Inside the Eagles-Cowboys Game

When the Eagles played Dallas in October, they didn't have CB Bobby Taylor or FS Brian Dawkins. Because of that, they didn't do a lot of blitzing. With Dawkins and Taylor back in the mix, expect the Eagles to send extra men at Quincy Carter early and often Sunday.

* RT Ryan Young, who has started eight games at right tackle this season, is practicing at right guard this week. Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said he is trying to create depth at the position, not looking for a replacement for Andre Gurode, who leads the team with seven penalties.

Young, inactive the past two games with an injured right knee, has never played guard.

"I'll try to learn it as quick as I can," Young said. "The plays aren't hard. The technique and terminology are a little bit different. The more you can do, the more useful you become."

* CB Mario Edwards still has his confidence and his swagger, as does the Cowboys defense, almost a week after they were toasted by the Dolphins in a 40-21 loss. Edwards was called for a 30-yard pass interference penalty to open the game, gave up a touchdown to Chris Chambers in man coverage and was in zone coverage on another Chambers touchdown.

"I'm a corner, man," said Edwards, who has started 43 games in his four seasons. "I've been playing the game for a long time. When you're out there, and you're beating guys week in and week out, your time is coming. Every dog has his day. But you just have to shake it off, man, and snap back and be ready to play next week."

He might as well have been speaking about the defense in general. The league's No. 1-rated unit allowed 365 yards to the Dolphins as quarterback Jay Fiedler completed 80 percent of his passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns.

The Cowboys expect to see a similar game plan this week.

"Until you stop it, they're going to keep trying to do it," Cowboys defensive tackle La'Roi Glover said. "Teams have seen us get beat with the deep ball, and they're going to come back with it over and over again until we stop it."

* WR Zuriel Smith has regained his role as the team's primary kick returner with Derek Ross' departure. Pete Hunter will replace Ross as the nickel back. Cornerback Andrew Davison, who has been inactive since signing with the Cowboys on Sept. 17, was promoted to the team's fourth corner.

Davison, who played six games with the Jets last season, played the nickel in college.

"Hopefully it's an opportunity," Davison said. "It's time to go out and help the team and show what I can do."

On the surface it would seem that the Cowboys could take advantage of the Eagles suspect run defense. Philadelphia has allowed a 100-yard rusher in each of the last four games and are giving up an average of 160 over the last seven. However, the Cowboys don't have the running game to exploit the Eagles weakness. Leading rusher Troy Hambrick has 102 yards in the last four games combined.

Dallas lives by the pass and that means that Quincy Carter and company will have to succeed against the strength of the Eagles defense. The Eagles blitz a lot and will finally have a healthy secondary to back them up with cornerback Bobby Taylor and safety Brian Dawkins back from injuries. Carter needs protection and he must make big plays down the field to receivers Joey Galloway, Antonio Bryant and Terry Glenn.

For the Eagles, When they played Dallas in October, they didn't have CB Bobby Taylor or FS Brian Dawkins. Because of that, they didn't do a lot of blitzing. But with Dawkins and Taylor back, expect the Eagles to send extra men at Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter early and often Sunday.

Eagles WR Todd Pinkston vs. Cowboys CB Mario Edwards. Edwards is the soft spot in the Cowboys secondary. Pinkston has a size and speed advantage over him.

LG John Welbourn vs. Cowboy RDT La'Roi Glover. Glover is the Cowboys' best up-front pass rusher. Welbourn is coming off arthroscopic knee surgery.

Eagles CB Bobby Taylor vs. Cowboys WR Joey Galloway. Taylor didn't play very well last week in his first game back from a foot injury. He'll need to pick it up against Galloway.

Eagles QB Donovan McNabb vs. the Cowboys defense. McNabb is playing as well as he has all season, throwing a touchdown pass in six straight games and having his three highest quarterback ratings in the last three weeks. He is facing a Cowboys defense that is still ranked No. 1 in the league but is reeling from a 40-21 blasting by the Dolphins. Miami exploited the Cowboys secondary, particularly cornerback Mario Edwards for big plays through the air. Look for the Eagles to attack the Cowboys deep as well. Edwards has a target on his chest as does nickel cornerback Pete Hunter, who is replacing the departed Derek Ross. The Cowboys have allowed more pass interference penalties than any time in the league so look for the Eagles to go deep in hopes of catching a big pass or getting a flag. The Cowboys must stop the run and put heat on McNabb to help out their beleaguered secondary.

Cowboys linebacker Dexter Coakley, who suffered a partially torn bicep against the Dolphins, said he would play in Sunday's game against the Eagles. "It's not that serious," Coakley said. "I lost about 10 percent of my strength. But it will be okay. We will try to protect as much as we can with a pad."

He is listed as probable on the injury report. Rookie Bradie James, Coakley's primary backup, said he's preparing himself for a heavier load just in case.

Defensive end Greg Ellis has 43 tackles, five stops for losses and three sacks in 10 career games against the Eagles. He had a career-high six pressures at Philadelphia on Sept. 30, 2001 and again at Philadelphia on Sept. 22, 2002, when he had a career-high-tying two sacks.

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