For the second straight week, the Philadelphia Eagles will be forced to rely on their backup quarterback. Nick Foles will get the start on Sunday as his team hosts the Dallas Cowboys.
Entering the preseason with no clear-cut starter, head coach Chip Kelly named Michael Vick his No.1 quarterback after two exhibition games. However, it didn’t take long before Vick got hurt. Now, it appears that he still hasn’t recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered in Week Five against the New York Giants.
"I just can't rush it," Vick said on Thursday. "I came out and tried to push it a little bit, tried to run a little faster. I was able to do that, but at the same time, I don't want to push it too much. I want to let things happen naturally."
The injury could turn out be the best thing for the Eagles. In his time on the field, Foles has outperformed Vick. He finished his first start with 296 passing yards, three touchdowns and a 133.3 passer rating, earning him NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. The week before, Foles completed 64 percent of his passes when he took over for Vick. On the season, he’s thrown for six scores and no interceptions.
Eagles’ fans have a reason to be skeptical, though. Foles replaced Vick last year and was unable to maintain consistent success. In seven games, he committed eight turnovers, compared to just six touchdown passes.
Cowboy’s fans can be confident that they’ll get a good performance from their quarterback on Sunday. Tony Romo has been the subject of much criticism over the years, but 2013 has been his best season in the NFL. His 108.7 rating is good for third in the league, and he’s almost thrown five times as many touchdowns as interceptions. His game against the Washington Redskins last week was his worst of the year, but Dallas still managed to win by 15 points.
“He’s really good,” Kelly said on Wednesday. “I think he’s just got a great feel for the game. If you’re just a fan of quarterback play, you kind of sit there and get mesmerized watching him play the position. I think he does an unbelievable job of keeping plays alive. He’s just got such a great awareness in the pocket. I think it’s the instincts that he brings to the game.
It’s only Week Seven, but Sunday’s contest could be one of the deciding factors in determining the NFC East winner. The two teams are tied for first place, and the Redskins and Giants don’t seem to be much of a threat with their combined 1-10 record. Philadelphia and Dallas are 2-0 in the division.
Dallas will look to win without two of their best players. Running back DeMarco Murray is battling a knee injury, while DeMarcus Ware is suffering from a pulled triceps. Ware will likely miss a few weeks after never having missed a game in his entire career.
Las Vegas Betting Odds: Eagles favored by 3 points
Over-Under: 54.5 points
Kickoff Time: 1:00 PM Eastern Time
Where To Watch Online: NFL Sunday Ticket Max
TV Channel: FOX Prediction: Dallas 31, Philadelphia 27