The Cowboys’ habit on first down this year has more often than not, to give the ball to RB Julius Jones and grind out what they can. Perhaps it is just a coincidence that Dallas has been outscored 24-0 in the first quarter of their 4 games so far in ’05, but with Philadelphia visiting Texas Stadium later today, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Randy Galloway wouldn’t mind a little variety.

After four games, the Eagles are on pace to throw more passes, complete more passes — and for more yards — than any team in NFL history.

They can do that because, No. 1, Andy Reid is a coach who endorses the passing game; No. 2, Donovan McNabb is a premier quarterback, and, No. 3, the Eagles have a defense that can bail out the team, if necessary.

Compare that to the Cowboys. They don’t have any of the three.

Parcells is attempting to protect a shaky defense with a ground-control offense. There’s also the theory, probably true, that he doesn’t trust Drew Bledsoe (above) with more than 25 throws a game.

Hard to argue with that defensive part. But Bledsoe has done nothing yet to earn distrust. And the running game with Julius is being snuffed.

C’mon, Bill, can’t you at least loosen it up a bit?

The Valley Ranch frustration with Parcells this past week was legitimate, based on the Oakland outcome.

But it would be surprising — make that shocking — if Parcells does anything different this week.

The Eagles’ defense is far superior to Oakland’s. The Cowboys need a ball-control approach. They need to keep the game close and hope to steal it in the end.

Then, of course, there’s also the McNabb factor, with 35 TD passes in his last 14 games.

Good luck, guys, on keeping it close and stealing it.