RIVAL NEWSPAPER: Birds’ top-ranked rushing game vs ‘Boys top-ranked rushing defense

head2head - Dallas Cowboys run defense vs Philadelphia Eagles run game - The Boys Are Back

head2head - Dallas Cowboys run defense vs Philadelphia Eagles run game - The Boys Are Back


The pass-happy Eagles find themselves in an unusual position: They lead the  NFL in rushing.

Behind LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick, the Eagles have rushed for 170 yards  per game and 5.7 per carry, both highs during the Andy Reid era.

Their quality on the ground, though, will be tested Sunday against the  Cowboys’ defense, which ranks first in the league in yards per game (allowing  just 69.7 yards per contest) and second in yards per carry (3.3).

“They’re big, strong, physical guys up front. I include the two outside  linebackers in that. And then the two inside linebackers, when they’re in their  base personnel, run around and make plays,” coach Andy Reid said Friday.  “They’re excellent football players. And when their safeties get involved in the  box, their safeties are good tacklers and physical.”

But the Eagles have an excellent player themselves in McCoy, whose 569 yards  rushing rank seventh in the league.

The bigger test might be Reid’s willingness to stick with the run, especially  if McCoy does not get on track early. Against the 49ers, Reid came in with a  pass-heavy game plan and McCoy got only nine carries, even though the Eagles led  most of the game.

“We’re going to run the football. That’s what we do,” Reid said. “We’re not  going to stop running the ball.”

That hasn’t always been the case, but this year the Eagles’ 180 rushing  attempts are more than the team has had through six games in any other year in  the Reid era.

Last season, sticking with the run worked against the Cowboys. In the first  meeting between the teams, in Dallas, McCoy had six runs for just 15 yards in  the first half. He got 10 carries in the second half, though, and turned them  into 134 yards.

Tight end Clay Harbor was a key part of the second-half blocking effort that  night. He noted that this is a different Dallas defense, but one that he  believes can be attacked on the ground.

“You’ve got to pick your spots, obviously,” he said. “Watching film, there  are some plays where they have been run on. There’s some plays out there for  us.”

Other teams, he said, have just failed to stick with the run.

“We have one of the best running backs in the league, and I don’t see why we  won’t try to fit him the ball,” said wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

McCoy was coy about the game plan.

“Whatever’s rolling for us, we’ll probably stick with that,” he said.

Running, of course, doesn’t always work. McCoy ran 24 times against the  Giants, gaining 128 yards, and the Eagles still lost that game.

And the Eagles have talented wide receivers who also need to be part of the  game plan.

DeSean Jackson memorably burned the Cowboys for 210 receiving yards when the  teams met in Dallas last year. The Eagles starters rested in the second meeting,  the final game of the regular season.

McCoy has had success against Dallas. For his career, he has gained 231 yards  against the Cowboys on 35 carries, a gaudy 6.6 yards-per-carry average.

Will he get a substantial chance to pad those numbers Sunday?

“We’ll find out,” was all he would say.

Courtesy: Jonathan Tamari | Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer | The Boys Are Back blog


2 responses

  1. They’re sitting at 2-4 now. If Dallas puts them in a 2-5 position … they’ll be freaking out! haha That means they’d need to win 7 out of their remaining 9 to have a slim shot at the playoffs.


  2. robert a knight | Reply

    the eagles are one of the most unproffesional cry baby disgraceful teams as a whole out there. love it everytime we spank them. love to see them throw little fits on the sidelines.


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