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Eagles not focused on Cowboys' QB drama

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Tony Romo? Kyle Orton?

"I couldn't care less who their starting quarterback is," Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cary Williams said. "I'm going to be ready for Sunday night. Whoever's out there will be out there."

The 9-6 Eagles will face the 8-7 Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday night in a game that will decide the NFC East title. Winner goes to the playoffs. Loser goes nowhere.

The Eagles seemingly got a big break when Romo, the Cowboys' starting quarterback, injured his back last Sunday. He hasn't practiced all week and is not expected to play against the Eagles, but has not yet been ruled out.

If he can't go, Kyle Orton, who has not started a regular-season game since 2011 when he played for the Kansas City Chiefs, will start.

Romo's injury was enough to convince Las Vegas to move the Eagles from a 3-point favorite to a 6 1/2-point favorite. In the Cowboys' home stadium.

"We're here to win a Super Bowl," Williams said. "We're here to contend in the playoffs. We're here to build on what we've built already. As far as I'm concerned, they can play those games (about Romo's status), I don't care.

"(Cowboys coach) Jason Garrett can get out there. (Owner) Jerry Jones can get out there. It doesn't matter to me, it doesn't matter to anyone else in this locker room. We're on a mission and they're in our way. Period."

The Eagles aren't going to be lulled into a false sense of security, even if Romo is ruled out on Friday. Two weeks ago, they lost by 18 points to a Minnesota Vikings team that started its backup, Matt Cassel.

"I think we learned a valuable lesson against Minnesota and it's fresh in our mind," defensive coordinator Bill Davis said. "Not that we took them lightly, but we know we have to step up no matter who plays. We have to be at our absolute peak."

--Signing valuable third-year center Jason Kelce to a contract extension will be a high offseason priority for the Eagles.

"Everything that we get started on the offensive side of the ball starts with him," Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. "He's very, very smart. A real student of the game who spends a lot of time with (offensive line coach Jeff) Stoutland going over how we want to block this, how we want to do that. He's really almost the coach on the field for that group."

Kelce said he doesn't like to think about business during the season, but would be very interested in a long-term deal.

"I would love to play in Philadelphia for as long as I can," he said. "I would like to be here as long as possible if the Eagles are willing to have me."

--S Colt Anderson did not practice again Thursday. Anderson, one of the Eagles' top special teams players, missed last week's game with a knee injury. He probably won't play this week, either.

--LG Evan Mathis missed Thursday's practice with an undisclosed illness. It isn't believed to be serious and he is expected to play Sunday night against the Cowboys.

--C Julian Vandervelde didn't practice Thursday. Vandervelde, the team's backup center, tweaked his back earlier in the week. If he can't play Sunday, starting left guard Evan Mathis would play center if something happened to Kelce.

--S Earl Wolff was a full practice participant Thursday. He had missed four games with a knee injury, then aggravated the injury early in last week's game. It looks like he will play Sunday and rotate at free safety with Patrick Chung.

--S Kurt Coleman, a key member of the Eagles' special teams, was a full practice participant Thursday after missing last week's game with a hamstring injury. He is expected to play Sunday night against the Cowboys.

SERIES HISTORY: 109th meeting. The Cowboys lead the series, 61-47, and have won seven of the past 10 matchups, including a 17-3 win against the Eagles in October in Philadelphia. Quarterback Nick Foles had his worst game of the season that day, completing just 11 of 29 passes.
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