On Thursday, the Eagles conducted their second-to-last practice before hosting the Dallas Cowboys on NBC's Sunday Night Football. Everyone practiced for a second straight day, including defensive end Trent Cole, who will play for the first time since leaving with a calf injury on Oct. 2.
Here's the highlights as we get ready for Sunday's — dare we say it — must-win game:
It's hunting season again. Everyone that follows the Eagles knows about Trent Cole's off-the-field passion for big game hunting. On the field, however, it's quarterbacks — especially those named Tony Romo. “Just like any quarterback you have to get on him and hit him. And pretty much tell him to stay down," Cole told reporters Thursday.
The intimidating defensive end implied that he is not quite 100 percent, but he fully participated in practice all week and will start Sunday's game. His presence should also help Jason Babin, who has zero sacks since Cole went on the shelf.
Vick shakes his tail feather. Well, kind of. Mike Vick has reportedly purchased a pet parrot for his family. The Eagles quarterback was spotted at Todd Marcus Exotic Birds in Delran, N.J., where he bought a six-inch bird that is native to the rain forest of South America. Vick paid $1,100 for it.
(If you're interested, the Philadelphia Inquirer goes into much greater detail).
Vick is still on a three-year probation period and can't own a dog during that time. However, there is no rule against owning another kind of animal. He has repeatedly said that he plans to own a dog at the end of his probation.
Eagles impressed with Murray. Cowboys rookie running back DeMarco Murray rushed for a single-game, franchise-record 253 yards last week against St. Louis. While it's only one game — against a very bad team — several Eagles were quick to praise Murray.
"He’s a hard runner, I mean you guys saw it last week," said Mike Patterson. "He’s a hard runner, he’s an expolsive guy, he doesn’t go down off one hit, he keeps his feet moving and runners like that are tough guys to take down, so you got to give him credit. He did a pretty good job when he came out."
Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo agreed.
"You know, watching him he broke a lot of tackles, he’s fast, elusive. I mean, in the Rams game he looked special," Castillo said.
Playoff atmosphere. Believe it or not, the NFC East crown is well within reach for both Dallas and Philadelphia. The Cowboys (3-3) are just one game behind the first-place Giants (4-2) and the Eagles (2-4) are only two back. It's still early in the season, but this is pretty close to a must-win game for both squads. It even has a little bit of a playoff feel to it, doesn't it?
"Any time you play the Dallas Cowboys, it has that feel," said offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. "We have discussed it that the past couple times we’ve gotten together. It’s Dallas Cowboys coming in on Sunday night in South Philly, where would you rather be? The players are quite motivated."
Sounds good, coach. We'll see you Sunday (8:20 p.m., NBC).