With Tony Romo likely watching from the sideline, the Dallas Cowboys will try to save their season Sunday night when they host the Philadelphia Eagles in a winner-take-all showdown for the NFC East title. The final game of the NFL regular season will probably feature veteran backup Kyle Orton and the Cowboys taking on second-year stud Nick Foles and the explosive Eagles offense, with the winner earning a home playoff game next weekend. Philadelphia is relatively healthy and coming off arguably its best game of the season, while Dallas had lost four of six prior to last week's dramatic win over Washington.
"I think the guys have got a lot of confidence in me. I've got a lot of confidence in myself," said Orton, who has started 69 games in his career. "I can fall back on my experience. I've played a lot of games in this league. I don't feel I have to do too much with the ball, just get it to 29 (DeMarco Murray), 82 (Jason Witten) and 88 (Dez Bryant)." Bryant tweaked a back injury in practice this week, but the star wide receiver expects to play, unlike standout linebacker Sean Lee, who will miss his fifth game with a neck injury. "We're prepared to get the Cowboys' absolute best no matter who is the quarterback," said Philadelphia defensive coordinator Billy Davis, "and they are going to get our best."
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Eagles -7. O/U: 52.5
ABOUT THE EAGLES (9-6): Philadelphia owns the rare distinction of having the NFL's leader in passer rating (Foles, 118.8) and the league's top rusher (LeSean McCoy, 1,476), not to mention electric receiver DeSean Jackson and his career-high 79 catches for 1,304 yards. McCoy needs 37 yards to break the franchise's single-season rushing record (Wilbert Montgomery, 1512 yards in 1979), even though he has received more than 20 carries only four times all season. Foles completed 84 percent of his passes last week in a 54-11 trouncing of Chicago and threw two touchdown passes with no interceptions to improve his numbers to 25 TDs and two INTs.
ABOUT THE COWBOYS (8-7): Orton has not started a game since the final day of the 2011 season - with Kansas City - and the 31-year-old has thrown only five passes this season and just 15 total passes the last two years. Without Romo (back), the Cowboys' offense will likely rely on Murray, who has rushed for 439 yards and five touchdowns over his past four games. The Dallas defense actually might be the team's biggest problem at the moment, however, as the team has allowed at least 21 points in every game since the first matchup with Philadelphia - a 17-3 road victory on Oct. 20.
1. The Cowboys have signed 41-year-old QB Jon Kitna to serve as a backup on Sunday. Kitna, who made nine starts for an injured Romo in 2010, last played in the NFL in 2011.
2. Only two wide receivers in the NFL average more yards per reception than Eagles WR Riley Cooper (18.1).
3. Philadelphia has allowed 21 points or fewer in 10 of its last 11 games.
PREDICTION: Eagles 28, Cowboys 17