If the Dallas Cowboys (5-4) don’t want to get left in the dust in the NFC East, they need to step up and beat the Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) Sunday at Jerry World, AT&T Stadium, on Sunday Night Football.
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The Game: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (+6)
The Eagles and Cowboys have faced off against each other 116 times since 1960. Dallas holds a 65-51 edge in the all time series.
Two of the last three games between the two teams have gone into overtime. The Eagles won 33-27 in OT on November 18, 2015. Last season the Cowboys got the victory, 29-23 in overtime, on October 30, 2016.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-1)
Philadelphia comes into this game riding a seven game winning streak and resting off a bye. They’re healthy and only wide receiver Alshon Jeffery showed up on the injury report this week, but he practiced. He will most definitely play.
The Eagles have plowed through their schedule since a 27-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week Two, but it’s not exactly been a difficult stretch. Only one team Philly faced, the Carolina Panthers, is in serious contention for a playoff spot. The rest have all been scrubs or teams just barely fighting for a .500 record. The Eagles haven’t been tested in more than a month.
There’s plenty to like about this Philadelphia squad. Two weeks ago in a 51-23 thrashing of the Denver Broncos, Carson Wentz threw four touchdown passes. He didn’t rack up a ton of yards, just 199 on 15 of 27 passing, but it was obviously plenty as the Eagles defense dominated the game. Newly acquired running back Jay Ajayi rushed eight times for 77 yards and a touchdown. He should be even more a factor in this game.
Jeffery caught six passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Trey Burton had four catches for 41 yards and a score. With Zack Ertz back in the line up, he likely won’t see that much action.
DALLAS COWBOYS (5-4)
After knocking the Kansas City Chiefs off 28-17, the Cowboys fell back to earth hard in a 27-7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons last week. It was a stumble Dallas just could not afford to make. Still, with two games against the Eagles on the schedule, they control on their own destiny. Which is why it’s important they don’t blow their shot Sunday.
While Jared Goff and Carson Wentz when Nos. 1 and 2 in the 2016 draft, it was then rookie Dak Prescott who took over the NFL last season and won rookie of the year. Prescott is performing just as well in 2017 and is on pace to throw for more touchdowns this season. He has 16 through nine games with four picks. Prescott has scored five rushing TDs this year on top of that. He had six all of last season.
With Ezekiel Elliott out for the next five games, more of the offense falls on Prescott’s shoulders. As big an absence as Elliott is, left tackle Tyron Smith is missed more. Prescott was sacked eight times last week with six coming from Adrian Clayborn. Smith hasn’t practiced all week. He’s officially questionable, but I’ll be surprised if he plays.
Sean Lee is out on defense and safety Jeff Heath will probably be held out too unless he can pass the concussion protocol.
This line jumped up a point and a half, which means that plenty of money was coming in on Philadelphia’s end. The Eagles are good, but they’re going to lose again this season, probably a couple of times. Dallas didn’t look good against the Falcons last week at all, but a division game against a familiar opponent can bring out the best in you. Again, I’m going against the consensus and the money here. I see the upset happening and Jerry’s team getting back into the playoff hunt. Cowboys 34, Eagles 30
Straight up: 1-0
Against the spread: 0-1
Straight up: 9-5
Against the spread: 6-8
Straight up: 87-59
Against the spread: 75-70
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