Posted Sat Jan 9th by Monty
Previewing, breaking down, and picking the winners of this weekend’s playoff action. Your picks and game discussion in the comments.
The Story: An interesting juxtaposition of playoff histories will see the field tonight: the Dallas Cowboys haven’t won a playoff game since 1996, while the Philadelphia Eagles are 7-0 under Andy Reid in the opening game of a playoff berth. Things will have to change dramatically from last week for that to happen, though: the Cowboys and Eagles played for the division title in Philadelphia, where Dallas dominated Philly 24-0 and now aim for the fabled three-game season sweep of their heated rival.
The Breakdown: The Eagles laid an egg last week partly because the Cowboys were able to shut down DeSean Jackson (three catches, 47 yards), but mostly because they never got their ground game going. They only rushed 10 times, a stat that will have to change as the Cowboys boast Marion Barber and Felix Jones, who both ran for 91 yards last week against them. The Cowboys are hot because of their defense and running game, but, above all, they’re hitting their stride because QB Tony Romo is playing excellent football. He was named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Month for December — unfathomable considering the knocks against him over the past several late season slides — and now will try to get January’s Monkey off his back.
The Pick: I expect the expertly-coached Eagles to get off to a fast start and the Cowboys to stumble a bit. These things happen when you know how to handle the pressure, and your opponent doesn’t. But Dallas is playing too good a game of football to be denied for long. Cowboys 27, Eagles 20.