The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles will be playing for first place in the NFC East on Sunday in Philadelphia, though the rivalry's usual list of playmakers suiting up is likely to be a little shorter.
The Cowboys could be without running back DeMarco Murray, and defensive end DeMarcus Ware could miss the first game of his eight-year career.
The Eagles (3-3), already without wide receiver Jeremy Maclin for the season, are going into a second straight week without a definitive starter at quarterback as they look to snap an eight-game home losing streak.
Neither offense has sputtered much through six weeks.
The Eagles' third-ranked offense is averaging 449.8 yards, exactly 100 more than the Cowboys. Dallas (3-3) is second in scoring with 30.5 points per game while the Eagles are fourth at 27.7.
Fifty-one of the Eagles' 67 points the last two weeks have come with Nick Foles at quarterback after he replaced an injured Michael Vick late in the second quarter of a 36-21 win over the New York Giants in Week 5.
He played the whole game in last Sunday's 31-20 win at Tampa Bay while Vick suited up as the team's emergency quarterback to rest a hamstring injury.
"I feel really comfortable here. I feel comfortable with our personnel, our plays, everything," Foles said. "It helps when you have a great relationship with the players, the coaches, and when you go into the game you're all on the same page. ... Everybody stuck together, and it was another team win."
Foles is taking the majority of the reps in practice this week and is likely to start for a second week in place of Vick, who spoke to reporters on Thursday at the team's training complex after practice, and essentially ruled himself out.
'I don't want to push it too much and just let things happen naturally. It's going to be fun to watch. I look forward to watching Nick (Foles) play,' Vick said. 'I've had some great battles with the Dallas Cowboys and they've all been fun. Nick will get a chance to experience that.'
Foles was named NFC offensive player of the week after throwing for 296 yards and three touchdowns while running for another against the Buccaneers.
He lost both games he played against the Cowboys last year, starting the last meeting, a 38-33 defeat at Dallas on Dec. 2.
With Maclin sidelined, wide receiver DeSean Jackson is having a resurgent season. He has 34 catches and is second in the league with 589 receiving yards. His five touchdowns are tied for sixth after he scored a total of six in the last two seasons.
The Eagles have the league's top-ranked rushing offense (178.5 per game), led by LeSean McCoy's league-high 630 yards. Despite missing the last game and a half, Vick is still in the top 20 with 307 yards. They've averaged 139.0 yards on the ground the last two weeks.
The Cowboys' 25th-ranked rushing offense (84.8 ypg) would be thrilled with that total, as Murray has 428 of their 509 yards on the ground. He left in the second quarter of the Cowboys' 31-16 win Sunday over Washington with an MCL sprain in his left knee.
"We have to be able to run the football well when DeMarco Murray is not our runner," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.
A week after throwing for 506 yards and five touchdowns in a loss to Denver, quarterback Tony Romo had 170 yards on 18 of 30 passing to direct the win over Washington.
He's thrown three interceptions in six games after tying his career high with 19 a season ago. His 70.2 completion percentage is better than any season total since taking over the starting job in 2006.
Romo is 7-6 as a starter against the Eagles.
Denver has taught both teams offense only goes so far. The Eagles allowed 52 points to the Broncos in Week 4 while the Cowboys surrendered 51 to the Broncos in Week 5.
The Cowboys are allowing 308.2 passing yards per game, ahead of only the Eagles (314.5) and Broncos (337.7).
The Dallas pass rush, already without defensive end Anthony Spencer, likely will be without Ware, who referred to himself as doubtful after straining his right quadriceps in the first quarter against Washington.
The Cowboys are 0-2 on the road, but the Eagles' home woes extend far beyond this 0-2 start.
They've lost eight in a row in Philadelphia for the first time since Sept. 20, 1936-Sept. 21, 1937. A ninth-straight home loss would set a franchise record.
The Associated Press News Service
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