The Eagles/Cowboys rivalry will be renewed under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football in South Philadelphia. The NFC East is up for grabs, and both teams need a win.
Here’s some thoughts on this week’s match-up….
- Prime-time slot
If it feels like the Eagles and Cowboys play every year in prime-time, it’s because they do. Since NBC was awarded the rights to Sunday Night Football in 2006, the Eagles and Cowboys have played on the network every year but 2008.
Even in 2008 they were featured on Monday Night Football (Yes, the Desean Jackson premature fumble game.)
The Eagles lead the Sunday night series 6-5. (2006 was on Christmas Day)
- Wentz vs Dak III
This is only the third time that Wentz and Dak will go head-to-head, and both have been on SNF.
In 2016 the Cowboys had the division wrapped before the week 17 match-up, and Prescott only threw 8 passes. Last season they again played in a meaningless week 17 game. Wentz was obviously injured, but he wouldn’t have played even if he wasn’t.
This will be the first time they face off in Philly.
- New faces
The Cowboys should be very familiar with Golden Tate. He toasted them for 8/132/2 in week 4.
The Eagles should be familiar with new Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper as well. Last Christmas, Cooper had 3 catches for 66 yards and a TD vs the Birds.
With Jalen Mills and Sidney Jones officially ruled out, Dak Prescott should be looking Cooper’s way early and often.
I expect both Tate and Cooper to have an impact on Sunday night.
- The Cowboys D is pretty good
I know they’ll be without Sean Lee, but aren’t they always without Sean Lee?
Overall the Cowboys have been solid this season on defense.
They rank 3rd in points-per-game (18.9), 4th in total yards-per-game (317) and 5th in pass yards-per-game (217).
- Third Down
Third down is where the Cowboys defense has been vulnerable. They are only getting off the field 44.4 percent of the time, which ranks 29th in the league.
The Eagles offense should have an opportunity to improve on their 41.3 percent conversion rate (13th in the league) on Sunday.
- Which O-Line will step up?
Both offensive lines are a major question mark heading into Sunday.
We saw the Cowboys issues on full display Monday night. The Titans sacked Dak 5 times, but it could have been worse. The Cowboys have given up 28 sacks on the season.
The Eagles haven’t been much better as they have given up 26, and who knows what they will get out of Jason Peters and Lane Johnson (questionable) on Sunday.
On the other side of the ball, both teams can get after the QB. Dallas has 23 team sacks, and the Eagles are right behind them with 22.
The Cowboys are coming off an embarrassing loss on national TV, the QB is under scrutiny, Jason Garrett’s ass-cheeks are on fire his seat is so hot, Skip Bayless is jumping ship, Troy Aikman is calling for an overhaul of the franchise, and the Vegas line has gone up to Eagles -7.
NO ONE is picking the COWBOYS.
So…. are we overlooking the Cowboys?
Normally I would say yes, but the Cowboys are a mess.
-They are 0-4 on the road, averaging only 13.5 PPG. They have also allowed 17 of their 28 sacks on the road.
-They’re on a short week
-The Eagles are coming off a bye
-It’s a blackout
Yes, Dallas is a desperate team with their season on the line, but so are the Eagles. This is just as much of a “must win” for the Eagles as it is for the Cowboys.
If the Eagles can’t win this game @ home, then they don’t deserve to go to the playoffs.