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Interview With

Ahead of this week’s matchup at Cowboys Stadium in primetime we decided to ask Mike Burke of a couple of questions about the Eagles and this week’s big game:

Cowboysgab: It seems that the Eagles have beaten really good teams and then lost to teams that they should beat.  What do you think are some of the reasons for that, and do you see that trend possibly continuing this week?

Eaglesgab: It’s been a crazy year in the NFL as far as upsets, and the Eagles have played into that.  In the Packers and Redskins loss, the quarterback who started the game for the Eagles wasn’t able to finish it.  That’s never helpful.  In the Titans loss, the Ellis Hobbs and Nate Allen combination got burned repeatedly by Kenny Britt and the Eagles failed to make an adjustment.  Against the Bears, the Eagles just couldn’t score touchdowns in the red zone.

I hate to make excuses for losses, but there were factors in each loss that could have really turned the tide of the game.  This week, I think the Eagles will take this game very seriously after the events that occurred last year in Dallas.  They won’t play down to the Cowboys.

CG: What has Michael Vick added to this team that makes them so much more explosive?

EG: He’s playing the best football of his life.  No one could have expected him to come out and play the way he has this season.  It’s been remarkable.  He’s always been able to make plays with his legs and continues to do so.  However, he’s been an extremely accurate passer this season and is working the big plays with his explosive receivers. Off the field, he’s been a great leader.  A lot of the young players on offense were fans of Vick before they were even in the NFL and Vick was still in Atlanta.  They have a lot of respect for him.

CG: Last week against the Texans it seemed that McCoy was more effective and involved in the offense.  Do you think he has been under utilized in Philadelphia this year?  If so, why?

EG: As a runner, absolutely.  No matter who the running back is in Philadelphia, they’ll never get enough carries on offense.  However, he’s played a big part in the receiving game this year and has been extremely explosive.  He seems to be able to make the first man miss just about every time, which reminds many in Philadelphia, including myself, of former running back Brian Westbrook.  He’s still very young and will continue to get better, and that’s scary.

CG: The Eagles are banged up on the offensive line with Justice and Dunlap hurting, what do you think they will do to contain DeMarcus Ware?

EG: They’ll probably treat Ware the same way they treated Dwight Freeney earlier this season.  In the game with the Colts, the Eagles had a tight end line up on Freeney’s side and consistently chip him off the line.  In an interview after the game, Brent Celek said that it was so effective that Freeney basically gave up by the end of the game.  With a pass rusher like Ware, you have to make sure you don’t give him too many one-on-one match-ups.  He’s too talented for that.

CG: What is one area that the Eagles will try to exploit on the Cowboys offense and then on defense?

EG: When the Cowboys have the ball, I think the Eagles will send a lot of pressure at Jon Kitna and get him to force throws. With the return of Asante Samuel, the Eagles will have much more confidence in their secondary.  Samuel has the ability to jump routes, and I think if Kitna is getting pressured heavy, he will force some throws that will result in turnovers.

When the Cowboys are on defense, the Eagles will definitely look to exploit the Cowboys secondary.  With Vick’s arm strength and the speed of the Eagles receivers, they will definitely try to land some big plays.  The Cowboys secondary is giving up a lot of yardage this season and I see Vick having a field day.

CG: From an your perspective what do you think the difference is in this year’s Eagles to the one that the Cowboys swept in all three games last year?

EG: We have a quarterback in our prime compared to one who’s on the last leg.  Outside of that, I think the Eagles defense is much stronger this season.  Stewart Bradley, Ernie Sims, and Nate Allen are three key defensive players that weren’t around for the match-ups with the Cowboys this season.  The linebackers will help against the run, which killed the Eagles last season.  Nate Allen is a rookie but is already much better then any of the options we had around last year.

CG: What do you think will be the outcome on Sunday Night?

EG: In primetime and out for revenge, I think the Eagles embarrass the Cowboys 41-17.

Check out for an interview from writer Alex Weston

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