Eagles vs. Cowboys: Fantasy Studs and Duds for NFC East Showdown

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst IDecember 1, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 22:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on November 22, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys will be fighting for their playoff lives in Week 13 as they take on the Philadelphia Eagles. A win will keep the Cowboys' playoff hopes alive, while a loss would be devastating to their chances of playing past Week 17.

Philadelphia finds itself going in a completely different direction. The Eagles do have a lot of talent on their roster, but much like last season, they haven't been able to put it altogether in order to produce a winning record.

Dallas must take advantage of a weak opponent in Philly, who is certainly demoralized as a result of such a poor season. This game with the Eagles couldn't have come at a better time for the Cowboys.

Fantasy owners should keep a close eye on this game as well. There are some players on both sides who figure to have a solid game in Week 13, while others aren't worthy of a start.

Let's take a look at some of the studs and duds in fantasy football for this Week 13 NFC East showdown.


Dallas Cowboys

Stud: Tony Romo

Romo is a weekly shoo-in to be a fantasy stud as the Cowboys quarterback consistently puts up gaudy yardage numbers for his team.

In his last five games, Romo has broken the 300-yard mark four times, two of which were over 400 yards. In his last four games, Romo has thrown seven touchdowns to just two interceptions against his opponents.

To help Romo's stud case even further, the Eagles defense has been dreadful this season and has actually gotten worse since they dismissed their defensive coordinator earlier in the year. Clearly the Eagles' defensive problems are a result of players, not coaching.

Philly is ranked No. 14 against the pass this season, but Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers just burned them for over 300 yards through the air last week, and being that the Cowboys have a better passing attack than the Panthers, that should translate into big numbers for Romo in Week 13.


Dud: Miles Austin

Austin is listed as questionable (per ESPN.com) for the game on Sunday, so there isn't any certainty that he'll take the field against the Eagles. Even if he does suit up, Austin likely won't be at 100 percent and that could limit his ability to make any real impact.

Austin has been nearly nonexistent the past four games, and in that time it's Dez Bryant who has become this team's leading receiver.

Last week, Austin failed to record a single catch against the Washington Redskins and was only targeted twice. That led to Romo throwing the ball to his other top receivers such as Bryant, Jason Witten and even little-known guys like Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris.

There are simply too many other options for Romo to throw the ball to if Austin isn't at full strength, so don't expect the Cowboys signal-caller to force it to him.



Stud: Bryce Brown

As LeSean McCoy continues to lose his battle with a concussion (per ESPN.com), Brown will get the nod once again this week for the Eagles.

In his first start since high school, Brown shined against the Panthers, racking up 129 yards and a touchdown in just the first half alone. Brown would go on to finish up with 178 yards in total, and even got into the end zone for a second time.

Brown also proved he has big-play ability after breaking a 65-yard touchdown run, and he could have a solid day in just one play. However, be wary of the fact that Brown did fumble twice last week and that should continue to be a concern, although it isn't significant enough to keep him on your bench.


Dud: Eagles D/ST

As mentioned earlier, the Eagles might have thought their problems on the defensive end were a result of the defensive coordinator, but Philly's issues have gotten worse since changing directions on defense.

The Eagles have allowed 30 points or more in four of their last five games, with the lone exception coming against the New Orleans Saints who scored 28 points. That isn't a good sign for fantasy owners who are looking to start Philly's defense as a desperation move.

Dallas' passing attack is about as good as it gets in this league and there's no question that Romo will be throwing the ball all over the field, leading to a huge day in the yardage and touchdown departments.

On the special teams side of things, the Eagles haven't done much there either. Philly has yet to score a return touchdown in 2012, so don't expect that to change this week.