The Eagles (7-7) host the Cowboys (7-7) in a game that will likely decide the NFC East at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday afternoon.
To the predictions:
Reuben Frank (7-7)
The Eagles are a modestly talented team that always plays hard. The Cowboys are a talented team that sometimes feels like showing up and sometimes doesn’t. Makes it a tricky matchup to predict because you never know which Cowboys team you’ll get. If the Cowboys feel like playing Sunday it’s going to be tough for the Eagles to win. But as impressive as the Cowboys looked against the Rams last weekend, this is a Dallas team that’s won 4 of its last 11 games and has lost to four teams the Eagles beat (Packers, Jets, Bills, Bears). If you jump on them, they’ll stop fighting. If you give them a reason to keep playing, they’ll take it. The way I look at it, this is the Cowboys’ game to lose. The Eagles usually play well at home and will win if they can slow down the Cowboys’ ferocious running attack, make a few big plays on defense and start strong. But the Eagles just rarely do all those things on the same day. This Eagles team will show me a lot if they win. But I’m going …
Cowboys 30, Eagles 27
Dave Zangaro (8-6)
I love the way the Eagles fight. I love the way that they never gave up this season and always seemed to give it everything they had for Doug Pederson. But as I watched them scratch and claw to win their last two games against the Giants and Redskins, it’s just clear that they’re not that talented. For as bad as the Cowboys have been this year, they have talent and that talent showed up in their blowout win against the Rams last week.
I don’t expect the Eagles to get blown out, but I have no reason to pick them in this game. Could they win? Sure. Maybe Dallas implodes, maybe the Eagles finally put together a complete game. It really could happen. I just don’t think it will.
Cowboys 27, Eagles 20
Derrick Gunn (7-7)
It has been a long, frustrating, injury-plagued season for the Eagles. Thanks to the Cowboys’ bumbling and stumbling along the way, it has allowed the Eagles to still be relevant heading in this huge Week 16 showdown. Carson Wentz has had to get comfortable in a hurry with Greg Ward Jr., Josh Perkins, and Robert Davis. Miles Sanders has been more than adequate out of the backfield and Boston Scott has been a nice complement. As for the Eagles’ defensive performance, it has tailed off considerably in recent weeks, getting little pressure on QBs and pass coverage has been frightening. The Dolphins, Giants, and Redskins each had a receiver catch at least 130 yards worth of passes.
The Cowboys finally woke up this past Sunday and demolished the Rams. Dak Prescott is dealing with a shoulder injury but says he will be good to go against the Eagles. The Birds must find a way to contain Ezekiel Elliott, which is easier said than done. In five career games against Philadelphia, Zeke has averaged just under 30 touches, 163 yards from scrimmage, and he’s yet to lose to the Birds. If Elliott gets going on the ground, it opens up the play-action for Prescott to look for Amari Cooper (1,073 yds, 15.1 ypc), Michael Gallup (911 yds, 16.3 ypc) and Randall Cobb (647 yds, 15.0 ypc). Jason Witten, who’s almost old enough to collect social security, still finds a way to get open and young TE Blake Jarwin has become another viable offensive option. The Boys have 61 pass plays of 20-plus yards. Also, let us not forget about RB Tony Pollard, who is a nice change of pace from Elliott. He is averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
The Eagles abundance of injuries may be just too much to overcome this time. They will fight to the end, but Dallas will slip out of town with a win and put an end to the Eagles’ playoff hopes.
Cowboys 30, Eagles 10
Ray Didinger (6-8)
I'd like to tell you I know what's going to happen Sunday but that would be a lie. I have no idea what to expect from the Eagles and I have no idea what to expect from the Cowboys. They have been that unpredictable all season. The Eagles won back to back games in dramatic fashion but they beat two lousy teams, the Giants and Redskins. Does this mean they have momentum? Twice this season the Eagles had back-to-back wins and each time they lost the next week. So much for momentum.
The Cowboys opened the season with three straight wins and looked very impressive then they lost three in a row and looked awful in the process. Then they pummeled the Eagles and Giants and people got back on the bandwagon. Oops, they lost four of the next five and the axe was poised over coach Jason Garrett's red head. Then last Sunday they crush the Rams, 44-21, in their best performance of the year. So what are we to think?
Here's what we know. The Linc will be full and very noisy on Sunday. We also know the Cowboys have won six of their last seven games at the Linc. We also know Zeke Elliott is 5-0 in games against the Eagles and the Eagles allowed opponents 4.6 yards per rush in the last eight games. Dak Prescott has a sore shoulder but he can still hand off.
Cowboys 24, Eagles 21
Andrew Kulp (8-6)
There isn't a question, given all the injuries the Eagles sustained this season, the Cowboys are the more talented team right now. I would no doubt pick Dallas to win if it weren't for one thing:
Dak Prescott's injury.
Sure, he'll probably play -- but how effectively? If he's been unable to throw all week, why would he miraculously be OK on Sunday? And there are some compelling reasons to believe the injury is even more prohibitive than reported.
The Eagles still need to stop Ezekiel Elliott, but the defense hasn't surrendered more than 17 points at home since September. Which means as long as Carson Wentz and his ragtag supporting cast continue scoring — though certainly not a given — a win is within reach.
Eagles 28, Cowboys 24