The Eagles (4-9-1) are in North Texas to take on the Cowboys (5-9) in a battle of two teams who are somehow still fighting to get to the playoffs.
To the predictions:
Reuben Frank (6-8)
I picked the Eagles to beat the Cowboys back in November because the Cowboys had one of the worst defenses in the NFL and I figured Carson Wentz could break out of his slump and light it up against them. It didn’t quite happen that way. Wentz was terrible, and the Eagles won because of their defense. I’m picking them to win again, because of that lousy Dallas defense, and this time I think Jalen Hurts will light it up against the Cowboys. Dallas is 31st in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 31 points per game, and last in rush defense, allowing 162 yards per game. The Eagles haven’t swept the Cowboys since 2011, but that drought ends now. I’ve got Jalen Reagor with his first 100-yard game, two TDs for Miles Sanders and another encouraging performance from Hurts.
Eagles 33, Cowboys 26
Dave Zangaro (6-8)
The Cowboys have shown some life recently, at least on the offensive side of the ball and I was really tempted to pick them in this game. But their defense is awful and the Eagles have something good cooking with Jalen Hurts. The Cowboys’ run defense has been horrendous this year and I think Miles Sanders and Hurts can have big days on the ground as long as Doug Pederson sticks with the run. The Eagles also have to hope their OL holds up against a Cowboys pass rush that has been much better recently.
The Eagles have to hope Washington loses to Carolina to stay in the division race. I think the Eagles take care of business in North Texas but I’d be more worried about Washington beating Carolina.
Eagles 31, Cowboys 27
Ray Didinger (7-7)
Over the past two weeks, while the great quarterback debate raged in Philadelphia, the Dallas Cowboys actually put together their first winning streak of the season. They defeated the Bengals and the 49ers to slip past the Eagles into third place in the NFC East. Now the Cowboys have visions of sneaking into the playoffs even though they currently have a 5-9 record. Ridiculous I know, but in this sad sack division, anything is possible.
When the Eagles and Cowboys met earlier this season, the Eagles won a buzzard ugly affair that saw the teams combine for six turnovers and produce exactly one play longer than 20 yards. The quarterbacks that night were Ben DiNucci and Carson Wentz who since then have been relegated to clipboard duty. This week it will be Andy Dalton versus the rookie Jalen Hurts, who has pumped life back into this Eagles season.
The matchup of the Cowboys explosive receivers against the threadbare Eagles secondary is scary but I think the defensive line can offset that with a big rush on Dalton. On the other side, I see Hurts and Miles Sanders having big games against a Dallas defense that still can't stop the run.
Eagles 31, Cowboys 24
Barrett Brooks (6-8)
It is hard to believe that at 4-9-1, the Birds are still in the hunt to win the NFC East. There is nothing like playing meaningful football in December. I have seen both sides of playing ball in December, with my bags packed ready for the season to end and having my bags packed in late January on my way to play in a Super Bowl.
Running the ball is one thing that has to happen in December for the Eagles to have some success. The Eagles have to keep themselves out of 3rd-and-long and keep it in 3rd-and-manageable. The Eagles have had some success the last two games with the legs of QB Jalen Hurts, either with the read-option or scrambling out the pocket on passing plays. I want to believe that the Birds will take advantage of Dallas, one of the worst defenses against the run. Dallas’ defense is soft right up the gut, and the Eagles have to take advantage of this.
I will also say that the Cowboys have found a really good pass rush recently! They are now running a Nascar front for the defensive line. This is when they bring in three DEs and one DT.
Eagles 28, Cowboys 20
Mike Mulhern (7-7)
It’s incredible to think about how much has changed for these two teams since their Week 16 meeting a season ago. For the Eagles, Jalen Hurts is now under center, Carson Wentz could be on his way out of town, and no one is quite sure what other changes could be forthcoming in Philly. Meanwhile, year one of the Mike McCarthy era has been an abject disaster in Dallas. Dak Prescott has missed the majority of the season, Ezekiel Elliott looks like the second-best back on his own team, and their defense can’t stop anybody.
That last issue figures to be the most pressing for the Cowboys come Sunday. Hurts has resuscitated a flat-lining Eagles offense with both his arm and legs and perhaps saved some jobs in the process. If he gets any semblance of protection from the right tackle position on Sunday he should have a field day.
Doug Pederson won’t even have to wait until Monday to name next week’s starter.
Eagles 41, Cowboys 31
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast: