run or the pass) could prove problematic..

The best running back in football plays for Dallas, DeMarco Murray, led by an over-achieving but very hot offensive line. And then there’s Tony Romo and his many weapons.

“They’re very balanced and they’ve got some outstanding receivers in [Dez] Bryant and [Jason] Witten and the rest of the group there,” Chip Kelly said, “so it’s not like you can say, ‘Hey, if we can stop this, we’ve got a pretty good shot in this game.’”

Get the rush on red-hot Romo

Tony Romo is in the midst of perhaps the best season of his career as Cowboys quarterback. The signal-caller has a QB rating over 111 and has 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions — his best ratio ever.

“He’s really hot,” Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis said. “You don’t see any signs of the [back] injury. He’s moving around well. He’s still got that knack for escaping when you do get there and then looking downfield and making plays.”

Stop giving up the ‘big play’

The Eagles have one glaring weakness above all others, and it’s killed them in their three losses this year (and has nearly cost them in some of their wins.

That weakness of course, is their vulnerability to the ‘big play.’

Philly has allowed 63 big plays this year (gains of over 25-yards), and they lead all of football, having allowed 30 big-passing plays. The Cowboys are third in the league offensively with 65 big plays.

“We haven’t gotten it done yet,” Davis said, “but that’s a focus that we have to get done.”

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