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Keys To The Game

Here are the keys to an Eagles win tonight ...

Under Pressure – The Eagles must get regular pressure on Tony Romo. He can not be allowed to sit in the pocket and get into a good rhythm. The defensive line must win some battles up front. The blitz must be effective. Quarterback hurries, hits and sacks will be crucial. In the loss to Dallas last year, Romo didn't get sacked once. He was sacked four times in the game we won.

Sustain Drives – Dallas has a big-play offense, like us. One way to frustrate them is to have long, sustained drives of our own that keep Romo and company sitting on the sidelines. We don't want to just play small ball, but we do need to mix some of that in.

Tackle Well – Dallas has some players that are really tough to bring down. Marion Barber is one of the toughest runners in the entire NFL. Jason Witten is dangerous in the middle of the field. Miles Austin has been dynamic recently when catching passes on the edge and breaking out of tackle attempts. Our linebackers and defensive backs must rally to the ball and make sure tackles. Everyone needs to hustle to the ball.

Limit Mistakes – This is a generic key, but it really is true in situation like this where you have two good teams. In the loss last year there were crucial errors. DeSean Jackson dropped a third-down pass in the red zone that forced a field goal attempt. Defensive backs bit on a pump fake that led to a touchdown. The kickoff coverage unit was sloppy and gave up a touchdown to Felix Jones. Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook had a fumbled exchange on a series where we were driving into scoring territory. We had five penalties.

We won the rematch in part because Dallas was the sloppier team. We had one turnover, but no other major mistakes. We also had no penalties. Dallas had a nightmare game. They had five turnovers. They blew coverages. They had five penalties. If it could go wrong, it did go wrong. That was a good day to be an Eagles fan.

-- Posted by Tommy Lawlor, 7:53 a.m., November 8

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