Eagles vs, Cowboys -- Week 10

Where: Lincoln Financial Field (outdoors)

When: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

Spread: Eagles by 2 points

Forecast: Partly cloudy; temperatures in low 60s; 10 percent chance of rain; wind from the south at 9 mph.

Records: Cowboys: (Overall: 3-5; NFC East: 1-1). Eagles (Overall: 3-5; NFC East: 1-0).

Past results: Two most recent meetings -- Dec. 24, 2011: Eagles 20, Cowboys 7; Oct. 30, 2011: Eagles 34, Cowboys 7. Series record: Cowboys lead 59-47-0.

What matters: How about everything? The Eagles know they have to win this game to have any chance of stealing the NFC East title or sneaking into a wild-card spot. Plus this team has lost four in a row and when you throw their bye week in there, it’s been a long time since the Eagles have won a game. Despite brave talk in the locker room, morale is as low as it’s ever been in the Andy Reid era and the only way to bring that up is to win a game -- and the fact that it would be against a hated divisional rival would make it even sweeter.

Who matters: It sounds like a broken record, but it’s all about QB Michael Vick. He didn’t play horribly last week against New Orleans, but he did throw an interception that was returned 99 yards for a TD and the Eagles were terrible in the red zone, driving inside the Saints’ 20 five times and settling for a couple of field goals. The Vick doubters now outnumber the Vick supporters and the Eagles need a big game from him on Sunday against a very good defense.

Key matchup: The Cowboys move All-Pro LB DeMarcus Ware all over the place as he probes for a weak spot in the opponents’ offensive line. Well, the Eagles have plenty of them, but expect Ware to spend a lot of time going against left tackle Demetress Bell, who struggled badly against the Saints and really hasn’t played well since he joined the Eagles this year. If Bell can at least hold his own then the Eagles have a good chance of winning. But if Ware runs wild they have no chance, and the smart money is on Ware.

Injuries of note: G Danny Watkins (ankle) is out, so rookie Dennis Kelly will make his third NFL start at RG; WR Mardy Gilyard (hamstring) is out, so Damaris Johnson will once again return punts; rookie RB Chris Polk (foot) is out and it remains to be seen if the Eagles activate RB Dion Lewis or use that roster spot on an extra defensive lineman. If that’s the case, rookie DE Vinny Curry might finally make his NFL debut -- the second-round pick has been inactive for every game so far.

Connections: Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was the Cowboys’ secondary coach from 2005-2007 and Eagles P Mat McBriar played for Dallas from 2004-2011 and went to two Pro Bowls with the Cowboys. Cowboys offensive line coach Bill Callahan had the same job with the Eagles from 1995-1997 under coach Ray Rhodes.

Inside stuff: The Eagles know the secret to beating the Cowboys is to force Dallas quarterback Tony Romo into making mistakes, because he makes more of them than any QB in the NFL -- yes, even more than Michael Vick. So, look for the Eagles to harry Romo early -- he’s dangerous when he gets out of the pocket and extends plays, but that’s also when he forces things and turns the ball over. And the Eagles will sacrifice a big play or two if they can force a turnover or three.

Stats you should know: The Eagles and Cowboys are so similar in so many ways, starting with their 3-5 records. But both quarterbacks are turnover prone and both teams have struggled in the red zone, which could make for a frustrating day for fans of both teams. The Cowboys are last in the NFL in turnovers (minus-11) and the Eagles are next to last (minus-9). And the Eagles are 30th in the NFL in red zone scoring and the Cowboys are 26th.

Looking ahead: The Eagles hit the road next week for another NFC East game at Washington and they get their first look -- but certainly not their last -- at Redskins QB Robert Griffin III. Then the schedule finally gets a little easier, as the Eagles take on Carolina, Dallas again, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati, teams that right now have a combined record of 12-20.

Prediction: Cowboys 24, Eagles 17

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Philadelphia Eagles from blogger Kevin Noonan, follow@CBSEagles.