Eagles Get Their First Look At Romo

Both the Eagles and Cowboys had different starting quarterbacks the last time that they faced each other. In somewhat of a twist, the Cowboys have prospered with their rookie backup while the Eagles have rode the arm of a veteran. So, how will the Eagles handle Tony Romo?

The Eagles have turned around their season with veteran Jeff Garcia taking over their offense. The Cowboys made a quarterback change and went with young Tony Romo over veteran Drew Bledsoe. Garcia and Romo have both had success this season and some see similarities in their game. Both are mobile quarterbacks and both have not only shown the ability to scramble away from trouble, but to complete big passes while running for their life.

"I think he's done a nice job. He's a mobile quarterback and he is an accurate quarterback, both in the pocket and on the move. It looks like he has good leadership ability," observed Andy Reid when asked about Romo's season. Of course, Reid could have been talking about Jeff Garcia, who has taken over the Eagles offense by using many of the same abilities. As for Garcia, he's been impressed with his younger counterpart as well. "He's not necessarily a young kid. I think that we've seen some really young players that have experienced some success this year at the quarterback position also. But, Tony Romo is one of those guys who is a quality player. He has definitely taken advantage of an opportunity," said Garcia.

The NFC East has seen three of the four quarterback jobs in the division change this season. The Giants' Eli Manning is the only quarterback in the division who has made it through the entire season unscathed. The Eagles beat the Redskins when they faced young Jason Campbell two weeks ago and look to sweep the season series with Dallas when they get their first look at Romo.

Reid thinks the Cowboys offense is improved since the two teams met in Philadelphia earlier this season. "Their offense is a little bit more efficient and they are very explosive," said Reid.

This is the first time that Reid will coach against Romo, but it won't be the first time that he's seen him. In fact, Reid remembers Romo well, having checked him out as a college player. "He was the player of the year at that level, so I do remember him coming out and he was a good player, a good college player."

So, what type of scouting report would Reid offer on Romo?

"He had a little bit lower release than he does right now and his fundamentals weren't quite as good as they are right now. He's honed in on those and Sean Payton [Saints head coach and former Cowboys assistant] did a great job with him when he had him there. He took special interest in him and Tony worked very hard at working the fundamentals of it. It looks like he has really developed > himself," said Reid.

What else Andy Reid had to say...

On whether it now unavoidable to not talk about the playoffs:
"We're not talking about it. We're talking about the Cowboys. We haven't done anything yet. We put ourselves in a position to do something. We've got to focus everything we got on the Cowboys and not worry about anything else."

On why the offense is balancing out as far as a run-pass ratio is concerned:
"That's kind of a two-way street. Normally when your offense is playing well there are certain things you can do defensively and when the defense is playing well there are certain things you can do offensively. If they are both doing a decent job then things normally balance out. That's how it works and that's how things have gotten."

On whether they took a step towards solving their problems against the run last week:
"The guys did a good job this past week. It's important that they step it up again this week. Dallas has got a heck of a running game. They've got two backs that can tote it pretty well. It's important that our guys concentrate on the things that they're doing and play well."

On how the Cowboys run game is different than the Giants run game:
"There are some different plays, but other than that they are similar in the respect that they have a speed back and they have a power back. Their offensive line might be a little more experienced than what you've got with the Giants."

On whether the way FS Brian Dawkins has played the last three to four weeks is what leadership is all about:
"He's done a great job of stepping up. I mentioned [RB Brian] Westbrook to [the media] last time and Brian has done a nice job, but Dawk has been a consistent leader for us over the time here. When [QB] Donovan [McNabb] went down he even took it up a notch from there."

On what place Dawkins will take in Eagles history when the day finally comes for him to retire:
"He should be a Hall of Famer when it is all said and done. As far as his value, he'll go down as, if not the greatest safety to have played here, surely one of them."

On whether it might be better to be on the road for a game on a holiday:
[Jokingly]"I'll tell you on Tuesday. There are different ways of looking at it, I'm sure. I'm sure that the Cowboys are looking at it one way and we're looking another way. Bottom line is you have to go play. You have to kind of put the distractions aside whether you're at home or away."

On whether he feels a need to address the team about the abnormality of this situation:
"I mentioned it to them this morning. Just that you have to make sure that you have it all situated. Some of the guys have kids and you're going to be leaving your kids and it is not an easy time to do that. You just have to make sure that you have it together and that they understand."

On whether they have a sense of how serious S Michael Lewis' knee injury is and how he will be listed:
"Well, it is sore and it is getting better, but it is sore. We'll just take it day by day here and see how it works out. He is questionable right now."

On who he felt was unjustly left off the Pro Bowl roster:
"I thought both our tackles are playing great football. You mentioned Brian. I think that's the obvious one that everybody sees. He's as fine a running back as there is in the NFL. People go on numbers and instead of whole numbers they go on general, specific numbers."

On whether he has talked to Westbrook about not making it:
"Yeah. It was fine. He's a pro. He's not pouting or anything like that. He takes it for what it is and moves on. He's a first alternate and there's a chance that he still ends up going. But he knows that there are other things that he has to worry about right now."

On how Romo has been able to have the success he has so early:
"He's a smart guy and he's a good athlete. He has a couple good people around him. There are some pretty good players around him."

On whether they go into a game with a set amount of plays for RB Correll Buckhalter:
"Sometimes those things happen. You try to get him certain plays and it worked out in the first half and it didn't work out the second half [against the Giants]. You go back and you say, 'hey, that kid was running like crazy,' so we probably could have given him a few more touches. But you go back and you also look at it and Brian was doing a good job. Both guys were very productive."

On whether Cowboys WR Terrell Owens is more of a threat this time around:
"I think he is getting familiar with the offense. That was a new system for him, going in. He looks a lot more comfortable. I think Tony uses him, or trusts him a little bit more, now that he's been in there for a while. He looks like the same guy I remember as a player."


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