(SportsNetwork.com) - Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant said the Philadelphia Eagles were being "kinda cheap" during a Thanksgiving debacle at AT&T Stadium.
"They beat us and I'm going to accept that, but (expletive) can't wait, but not looking past Chicago, but I cannot wait to go up there and play (the Eagles) again, cannot wait."
The Cowboys didn't look past the Bears and have already shifted focus to the Eagles Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field. In last Thursday's 41-28 defeat of Chicago at Soldier Field, Bryant caught six passes for 82 yards and Tony Romo appeared spry in passing for 205 yards with three touchdowns. Romo, who's been bothered by back and rib issues, did not throw an interception.
NFL leading rusher DeMarco Murray harassed the Bears with 179 yards and a touchdown on a season-high 32 carries and also caught nine passes for 49 yards. Murray has rushed for 100-plus yards 11 times this season and is first in the league in rushing yards (1,606), yards per game (123.5), carries (320) and is tied for first with nine rushing TDs.
Murray had a season-low 73 yards on 20 carries in a 33-10 loss to Philadelphia on Thanksgiving. Now he is 167 yards short from the Cowboys' single-season rushing record of 1,773 set by Emmitt Smith in 1995. He needs 393 to reach the illustrious group of 2,000-yard rushers.
"Obviously, I hear about it, but I'm not thinking about it," Murray said. "I'm just going out here and trying to win some games."
The Cowboys, who are 19-2 when Murray has 20 or more carries, have won three of their last four games and sit tied with the Eagles at 9-4 atop the NFC East standings. Murray deserves much of the credit for getting the Cowboys to where they are because the running game was absent in recent years and Romo was forced to do it all himself.
Murray said his body feels great after all the pounding it has experienced. The Eagles held him in check a few weeks ago, but Murray is ready for the rematch at the Linc.
"We know what's at stake. We can't make it bigger than it is," Murray said. "We've got to come out and not try to do too much ... just stick to our gameplan, stick to our identity of what we've done in the past."
In four games against the Eagles, Murray has rushed for 278 yards and two touchdowns on 68 touches. He is facing a Philly defense that limited Seattle bruising back Marshawn Lynch to 86 yards on 23 carries.
After visiting the Eagles, Dallas will host Indianapolis and visit Washington to close out the regular season.
Philadelphia's potent offense was shut down completely in Sunday's 24-14 loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks. Head coach Chip Kelly's up- tempo offense ran only 45 plays and amassed a season-low 139 yards.
LeSean McCoy had a death in the family leading up to the game and said his focus wasn't entirely there. He had 50 yards on 17 carries and a costly fumble to open the second half. McCoy managed to pass Wilbert Montgomery as the franchise's all-time leading rusher.
"I didn't imagine when I got drafted here that I'd potentially have a chance to hold the rushing record as an Eagle," McCoy said. "That's something big. That's something I'm looking forward to. The main goal is just to win the game, obviously. But in the way of doing that, I'd love to accomplish that."
McCoy ran for a season-best 159 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries against the Cowboys on Nov. 27, and will be a big factor again this week.
"The only thing you can do is win to get past this," McCoy said of the losing feeling. "That is the only feeling that makes everything go away. We will get back to the drawing boards, we will get back to practice, we will train and prepare hard. It is a big, big game, a must-win type of game. And there is nothing better than having them (Cowboys) here, in Philly. I guess we will see this Sunday."
Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez had two touchdown passes and an interception last Sunday, and completed 10-of-20 attempts for only 96 yards. Tight end Zach Ertz led the receiving core with 39 yards and a touchdown on two receptions. Jeremy Maclin had three catches for 96 yards and a score.
"We have a very good Dallas team coming in here next Sunday," said Maclin, who recorded eight catches for 108 yards on Thanksgiving. "We have to learn from this and flush it."
Maclin talked about what to expect from a Cowboys team looking for revenge.
"I think it'll be really different," he said. "Obviously they're going to come prepared, and obviously they know what's at stake here. We do as well. What we did to them on Thanksgiving is probably still in the back of their minds, so we're going to prepare for a battle and we don't expect anything less."
Philadelphia had won two straight and four of five games before the Seahawks stole a victory in the City of Brotherly Love. Sunday's loss put the Eagles behind a few tiebreaking scenarios against conference powers Seattle, Green Bay, Arizona and possibly San Francisco.
The Eagles must have short memories and remain focused for a second straight NFC East crown. They will visit Washington and New York (Giants) to end the regular season.
Dallas leads the all-time series with Philadelphia by a 62-49 count, including the playoffs. The Eagles had lost three in a row in this series until a 24-22 victory last Dec. 29 at AT&T Stadium clinched the NFC East.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Romo wasn't himself in the loss to the Eagles on Thanksgiving and passed for 199 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns. He looked in obvious disarray and it won't get any easier because the Eagles' defense is improving each week.
Eagles linebacker Brandon Graham said the Eagles need this one Sunday.
"We definitely need it. We need every game from here on out because at the end of the day we're still sitting tied for first in the division with Dallas," Graham said Sunday. "We need this one coming up and we will be playing with our hair on fire next week."
Romo is 7-6 as a starter against the Eagles with 3,024 passing yards, 17 TDs and 15 INTs. Look for him to find good friend and tight end Jason Witten, who needs four catches for an 11th straight season with at least 50. Witten was visibly upset on the sidelines in the first meeting with Philadelphia.
"On defense, they present a lot of challenges because they're so good up front," Witten remarked about the Eagles. "They can move around, get pressure on the outside, and get pressure on the inside, too. If you look back at our game, we weren't ever able to get anything going."
Dallas had no trouble getting the offense going on the road in Chicago, however, and has to do it again in enemy territory.
"They came down here and they did what they needed to do to win the game," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said of the Eagles. "We can look at different things in that game and say we did things the right way and we had some success. We didn't do things the right way and they had some success. So that's how we have to look at it, control what we can control. That game is done with. It's been done with. It's (not) coming back. The challenge ahead is what we're focused on."
The Cowboys struggled to slow down Kelly's offense, but they can take a long gaze at what Seattle did Sunday. The Cowboys' defense isn't as talented or nasty as the Seahawks, so they'll have to come prepared and improvise.
Who knows which Sanchez will appear this weekend. Will it be last week's disaster or the hero on Turkey Day? Sanchez has won both career starts against Dallas, and missed a few throws and open receivers versus the Seahawks.
Eagles defensive lineman Fletcher Cox has a sack in three of his past five games and the team is second in the NFL with 44.0 -- just behind Buffalo (48.0). Linebacker Connor Barwin leads the NFC with 13 1/2 sacks and has 11 1/2 in the past five at the Linc, where a 10-game winning streak in the regular season came to rest versus Seattle.
Cox, Barwin and the rest of Philly's defense are hoping to give Romo fits in the pocket.
"Not a lot of quarterbacks want to take a lot of hits. It messes with them," Cox said. "You hit a quarterback early in the game, he is looking for it later in the game. Some lay down, some try to scramble out."
Linebacker Mychal Kendricks has been disruptive the past few weeks. and his speed is a major asset. He made a solid stop on Murray on 4th down on Thanksgiving and leads the team with 65 tackles.
The Cowboys are salivating and frothing at the mouth to get this rematch started in south Philadelphia. More commonly known for falling apart in December, the Cowboys will still be alive in the postseason hunt even with another loss to the Eagles.
But Dallas wants revenge very badly.
"I'm anxious. I'm excited to go back down there and get another shot at those guys," Cowboys defensive back Orlando Scandrick said. "That's a good football team that we're going to play. I'm really excited to go down there, to their place, and get another shot in this cold weather."
Actually the Cowboys will be heading up to Philadelphia judging by any map of the United States.
Dallas will be headed back down to the Lone Star State with a tough loss and a game behind the Eagles after a back-and-forth affair. Sanchez and the Eagles will have their mind right for this one and McCoy will appear more focused.
Sports Network predicted outcome: Eagles 27, Cowboys 24