PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles' path to the playoffs seemingly became a little easier Monday with the news that the Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo probably will miss Sunday's do-or-die NFC East battle with a back injury.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Romo was receiving treatment for his back and that no determination has yet been made on his status for Sunday's game. But ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Romo has a herniated disk in his back and is out for the season, whether it's one more game or five more.
That means instead of going up against Romo, whose 31 touchdown passes are the third most in the league, the Eagles will likely face his backup, Kyle Orton, who has thrown just 15 regular-season passes in the past two seasons.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman warned Monday that his team can't take Orton lightly.
"Kyle's had success in this league," he said on his weekly radio show. "We've played backup quarterbacks who've had success against us. We've got to keep our edge on. This is too big a game or a situation to take anyone lightly."
After getting torched two weeks ago by the Minnesota Vikings' Matt Cassel in Week 15, the Eagles did an excellent job Sunday night against the Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler in a 54-11 victory. They sacked him five times and held him to 6.3 yards per attempt.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly quickly turned the page to get his team focused on Sunday night's showdown in Arlington, Texas.
"I think that's the one thing, you better get rid of it, whether it's a win or a loss, very quickly," Kelly said Monday. I'll give Dallas credit. They give up a 23-point lead to Green Bay the week before and the sky is falling and then they come back and they beat Washington. This league will test you from a standpoint of, it's not what you did last week, it's what you do this week and it's how you prepare. When we get back to work tomorrow, we better understand that."
Kelly will increased the Eagles' practice workload Tuesday and Thursday so players can spend Christmas morning with their families on Wednesday.
The Cowboys won the first meeting of the season, 17-3, in Philadelphia in October, but that was back when the quarterback situation was unsettled. That certainly is not an issue for the rematch, with Nick Foles entering with a 118.8 passer rating.
"I think his confidence is a byproduct of his experience, and I think the more looks he sees, the one thing with Nick is that he's a very quick study. I think one of the ways that all of us are a quick study is we need to make mistakes, but you have to be able to learn from your mistakes, and I think that's one thing that Nick does a really, really good job of is he's very analytical of himself."
Kelly's team began the season 3-5, and he believes the resolve his players have shown ever since will pay off with the NFC East title at stake Sunday.
"Since we went 3-5, every game's been like our backs are against the wall," said Kelly. "This game's no different. As I told those guys last night and I'll say again, for us the playoffs just start this week. If we're fortunate enough to win on Sunday, then we get an opportunity to play again. If we don't win on Sunday, then we're not playing again. It's very black and white to us, so I don't think I have to hammer that home in terms of this is the biggest game, because it is."
--S Earl Wolff, who returned Sunday after missing four games with a knee injury, aggravated the knee early in the game and didn't return. His status for this week's game against the Cowboys is uncertain.