John Madden
John Madden
Throw out the records on MNF
By John Madden
ALLMADDEN.com

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
This game is one of those games you say you can throw out the records! When Bill Parcells took this job, the first thing he had to figure out was how do you win your division: How do you go about beating the best team in the division and that team is the Philadelphia Eagles. You have to say he is a great coach and beating the Eagles is something he has been working on since taking the job. These games are the games that he prepares for and I think coaches better than any other games.

The problem with the Dallas Cowboys is their playmakers are the wide receivers, that puts all the pressure on Vinny Testaverde to get the ball to the wide receivers because they don't have any playmakers in the backfield. The other part of the equation is that Flozell Adams is the one of the best offensive tackles and Larry Allen is one of the best guards in the game. They can really win match-ups there and if they had a running back who could take advantage of winning those match-ups they could pound the left side of that line.

Jim Johnson, the defensive coordinator, will come after Testaverde because he is not going to take off and run the ball and the team is not a threat to run the ball. That makes it a lot easier to blitz because you can do what they call spot blitzing, that is when you blitz to a point or a spot because you know he will be there or very near that spot. I know that at some point the Cowboys will try to move him to stop that spot blitzing. Anytime you get a play or 10 or 15 yards against the Eagles, you can bet that you are going to get blitzed on the next play. Anytime you get into that red zone you can bet that you are going to see the blitz, not every play but you can be certain that you will see it.

Dallas has had some problems this season against the pass and that was one of the strengths of the last year's defense that finished the season ranked first in the NFL. That area is a vulnerable area for the Cowboys and that is where the Eagles are going to get a lot of plays. The Cowboys not only have to stop all the weapons that Donovan McNabb has, but the defense is going to have to make plays. By plays I mean turnovers and maybe even score some points.

The Eagles don't know if they are going to have a healthy running back but they don't have to have a healthy back to find balance because they have McNabb and he has to be accounted for by the Cowboys in the running game. If you play all your linebackers off the line and run them into coverage every play then you will open up all kinds of lanes for him to hurt you with his feet.

You can hear me with Adam Schein on Sirius NFL Radio on Friday and Monday afternoons on 'Afternoon Blitz' and Sunday mornings on the 'Sirius NFL Tailgate Show'.


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