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Week 13 Preview: Gobble, Gobble

Posted Jul 11, 2014

Perhaps the league's greatest gift to Eagles fans upon the release of this year's schedule is the promise of getting to watch your favorite team on Turkey Day. The Eagles will close out the third quarter of their 2014 schedule with a trip to Dallas for a Thanksgiving tilt with the disliked Cowboys. The Eagles last played on Thanksgiving in 2008 and are 4-1 all-time in Thanksgiving games, having won the last three.

The classic rivalry between the Eagles and Cowboys, meanwhile, enters its 55th season in 2014, coming off a 54th season that certainly delivered.

The first time the Eagles and Cowboys met in 2013 was a knock-down, drag-out affair in which the Cowboys' defense thwarted the Eagles' high-flying offensive attack. A hard hit at the end of the third quarter resulted in a concussion for a struggling Nick Foles, who had the worst game of his pro career, and forced Matt Barkley into his first-ever NFL action. The rookie performed admirably in a pinch and was able to move the offense down the field, but he ended up throwing three interceptions as the Eagles fell, 17-3.

The second time the Eagles and Cowboys met produced a much more memorable game, which served as the de facto NFC East championship game. Tony Romo was unable to play because of a back injury, but backup Kyle Orton stepped in and nearly piloted the Cowboys to an improbable victory. The game was close throughout, but the Eagles were able to squeak out the 24-22 win on the heels of Cary Williams' pass breakup on a late two-point conversion attempt and Brandon Boykin's interception of Orton on the final drive.

A Cowboys defense that was one of the league's worst in 2013 lost future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware as a salary cap casualty and Jason Hatcher to free agency. The team hopes former Chicago Bear Henry Melton (coming off an ACL injury), Terrell McClain, Jeremy Mincey and second-round pick Demarcus Lawrence can help fill the void along the defensive line. However, linebacker Sean Lee, who was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after the Dallas win in 2013, is lost for the season after tearing his ACL in Organized Team Activities.

Romo is expected to be fully recovered from back surgery and ready for Training Camp, and the offense, which was one of the NFL's most efficient in 2013, will come back with essentially the same cast.

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