Game Snapshot

The Dallas Cowboys take on NFC East rival Philadelphia Monday night at Texas Stadium. Here's an in-depth look at both teams headed into tonight's big game. <BR>

KICKOFF: Monday, 9:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/15/04
TV: ABC, Al Michaels, John Madden, Michele Tafoya
SERIES: 90th meeting. Cowboys lead the series 51-38. Eagles have won seven of the last eight meetings with the Cowboys. The lone loss the last four seasons came last October when the Cowboys upset the Eagles in Dallas, 23-21, on a 28-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff with less than a minute left.

2004 RANKINGS: Eagles: offense 12th (24th rush, 9th pass); defense 24th (27th rush, 17th pass). Cowboys: offense 10th (22nd rush, 7th pass); defense 20th (24th rush, 16th pass).

KEYS TO THE GAME: As key as WR Terrell Owens has been, the Eagles need to get their other two offensive start back on track. QB Donovan McNabb has completed just 57 percent of his passes in his last 18 quarters while averaging only 6.80 yards per attempt. And RB Brian Westbrook is averaging 4.07 yards per touch in his last three starts after averaging 5.48 through the first four games. The Eagles hope Westbrook's cracked rib is healthy enough to allow him to carry a full load against Dallas' vulnerable run defense. Dallas will counter by trying to run the ball against an Eagles defense allowing a league-high 4.7 yards per carry. That makes it essential for the Cowboys to keep the game close and avoid trying to come-from-behind against Philadelphia's very strong pass rush.

FAST FACTS: Eagles: McNabb has thrown 11 touchdowns and just one interception in his past five games against Dallas. ... Have won six of the past eight meetings. Cowboys: Lead series 51-38. ... Coach Bill Parcells is 10-8 against the Eagles. Eleven of those meetings were decided by seven points or less.

PERSONNEL NEWS: Eagles: -- TE L.J. Smith was downgraded from probable to questionable and didn't practice Thursday because of a hamstring injury suffered in Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh.

-- RG Jermane Mayberry practiced Thursday and was upgraded from questionable to probable on the club's injury report. Mayberry missed last week's game with a calf strain.

-- PK David Akers didn't practice for the second straight day with a hip injury. But he is listed as probable and is expected to be ready for Monday's game against the Cowboys.

-- DT Sam Rayburn was upgraded from questionable to probable Thursday. Rayburn suffered a minor concussion in a car accident early Tuesday morning. He practiced Thursday and may even start Monday against the Cowboys.

-- FS Brian Dawkins has a bruised forearm, but practiced Thursday and is expected to play Monday night against the Cowboys. He's listed as probable.

Cowboys: -- QB Vinny Testaverde has six interceptions the past two games, giving him 10 on the season to go along with nine touchdown passes.

-- SS Roy Williams is second on the team with 62 tackles. But he has no forced fumbles and no interceptions for a team that is on pace to break the league record for fewest forced turnovers for the season. The Cowboys have five turnovers in eight games. The NFL record is 11.

-- CB Tyrone Williams remains questionable for the Eagles game. He practiced on a limited basis on Thursday but needs to practice with confidence before he will be cleared to play.

-- SS Tony Dixon will play against the Eagles but he may be splitting time with Lynn Scott for the third straight week. Scott is not as athletic as Dixon but he makes fewer mistakes.

INSIDE THE CAMPS: Eagles:In the wake of Sunday's abysmal performance by the Eagles' defensive front seven in their 27-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, defensive coordinator Jim Johnson is mulling over the possibility of making some changes in his starting lineup for Monday night's NFC East battle at Dallas.

Jeremiah Trotter has been splitting time in practice this week at middle linebacker with starter Mark Simoneau. When Trotter has been taking snaps in the middle, Simoneau has been sliding over to the weak side and replacing struggling Nate Wayne.

Also, there is speculation that backup defensive tackle Sam Rayburn may replace one of the club's two starters -- Corey Simon and Darwin Walker. Both have not played well, particularly last week against the Steelers when the Eagles gave up 252 rushing yards.

Asked Thursday who will start at middle linebacker and defensive tackle, coach Andy Reid said, "We'll see. We'll see as we go through this week. It depends on what combination we use. We have different combinations we're putting together according to what (the Cowboys) do. We'll see how it goes. I can't give you a direct (answer) on that."

With their two tackles unable to hold their ground and keep blockers off the linebackers, the Eagles have been atrocious against the run the last several weeks. They have given up a league-worst 4.72 yards per carry this season. That they're still 7-1 is a minor miracle.

When the Eagles acquired Simoneau in a trade with Atlanta last year, the plan was to have him replace Shawn Barber at the WILL linebacker spot. But then they signed Wayne and ended up moving Simoneau inside.

In June, they re-signed Trotter, who earned two Pro Bowl invitations during a previous tour of duty with the Eagles. But with the exception of the Cleveland game three weeks ago when Simoneau was unable to play because of a sprained foot, Trotter has been Simoneau's backup and a special teams standout.

Against the Browns, Trotter registered a team-high 16 tackles, including 10 solos. He was frequently caught out of position in the first half of that game when the Browns rushed for 125 yards. But he played much better in the second half, as the Eagles held Cleveland to 42 yards on 17 carries.

"My outlook on stopping the run has always been playing downhill, physical, man-on-man and just beating the guy in front of you," said Trotter, who is about 20 pounds heavier than the 232-pound Simoneau. "That's what it's going to come down to."

Rayburn had two sacks last week against the Steelers, giving him five for the season. But he suffered a concussion in a car accident early Tuesday morning. Initially listed as questionable, Rayburn was upgraded to probable Thursday and practiced.

Cowboys: Wide receiver Quincy Morgan, who has missed the last two games with a strained hamstring, practiced this week and believes he will be ready to play against the Eagles Monday night.

He said needs a couple of more days of practice to be sure but said he feels much better than he did last week.

Morgan's return will be a welcomed sight for quarterback Vinny Testaverde and the pass offense. Lining up next to veteran Keyshawn Johnson the past two games have been rookies Patrick Crayton and Terence Copper and fourth year receiver Randal Williams. Williams caught the first pass of his career against the Bengals but also had a drop. It all caused Testaverde to be overly reliant on Johnson and tight end Jason Witten.

Coach Bill Parcells welcomes the return of Morgan but said the other receivers are going to have to step up. He said he will continue to play Crayton, Copper and Williams over veteran Dedric Ward, who has been inactive the past two games, because they can do more things on special teams.

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