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Our Eagles-Cowboys predictions for Week 18

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The Eagles (9-7) are hosting the Cowboys (11-5) at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday night.

To the predictions:

Reuben Frank (12-4)

How am I supposed to predict this game? Nobody knows who’s going to play for either team and for how long. It's going to look more like a preseason game than anything else. But here we are. Eagles-Cowboys with nothing at stake. In my week-by-week predictions that I made before the season, I have the Eagles winning five of their last six games, beating the Cowboys on the last day of the season and making the playoffs, so I’m going to stick with that. Looking for big performances from Tyree Jackson, John Hightower, Cameron Malveaux and JaCoby Stevens. Why not?

Eagles 17, Cowboys 16

Dave Zangaro (13-3)

I’m going to be annoyed if I take a hit on the last week of the season in a game that doesn’t mean anything. Mike McCarthy said earlier this week that the Cowboys are going to play their starters but that doesn’t seem to be the case now that they have some key players on the COVID list. Meanwhile, I’ll read between the lines to see that the Eagles are probably going to rest most of their key guys. This isn’t lining up to be much of an exciting battle, but we’ve got to pick it anyway. I don’t know.

 

Cowboys 20, Eagles 17

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Ray Didinger (13-3)

Nick Sirianni has kept us in the dark all week about his plans for this game. Will he sit his starters? Will he play them for a quarter? A half? Will he go all out to win and carry that momentum into the playoffs? Nick won't say.

Well, here is a clue: He didn't wear his "Beat Dallas" sweatshirt this week.

My guess is Sirianni plays it safe and gives most of the regulars the night off. I don't have a problem with that. It has been a long season, they just played three games in 13 days, a lot of veterans are nicked up. Let them rest and recharge.

Cowboys 24, Eagles 20

Barrett Brooks (10-6)

The season finale is turning into the 'For Who For What Bowl.’ Both teams have locked in a playoff spot and neither gain an advantage by winning or losing this game. Both the Eagles and Cowboys have starters on the Covid-19 list too. I can't see Dallas playing Dak Prescott when starting LT Tyron Smith out. There is still some question on whether Tony Pollard is playing.

The Birds have more starters on the list, but they are playing at home. I think there is some advantage if the Eagles play as many starters as possible because they need that moment going into the playoffs. Jalen Hurts should at least play a half to keep the rust off. The younger players need to continue the progress they have started to gain by playing as much as possible!.Although unlikely, they need to play.

Eagles 28, Cowboys 21

Mike Mulhern (11-5)

NFL schedule makers have to be kicking themselves yet again. For the the third time in six seasons their season-finale showdown pitting the Eagles and Cowboys against one another will likely feature ensemble casts made up of backups and practice squad players. In 2016 it was the Cowboys who sat their starters, having locked up home field. A year later, the Eagles did the same after a brief cameo from the first team. This year it could be both teams who elect to rest their star players.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said he plans to play his starters on Saturday night, but the injury report and COVID list make that an impossibility. Trevon Diggs is out. Micah Parsons and Tyron Smith just landed on the COVID list. If Smith’s not there to protect Dak Prescott’s blindside, I doubt we see much of Prescott himself.

 

I do expect we’ll at least get an appearance from Jalen Hurts and his fellow first stringers on Saturday night, but without much to be gained tangibly, it will be short-lived. In what’s shaping up to be a glorified preseason game, I’ll take Gardner Minshew over Cooper Rush.

Eagles 20, Cowboys 17