With NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reporting that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is unlikely to play Sunday night against the Eagles because of a herniated disk, Kyle Orton would be next in line to lead Dallas against a Philadephia squad that looked unbeatable Sunday night in a 54-11 romp over the Chicago Bears.
For all the media heat draped upon him, Romo's production speaks for itself. Third in the league in touchdown passes and top ten in yardage, completion percentage and passer rating, Romo -- with more game-winning drives than any signal-caller in the NFL since 2011 -- is the beating heart of this offense. Orton, meanwhile, hasn't started an NFL game in two-plus years.
Equally distressing for Dallas is the expected loss of Sean Lee to a neck injury, as reported by NFL Media's Desmond Purnell. The linebacker's absence has wreaked havoc on a unit that's bled yardage and points all season.
The Cowboys bear a resemblance to Chicago: A diverse offense paired with a disaster-prone defense that lends itself to shootouts. For all his perceived faults, Romo has led Dallas to 27.8 points per game this season, third best in the league and a primary reason the Cowboys are alive despite a defense littered with "guys who would not start anywhere else."
Sunday night is shaping up as a picture of two squads heading in different directions at the very worst time for Dallas -- and the very best for Kelly and his Eagles.