Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg may spend most of his time during the week leading up to the game at the NovaCare Complex, but that doesn't mean he lives in a bubble.
He has heard head coach Andy Reid get asked time after time again about the team's propensity for running the football. So, Mornhinweg was not surprised when he was asked about that very topic during his weekly briefing with the media.
"I haven't heard that before, thanks for telling me," Mornhinweg said jokingly when asked why haven't the Eagles run more at times during the year.
|Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and head coach Andy Reid|
"The first thing is, we try to do what it will take to win that particular football game. There are a lot of things that happened before, and that may happen during a football game, that many people on the outside don't quite know. Some little things go into that situation, as well."
It is not the first time that Mornhinweg has said that the Eagles will do whatever it takes to win that particular game. This Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles will square off against the Dallas Cowboys who possess the league's eighth-best defense. But looking deeper into the numbers, the Cowboys are fourth in the league against the pass and have the most sacks in football - led by outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware who has 20. Meanwhile, against the run, the Cowboys - who rank 13th - have struggled at times. Last Saturday against Baltimore, the Cowboys surrendered back-to-back touchdown runs that were longer than 75 yards in the fourth quarter of a 33-24 loss.
"They've been hit for some big plays, as of late," Mornhinweg said. "That's really the only weakness that I've seen there."
Willis McGahee scored on a 77-yard run up the middle. After the Cowboys answered with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Jason Witten, Le'Ron McClain sealed the win with an 82-yard gallop to paydirt.
With a running back like Brian Westbrook, shouldn't it be a slam-dunk that the ball will be in his hands early and often on Sunday? Not exactly. Westbrook had a total of 103 yards from scrimmage, but averaged just 3.2 yards per carry. Meanwhile, quarterback Donovan McNabb was sacked four times by the Cowboys.
"We need to get better at certain things, so we really focused on some certain things," Mornhinweg said. "Certainly, I've got to do a better job first and, secondly, we've got to catch the football a little bit better and block and run in the run game just a little bit better. We really focused on certain things within those aspects."
The Eagles scored 30 points on offense in the first meeting back in Week 2. They even controlled the outcome until a botched handoff in the fourth quarter allowed the Cowboys to come back and get the win. What remains to be seen is whether the Eagles believe the best course of action is to take to the skies - it's expected to be around 60 degrees with a chance of showers Sunday - or grind it out.