Game Capsule

The Cowboys look to match last year's win total Monday evening against the Philadelphia Eagles.

KICKOFF: Monday, 9:00 ET

GAMEDATE: 11/14/05

SURFACE: Grass

TV: ABC, Al Michaels, John Madden, Sam Ryan

SERIES: 93rd meeting. Dallas leads the series 52-40. Dallas has faced no team more than Philadelphia and has defeated the Eagles more times (52) than all but two teams (Arizona, 55, and Washington, 54). Dallas and Philadelphia have met in two divisional playoff games and an NFC Championship Game. The Cowboys won 11 consecutive games over the Eagles from 1967-1972, marking the second-longest win streak over one opponent in club history. Dallas and Philadelphia have combined to win 21 NFC Eastern Division titles. Philadelphia has won three of the last four head-to-head battles, but the Cowboys won 33-10 on Oct. 9 at Texas Stadium.

2005 RANKINGS: Cowboys: offense 6th (12th rush, 8th pass); defense 5th (6th rush, 13th pass). Eagles: offense 8th (32nd rush, 1st pass); defense 26th (19th rush, 24th pass).

PREDICTION: Cowboys 27-24

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Eagles need a better effort from their special teams after allowing the Cowboys to start five of 12 possessions in Philadelphia territory in a 33-10 loss in Dallas last month. The Cowboys had just two scoring drives of more than 52 yards, so the Eagles want to force Dallas to put long drives together. Without suspended WR Terrell Owens, Philadelphia also needs other playmakers to emerge on offense. The Cowboys are allowing just 14.6 first downs per game and LB Demarcus Ware has become a pass-rushing threat the Eagles must account for. QB Donovan McNabb moved much better in Sunday night's loss than he had since the season opener, and his ability to buy extra time could prove critical.

FAST FACTS: Cowboys: Coach Bill Parcells' teams are 7-4 in games immediately following a bye week. ... Parcells would pass Paul Brown (170) for ninth place on the all-time wins list with a victory. Eagles: Have a six-game home winning streak against Dallas. ... Running backs have not lost a fumble in 747 carries over the past 38 games. ... Are 8-3 on Monday nights under coach Andy Reid.

PERSONNEL NEWS: Cowboys: As if the Eagles offense isn't struggling enough, it now has to deal with the loss of center Hank Fraley.

Fraley, who has been the starting center for the last five seasons, suffered a torn rotator cuff in Sunday night's 17-10 loss to the Washington Redskins. He had surgery earlier this week and will be out for the remainder of the season.

Eagles coach Andy Reid is considering two replacement options. One is second-year man Trey Darilek. The other is Jamaal Jackson, who was signed earlier this week from the practice squad. Darilek's natural position is guard, while the 6-4, 330-pound Jackson is a center.

"We've felt good about Jamaal since he's been here," Reid said. "He's been banged up a little bit with injuries. But he's healthy now and we feel comfortable he can go in there and play. He's a smart kid. He's big and strong. He would have been our second center this year had he not been hurt. We feel good about him."

There actually isn't a big talent dropoff between the overachieving Fraley and Darilek and Jackson. But Fraley made all of the line calls, which is going to put the Eagles' line at a disadvantage against the Cowboys' blitzing 3-4 defense Monday night.
Eagles: --C Jamaal Jackson, who was signed off the practice squad earlier this week, could be the team's starting center Monday night against Dallas.

-- DE N.D. Kalu, who injured his shoulder last week, was downgraded to doubtful Thursday. He isn't expected to play Monday night against Dallas.

--DE Trent Cole likely will get his first start Monday night. The fifth-round rookie will replace injured N.D. Kalu at right end if Kalu can't play. Cole had a sack and a forced fumble last week.

--TE L.J. Smith didn't practice Thursday and remains listed as questionable with a concussion. But coach Andy Reid is optimistic that he'll play against Dallas.

--CB Rod Hood, the club's nickel corner, has some inflammation in his left heel that limited what he could do in practice Thursday. But he is listed as probable for Monday night's game.

INSIDE THE CAMPS: Cowboys: One of the biggest focuses of the second half of the season for the Cowboys is finding a way to continue to protect quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

As coach Bill Parcells predicted before the season, when Bledsoe is protected, he will make plays.

He wasn't protected in Buffalo the last three years, getting sacked 140 times. It showed in his play and was the main reason many critics thought he was done.

The Cowboys have been giving Bledsoe time to throw and he has thrived. He is on pace to set a team record for passing yards in a season. He has a career high 97.4 passer rating.

He has simply been the team's most valuable player in the first half of the season.

Protecting Bledsoe will remain a challenge because of the inexperience the team has at tackle.

Right tackle Rob Petitti is a rookie and left tackle Torrin Tucker is an injury replacement for the sidelined Flozell Adams.

But while Pettiti remains a work in progress, the Cowboys like what they have seen for far from Tucker, who has been a more than adequate replacement for Adams so far.

The Cowboys say Tucker's play has been one of the biggest surprises of the first half.

Considering his performance as a failed starter at right tackle last season and his nearly being cut in training camp because of early struggles, Tucker's play is more shock than surprise.

"I spent a lot of time with Torrin and some of it wasn't pleasant," Parcells said. "Some of it has been threatening over the years. I call him 'El Gato' because he has nine lives."

Parcells never gave up on Tucker, partly because of a conversation he had with the player's mother during the summer.

Parcells said she was very supportive of what "I was trying to do with her son, and I kind of looked at him in a different light from that point on."

Now Tucker is headed in the right direction.

"I'm not relaxing around him, but I think he's getting ready to cross the line," Parcells said. "And when I see that, then I turn from being a guy that's always on your case to one that's trying to encourage him to go further, because he's now making progress. I think he has a chance to be OK."

Eagles: As if the Eagles offense isn't struggling enough, it now has to deal with the loss of center Hank Fraley.

Fraley, who has been the starting center for the last five seasons, suffered a torn rotator cuff in Sunday night's 17-10 loss to the Washington Redskins. He had surgery earlier this week and will be out for the remainder of the season.

Eagles coach Andy Reid is considering two replacement options. One is second-year man Trey Darilek. The other is Jamaal Jackson, who was signed earlier this week from the practice squad. Darilek's natural position is guard, while the 6-4, 330-pound Jackson is a center.

"We've felt good about Jamaal since he's been here," Reid said. "He's been banged up a little bit with injuries. But he's healthy now and we feel comfortable he can go in there and play. He's a smart kid. He's big and strong. He would have been our second center this year had he not been hurt. We feel good about him."

There actually isn't a big talent dropoff between the overachieving Fraley and Darilek and Jackson. But Fraley made all of the line calls, which is going to put the Eagles' line at a disadvantage against the Cowboys' blitzing 3-4 defense Monday night.

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