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McNabb Vs. Romo Determines Winner Here

It is such a beautiful offensive machine when Donovan McNabb is on his game. He has time to throw, he has receivers open, he gets the ball to them in stride and they make big catches and big plays and the Eagles usually roll. Sunday night football is here, and Lincoln Financial Field is going to be rocking tonight and with all of the X's and O's we have discussed all week, Dallas vs. Eagles comes down to what NFL games normally come down to: Quarterback Vs. Quarterback.

In the case of Dallas, Tony Romo is playing some of the best football of his career right now. He is a major, major threat, especially when he has the opportunity to break the pocket, keep a play alive and throw the ball down the field. Sean McDermott has his plan in place. The Eagles, obviously, want to pressure Romo and force him into making mistakes.

I'm here to talk about McNabb, who has thrown 9 touchdown passes and only one Interception this season. It hasn't been easy for him to get to this point. He suffered the fractured rib in the opener at Carolina. He missed a couple of games completely, and then McNabb came back and torched Tampa Bay. The downer in Oakland followed, Then there was a so-so game in Washington.

Last week, McNabb was magnificent. The Eagles had a great mix of run and pass in the first half as they took the commanding lead, and then they ran the ball a lot in the second half. We've been through the run/pass stuff before. The Eagles, like most NFL teams, throw the ball more in the first half as they try to get a lead and put points on the board. If they have accomplished that, they lean more on the run in the second half.

So the Eagles are going to throw the ball around the yard tonight. Great night for it, too. Perfect weather. A great scenario for the Eagles to open the game as they opened it last week against the Giants. Come out and put the Cowboys on their heels and then deliver the knockout blows in the second half.

I see this as a game of adjustments, and I see this as a game of Romo vs. McNabb. The Eagles want to throw the football, as they should. With DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and the weapons the Eagles have, yeah, they should throw the football.

To do so, the scheme has to be in place to protect McNabb and give him time to look at the secondary and try to find some holes. What will the Cowboys do to try to limit Jackson and Maclin? How will the Eagles adjust?

And what does McNabb do to gash the defense? How does he react early in this game, especially as the Cowboys bring their pressure packages led by DeMarcus Ware?

McNabb is the guy, of course. You can talk all you want about the matchups, but it comes down to No. 5. In a quarterback-centric system, the offense relies so much on the play of McNabb. He has a great trust in his receivers, no matter their youth. In fact, the youth here is what makes the offense go. There is so much energy and speed and explosiveness. The receivers have the ability to go down the field and separate from the defense.

All eyes are on McNabb once again. The Eagles are an amazing 0-6 on Sunday nights. It is a streak to be broken tonight, and it is on McNabb, as the team's leader and quarterback, to lead the way. He isn't mentioned these days in the same breath as Drew Brees and Brett Favre, and even Aaron Rodgers. McNabb is flying under the radar quite a bit.

But not to those who watch every day. He is scrutinized more than any athlete in the modern day of this city. As McNabb goes, so go the Eagles. Even with a big, strong offensive line, and all the weapons, that fact hasn't changed over the years around here. McNabb is what makes it work from one week to the next.

Look at him early. If he starts well, the Eagles are going to score points. When McNabb gets it going, this offense is unstoppable. So it has been. So it is. So it will be with the Eagles.

McNabb vs. Romo. Romo vs. McNabb. There are all kinds of great matchups in this game, but when it is all over, how the quarterbacks perform is what is likely to determine the outcome.

He was on a roll last week. McNabb has every reason to keep it going tonight and send the Eagles into the midway point of the season on a high, feelilng good as leaders of the NFC East.

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