#473 Philadelphia
#474 Dallas


In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds

Eagles vs. Cowboys Prediction

Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 8:20pm EDT
AT&T Stadium, Arlington

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In-depth Coverage

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Table of Contents

Last Updated: Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 9:54pm EDT


The good feelings are gone and the pressure is rising in Dallas, where Jason Garrett and the Cowboys need a victory to regain sole possession of first place in the NFC East on Sunday night when they face the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Cowboys' 3-0 start that came at the expense of lightweights Miami, the New York Giants, and Washington was mostly eroded in losses to higher-caliber opponents New Orleans and Washington. But a 24-22 loss to the previously winless New York Jets dropped Dallas to .500 and has brought Garrett under scrutiny once again.

While Dallas is at the .500 mark by cooling off after a quick start, division co-leader Philadelphia has been all over the map in splitting its first six games. The Eagles have given Atlanta its only win while dealing Green Bay its only loss.

They looked ready to push forward after routing the Jets 31-6 in Week 5 only to be manhandled by an equally erratic Vikings team 38-20 in Minnesota last Sunday. Philadelphia's much-maligned defense gave up two huge scoring passes from Kirk Cousins to Stefon Diggs 2:08 apart in the second quarter, creating an insurmountable 24-3 deficit.

Carson Wentz nearly rallied the Eagles all the way back, drawing them within 24-20 in the third quarter on a 40-yard field goal by Jake Elliott, but the defense gave up a third TD toss from Cousins to Diggs on the ensuing drive.

Philadelphia Eagles Review

The Eagles were not immune to drama following Sunday's loss, cutting linebacker Zach Brown on Monday. Brown called out Cousins leading up to the game against the Vikings, saying, "For me, that's probably the weakest part of their offense is him."

After Cousins lit up Brown and the Eagles defense for 333 passing yards and four touchdowns, Brown was slightly more subdued in the locker room after being served his humble pie, and the Eagles then made the move to cut ties with him altogether.

The move was surprising considering fellow linebacker Nigel Bradham suffered an ankle injury and is day-to-day. The Eagles are hoping wide receiver DeSean Jackson will at least have a chance to play after missing the previous four games with an abdomen injury and is not expected to practice until Thursday at the earliest.

With the exception of beating on the hapless Jets when they were without Sam Darnold, Philadelphia's defense has left much to be desired. The Eagles have been a feast-or-famine unit in terms of pass defense, recording seven interceptions and 14 sacks while also giving up 13 touchdown passes.

Even with holding the Jets to 120 passing yards, they are still giving up 296 per game.

Dallas Cowboys Review

The Cowboys could only have wished they played the Jets without Darnold after the second-year quarterback returned from a three-game absence due to mononucleosis and carved up their secondary for 338 yards and a pair of touchdowns. One of them was a 92-yard hookup that put Dallas in a 14-3 hole after Dak Prescott was stopped on a 4th-and-2 run inside the Jets' 10-yard line.

Dallas did play much better on the offensive side in the second half, moving the ball almost at will as Prescott finished with 277 passing yards and Ezekiel Elliott earned his 105 rushing yards on 28 carries. But in a game where single plays made the difference, Prescott's fourth down failure and the failed two-point pass to Jason Witten that would likely have forced overtime loomed large.

The Cowboys also have injury issues to address, most notably Amari Cooper's lingering quadriceps problem. It limited the No. 1 wideout to three snaps versus New York and robbed Prescott of a potential offensive game-breaker. Dallas played without both its starting tackles, Tyron Smith and La'El Collins, with Smith sidelined a second straight game with an ankle injury and Collins missing out with a sprained MCL.

Collins is hoping to be available for this game, while Smith's status is uncertain.

The Running Game

Philadelphia Eagles Running Offense
vs. Dallas Cowboys Running Defense

Philadelphia Eagles Running Offense

The Eagles running game continues to do just enough to keep opposing defenses honest. It is averaging 111.2 yards and 4.02 yards per carry. It has slightly more 10-yard rushes (17) than it does times stuffed for loss (13).

There are times feeding Jordan Howard has the look of a forcing a square peg into a round hole -- much like last year with Chicago -- and he failed to get going in his first "start" of the season last week with 13 carries for 48 yards.

There will be one notable change this weekend as first-round pick and left tackle Andre Dillard is expected to start in place of the injured Jason Peters, who suffered a knee injury in the loss to the Vikings. The Eagles have had more success running to the left than the right, averaging 4.32 yards on 66 rushes left compared to 3.34 yards on 56 attempts right, so there will be pressure on the 22nd overall pick, who logged 42 of his 63 snaps this season last weekend.

"We have total confidence in Andre," Pederson told the Eagles' official website. "I think about what Andre did last week in Minneapolis; it wasn’t perfect, but he’ll learn from it. He’ll get better. He’s a tremendous athlete. We have a lot of confidence in Andre.”

Dallas Cowboys Run Defense

The Cowboys have been completely hit-or-miss against the run this season. In the games against Miami, Washington, and the New York Jets, they allowed a combined 175 yards. They also have given up 117 or more in games versus New Orleans, Green Bay, and the New York Giants.

It is hard to tell if it is a scheme or a player that gives Dallas issues. The Cowboys did well to contain Le'Veon Bell last week, but Alvin Kamara, Aaron Jones, and Saquon Barkley all ripped off big chunk plays. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli made the needed tweaks last week as the Jets finished with 56 yards on 20 carries, and with the Eagles at least showing a commitment to the ground game through Howard and Miles Sanders, consistency will be the watchword for the front seven.

Dallas limited Philadelphia to 105 rushing yards on 30 carries in sweeping last season's two games, recording seven tackles for loss compared to yielding three runs of 10 or more yards.



Team Rushing Statistics

Carries — 166 (8th)

Carries Per game — 27.7 (11th)

Rushing Yards — 667 (15th)

Rushing Yards Per Game — 111.2 (15th)

Average Yards Per Carry — 4.02 (21st)

Rushing Touchdowns — 6 (T-12th)

Individual Rushing Statistics

Jordan Howard -- 66 carries/297 yards/4.50 yards per carry/4 TDs

Miles Sanders -- 57/199/3.49/0

Carson Wentz -- 21/82/3.90/1

Darren Sproles -- 15/59/3.93/0

Boston Scott -- 4/30/7.50/0

Alshon Jeffery -- 1/2/2.00/1

Josh McCown -- 2/-2/-1.00/0


Team Rushing Defense (Opponent Offensive Rank)

Opponent Carries — 211 (13th)

Opponent Carries per game — 22.3 (24th)

Opponent Rushing Yards — 563 (20th)

Average Opponent Rushing Yards Per Game — 93.8 (21st)

Average Opponent Rushing Yards Per Carry — 4.20 (20th)

Opponent Rushing TDs — 7 (T-5th)

Individual Defensive Statistics

Leighton Vander Esch -- 31 solo tackles/20 assists/51 tackles/1 stuff/0 TFL

Jaylon Smith -- 33/15/48/1.5/3

Xavier Woods -- 27/11/38/0.5/0

Jeff Heath -- 19/11/30/0.5/0

Chidobe Awuzie -- 19/9/28/1.0/ 1

Byron Jones -- 14/6/20/0/0

Anthony Brown -- 11/6/17/1.5/1

Sean Lee -- 8/6/14/0.5/0

Christian Covington -- 8/3/11/2.0/2

Joe Thomas -- 9/1/10/0/0

Robert Quinn -- 9/0/9/0/5

DeMarcus Lawrence -- 5/4/9/0.5/2

Jourdan Lewis -- 6/1/7/0/0

Dorance Armstrong -- 5/1/6/0/1

Maliek Collins -- 5/0/5/1/3

Tyrone Crawford -- 1/2/3/0/1

Who has the Edge?

Much of this depends on which Cowboys front seven shows up. Dallas has a solid linebacking trio paced by Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, but the front four must also do the dirty work to let the linebackers do theirs. How the Eagles run behind Dillard will be something to watch. If they find success behind the rookie early and build his confidence, Howard and Sanders may be able to slip through creases.

Advantage: Push

Dallas Cowboys Running Offense
vs. Philadelphia Eagles Running Defense

Dallas Cowboys Running Offense

For a guy who had a contract holdout, Elliott has been no worse for the wear after recording his third 100-yard game of the season. He earned those 105 yards versus the Jets, taking a pounding on his season-high 28 carries.

Despite those numbers, Elliott lamented this carry he felt could have changed the game.

“I don’t want to try too hard to create a big play,” Elliott told The Athletic. “I’m not going to try to create a big play. Just, opportunities like that, just making sure I take full advantage of it, so Monday I’m not regretting it or just thinking I could have done something different or done something better.”

Elliott has given the Eagles fits in all four games he has played, rushing for at least 96 yards in each game and topping 100 in the last three matchups. He has totaled 463 yards in the four games and recorded 17 carries of 10 or more yards and 23 of his 96 rushes have resulted in four downs.

Philadelphia Eagles Run Defense

The Eagles run defense has been above-average statistically, but it also is the by-product of a porous pass defense. The run-first Vikings showed a team can have success in that area versus Philadelphia, grinding out the first 100-yard effort in 2019 by totaling 122 yards on 35 carries.

Philadelphia may get some help in the matchup if Cowboys offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, but this will still be a stern challenge -- especially with the need to replace Brown among the linebackers following his surprising release. Alex Singleton is filling the roster spot after being promoted from the practice squad, but Nathan Gerry is likely the first to fill Brown's role as the Eagles have played more of a nickel package as a base defense.



Team Rushing Statistics

Carries — 173 (6th)

Carries Per game — 28.8 (7th)

Rushing Yards — 833 (5th)

Rushing Yards Per Game — 138.8 (7th)

Average Yards Per Carry — 4.82 (11th)

Rushing Touchdowns — 8 (T-7th)

Individual Rushing Statistics

Ezekiel Elliott -- 113 carries/491 yards/4.35 yards per carry/5 TDs

Tony Pollard -- 37/181/4.89/1

Dak Prescott -- 19/133/7.00/2

Tavon Austin -- 2/17/8.50/0

Randall Cobb -- 2/11/5.50/0


Team Rushing Defense (Opponent Offensive Rank)

Opponent Carries — 132 (T-22nd)

Opponent Carries per game — 22.0 (T-26th)

Opponent Rushing Yards — 437 (29th)

Average Opponent Rushing Yards Per Game — 72.8 (31st)

Average Opponent Rushing Yards Per Carry — 3.31 (31st)

Opponent Rushing TDs — 4 (T-20th)

Individual Defensive Statistics

Rodney McLeod -- 19 solo tackles/16 assists/35 tackles/0 stuff/0 TFL

Zach Brown -- 16/13/29/2.5/2

Nigel Bradham -- 17/9/26/0.0/0

Malcolm Jenkins -- 20/6/26/0.0/1

Rasul Douglas -- 17/5/22/2.0/3

Brandon Graham -- 15/5/20/2.5/6

Andrew Sendejo -- 15/5/20/1.0/2

Fletcher Cox -- 11/5/16/4.0/4

Sidney Jones -- 13/3/16/0.5/1

Avonte Maddox -- 11/5/16/0.0/1

Derek Barnett -- 12/3/15/2.0/3

Ronald Darby -- 13/1/14/0.0/0

Nathan Gerry -- 8/4/12/2.0/1

Josh Sweat -- 7/2/9/2.0/3

Vinny Curry -- 4/3/7/0.5/1

Hassan Ridgeway -- 4/3/7/2.5/3

Kamu Grugier-Hill -- 2/2/4/0.5/1

Daeshon Hall -- 1/0/1/0/1

Timmy Jernigan -- 1/0/1/0/1

Who has the Edge?

If it keeps working, don't fix it. That should be Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore's M.O. for this game regarding Elliott. He has been a consistent dual threat versus the Eagles, averaging 167 total yards rushing and receiving. Brown's departure and Bradham being out will likely going to cause some issues in Philadelphia's defense. If Moore is aggressive early -- an issue last week after losing Cooper in addition to not having Smith and Collins -- he could set the tone of the game.

Advantage: Dallas Cowboys

The Passing Game

Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense
vs. Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense

Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense

Wentz has regressed in one significant area compared to last season -- his completion percentage. After posting a 69.6 success rate in 2018, it has dipped to 61.2 heading into this contest. In turn, his yards per attempt has also taken a notable slide, going from 7.7 yards per attempt to 6.8.

Despite the accuracy issues, Wentz has delivered when needed on third down. He has completed 61.7 percent of his passes (37 for 60) for 469 yards and five touchdowns against only one interception. That has helped mitigate some of Wentz's issues on the road -- he has averaged nearly a full yard less per attempt and has thrown all three of his interceptions outside Philadelphia.

There has been a curious balance in terms of spreading the wealth among Wentz's target. The wide receivers caught 14 passes, but Alshon Jeffery had 10 of them. Sanders has emerged as a target out of the backfield in recent weeks and led the Eagles with 86 yards on just three receptions versus Minnesota.

“I’ve been working hard on being better in the receiving game and I think that when defenses look around, they see all these weapons and maybe I get some good matchups,” said Sanders, who has 13 receptions for 133 yards overall. “I want Carson (Wentz) to trust me and I want to make big plays for the offense anytime I have the ball.”

Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense

Before the season, the Cowboys defense at all three levels was one reason Dallas was tipped as a Super Bowl contender. After last week, however, there remains much work to do after the secondary was picked apart by Sam Darnold -- who was coming off a three-week absence.

The Cowboys yielded seven pass plays of 17 or more yards that accounted for 239 of New York's 326 passing yards. In contrast, Dallas had yielded 238 or fewer yards in the previous four games.

Compounding problems for this game is cornerbacks Byron Jones and Anthony Brown are both dealing with hamstring injuries. Jones is the more likely of the two to play, though Brown has not been ruled out. Jourdan Lewis, who recorded his first interception of the season last week, would be in line to step into either spot and has as many pass breakups as completions allowed (2) in his limited playing time.

Another issue has been the lack of a consistent pass rush. Dallas recorded just two sacks versus the Jets and has totaled 14 through the first six games. While DeMarcus Lawrence is the constant source of double teams, he still leads the team with 2.5 sacks and needs help.

“You obviously want more from everybody,” Garrett told The Athletic on Monday. “You want to be around the quarterback, we want to affect him and we want to sack him. DeMarcus is playing hard, and he certainly is getting a lot of attention week after week from the opposing offensive lines. But he would be the first to tell you that he needs to be around the quarterback more and be more productive in that area.”



Team Passing Statistics

Passes Attempted — 220 (T-9th)

Passes Completed — 134 (14th)

Completion Percentage — 60.9 (29th)

Gross Passing Yards — 1,482 (17th)

Net Passing Yards – 1,429 (15th)

Net Passing Yards Per Game — 238.2 (16th)

Average Gain Per Pass Play — 6.21 (20th)

Yards Per Attempt — 6.74 (25th)

Yards Per Completion — 11.06 (19th)

Passing TDs — 12 (T-4th)

Interceptions — 4 (T-16th most)

Times Sacked — 10 (T-25th most)

Passer Rating — 91.5 (16th)

Individual Passing

Carson Wentz — 131 completions/214 attempts/61.2 completion percentage/1,458 yards/12 TDs/3 INT/94.3 passer rating

Josh McCown -- 3/5/60.0/24/0/0/72.1

Jake Elliott -- 0/1/0.0/0/0/1/0.0

Individual Receiving

Zach Ertz -- 33 receptions/366 yards/11.1 yards per catch/1 TDs

Alshon Jeffery -- 24/215/9.0/3

Nelson Agholor -- 23/230/10.0/3

Miles Sanders -- 13/219/16.8/1

Mack Hollins -- 10/125/12.5/0

Dallas Goedert -- 10/91/9.1/1

DeSean Jackson -- 8/154/19.3/2

Jordan Howard -- 6/47/7.8/1

Darren Sproles -- 5/21/4.2/0

JJ Arcega-Whiteside -- 2/14/7.0/0


Team Passing Defense Statistics (Opponent Offensive Rank)

Opponents’ Passes Attempted — 222 (7th)

Opponents’ Passes Completed — 147 (T-6th)

Opponents’ Completing Percentage — 66.2 (14th)

Opponents’ Gross Passing Yards —1,542 (14th)

Opponents’ Net Passing Yards — 1,428 (16th)

Opponents’ Net Passing Yards Per Game — 238.0 (21st)

Opponents’ Yards Per Attempt — 6.95 (24th)

Opponents’ Yards Per Completion — 10.49 (24th)

Opponents’ Average Gain Per Pass Play — 6.05 (24th)

Opponents’ TD passes — 5 (T–26th)

Interceptions — 2 (T-26th)

Sacks — 14 (T-14th)

Opponents’ Passer Rating — 90.0 (17th)

Individual Defense Sacks and Quarterback Hurries

Robert Quinn -- 5.0 sacks/37.0 yards/6 QBH

DeMarcus Lawrence -- 2.5/6.0/6

Jaylon Smith -- 2.0/27.0/2

Maliek Collins -- 2.0/17.0/5

Dorance Armstrong -- 1.0/12.0/4

Tyrone Crawford -- 1.0/13/2

Leighton Vander Esch -- 0.5/2/1

Interceptions and Passes Broken Up

Chidobe Awuzie -- 1 INT/6 PBU

Jourdan Lewis -- 1/2

Jeff Heath -- 0/4

Anthony Brown -- 0/4

Byron Jones -- 0/3

Robert Quinn -- 0/2

Leighton Vander Each -- 0/2

Who has the Edge?

Though some of it can be attributed to the Vikings playing a softer defense to keep things in front of them while protecting a lead, Wentz did complete 60 percent of his passes for the first time since Philadelphia's Week 1 win versus Washington.

The expectation is the Eagles will let Jeffery test the Cowboys corners deep to see just how healthy Jones and Brown are since tight end Zach Ertz will face strong coverage in Vander Esch and Smith. Ertz did total 19 catches for 183 yards and two touchdowns in the two meetings, but the Jets did not target their tight end all that much last weekend.

Advantage: Philadelphia Eagles

Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense
vs. Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense

Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense

The Cowboys do not lack for receiving options when Cooper is unable to play. What Cooper brings is the big-play, game-breaking potential. Much like he did last season in the overtime victory over the Eagles last season.

Cooper, though, did not practice Wednesday because of his thigh bruise/quad injury, and Randall Cobb could miss a second straight game. Everyone stepped up in Cooper's absence last week as receivers Tavon Austin, Michael Gallup, and Cedrick Wilson combined for 14 catches while tight end Jason Witten and Elliott had five catches apiece.

“He has the contusion on his thigh, which obviously bothered him yesterday,” Garrett said. “He was going to try to play and he just felt like once he got started he couldn’t play. So we’ll see. We’ll take his situation day by day.”

For Wilson, it was the first five receptions of his career after spending last season on the practice squad. The sixth-round pick in 2018 totaled 46 yards and picked up two first downs.

Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense

The Eagles secondary is much like the setting on a toaster -- burnt. With the exception of its victory over the New York Jets -- who started a third-string quarterback -- Philadelphia has allowed at least 100-yard receiver in its other five games and six overall.

“There’s some injury, but again, I’m not going to use that as an excuse,” Pederson told The Athletic about his secondary. “The guys have to play. … We’ve got to be critical of ourselves as coaches, first, and make corrections with players.”

Rasul Douglas has been picked on for deeper routes, with opposing quarterbacks going 19 for 38 for 341 yards and four touchdowns. Ronald Darby has not been much better, with opponents going 13 for 20 for 194 yards and a pair of scores. One can imagine Cooper is doing everything in his power to be healthy for this game, especially given the way he tormented Philadelphia's secondary last season and the on-going struggles.



Team Passing Statistics

Passes Attempted — 211 (13th)

Passes Completed — 147 (T-7th)

Completion Percentage — 69.7 (7th)

Gross Passing Yards — 1,883 (3rd)

Net Passing Yards – 1,829 (3rd)

Net Passing Yards Per Game — 304.8 (3rd)

Average Gain Per Pass Play — 8.39 (2nd)

Yards Per Attempt — 8.92 (3rd)

Yards Per Completion — 12.81 (5th)

Passing TDs — 11 (8th)

Interceptions — 6 (T-9th most)

Times Sacked — 7 (29th most)

Passer Rating — 102.9 (5th)

Individual Passing

Dak Prescott — 147 completions/211 attempts/69.7 completion percentage/1,883 yards/11 TDs/6 INT/102.9 passer rating

Individual Receiving

Amari Cooper -- 33 receptions/515 yards/15.6 yards per catch/5 TDs

Michael Gallup -- 24/387/16.1/1

Jason Witten -- 22/230/10.5/2

Ezekiel Elliott -- 18/139/7.7/0

Randall Cobb -- 17/210/12.4/1

Blake Jarwin -- 10/119/11.9/1

Tavon Austin -- 8/90/11.3/0

Devin Smith -- 5/113/22.6/1

Cedrick Wilson -- 5/46/9.2/0

Tony Pollard -- 4/28/7.0/0

Dalton Schultz -- 1/6/6.0/0


Team Passing Defense Statistics (Opponent Offensive Rank)

Opponents’ Passes Attempted — 227 (5th)

Opponents’ Passes Completed — 146 (T-8th)

Opponents’ Completing Percentage — 64.3 (18th)

Opponents’ Gross Passing Yards — 1,776 (T-3rd)

Opponents’ Net Passing Yards — 1,681 (4th)

Opponents’ Net Passing Yards Per Game — 280.2 (4th)

Opponents’ Yards Per Attempt — 7.82 (11th)

Opponents’ Yards Per Completion — 12.16 (10th)

Opponents’ Average Gain Per Pass Play — 6.98 (9th)

Opponents’ TD passes — 13 (5th)

Interceptions — 7 (T-4th)

Sacks — 14 (T-14th)

Opponents’ Passer Rating — 94.5 (13th)

Individual Defense Sacks and Quarterback Hurries

Brandon Graham -- 4.0 sacks/24.0 yards/9 QBH

Derek Barnett -- 2.0/15.0/9

Orlando Scandrick -- 2.0/16.0/1

Andrew Sendejo -- 1/10.0/2

Josh Sweat -- 1.0/4.0/3

Vinny Curry -- 1.0/1.0/4

Hassan Ridgeway -- 1.0/8.0/3

Daeshon Hall -- 1.0/7.0/2

Timmy Jernigan -- 1.0/10.0/1

Interceptions and Passes Broken Up

Nathan Gerry -- 2 INTs/2 PBU

Rodney McLeod -- 1/3

Nigel Bradham -- 1/3

Andrew Sendejo -- 1/2

Ronald Darby -- 1/5

Sidney Jones -- 1/3

Rasul Douglas -- 0/6

Avonte Maddox -- 0/4

Who has the Edge?

Even if Cooper is unable to go, the Eagles' secondary has been all sorts of atrocious that the Cowboys still get the advantage here. It is a testament to both Prescott's maturity and Moore's play-calling that Dallas has depth at the receiver position that the third and fourth options not only filled spots but provided productivity.

Philadelphia's pass rush has struggled all season -- the 10 sacks against the Jets are an aberration given the circumstances of their offense -- and it would not be surprising to see another big game from Prescott, more so if Cooper is available.

Advantage: Dallas Cowboys


Philadelphia Eagles

Pederson raised eyebrows with his talk of guaranteeing a victory, which also deflected talk away from cutting Brown as his defensive staff try to come up with a workaround to fill that spot. It is hard to tell if the Eagles are a desperate team or simply an inconsistent one, but their horrid pass defense blurs that line.

Eagles kicker Jake Elliott has made all 23 of his kicks -- 16 PATs and seven field goals. Elliott has booted four field goals inside of 30 yards, helping Philadelphia lead the league in points per red zone possession (5.7).

Punter Cameron Johnston also has been excellent, averaging 47.2 yards on 22 punts while putting 12 of them inside the opposing 20 without a touchback. Johnston has also allowed just nine runbacks totaling 65 yards. Philadelphia still has the distinction of being the only team to allow a kickoff return for a touchdown, but if that runback is removed, it is holding opponents under 20 yards per return.

Dallas Cowboys

Another week, another dose of drama. The good news for the Cowboys is they can easily tune out the noise regarding Garrett's "tenuous" job status, which comes up on a weekly basis. As opposed to Philadelphia, where there are pieces of the team struggling, Dallas looks to be an issue of putting all three phases of the game together.

Brett Maher has converted just 7 of 11 field goals, but he also hammered a 62-yarder at the end of the first half last weekend. He also made a 50-yarder in that game, and it should be noted two of his four misses on the season have been from 50 yards or longer.

Chris Jones has been serviceable in the punting game, averaging 43 yards while putting eight of his 19 attempts inside the opposing 20 versus one touchback. Dallas' return games have been non-descript, with both Austin and Cobb providing sure hands but not much in the way of breakaway returns.

Who has the Edge?

Given what is at stake in this game -- sole possession of first place in the NFC East -- the respective backdrops around each team offer interest to the neutrals but little in the way of a disadvantage or advantage for either team. The Eagles may have a slight edge at kicker since Elliott has been automatic, but Maher's big leg could prove an equalizer.

Advantage: Push

Final Outlook

It is a game that can go either way, but the lean is the Cowboys because their offense can more easily exploit the Eagles defense than the other way around. Philadelphia has yet to find an answer for Elliott, and the hunch is replacing Brown is going to be more of a challenge than has been let on for that defense.

The Cowboys proved they have people who can fill Cooper's spot -- though not his game-breaking ability -- and be able to move the ball against the defense. And if Dallas controls the line of scrimmage, it controls time of possession. That keeps the defense fresh and could lead to a better performance.

Latest Updates, Injury Reports, and Line Movements

Philadelphia's injury list remained lengthy with Friday's final report released as Bradham and Avonte Maddox are out on the defensive side, while DeSean Jackson is again sidelined. The Cowboys are down their slot corner Brown, but everyone else is listed as questionable or better. That means both tackles could play, and Cooper's status continues to be monitored closely.

The pick remains the Cowboys, who should right themselves at home in this game behind their balanced offense. The bonus of the line moving to the low-side hook on a field goal also makes Dallas a better play.

Prediction: Cowboys -2.5 (-110)

Second Opinion on this pick from

Additional Insiders' Best Bets

Full-game Total Bet

Insiders Status:


The win over the Jets continues be an aberration for many reasons. In this case, it is the outlier of results for Philadelphia as the other five games have totaled at least 44, and four of the five surpassed 50. The teams got to 47 and 52 in their two matchups last year, and the expectation is to see more of the same given Philadelphia's issues in the secondary and Wentz's ability to find soft spots in Dallas' defense.

The line clicked higher to the flat touchdown total, but with both coaches unafraid to use their kickers, this game should not end on a flat touchdown total and be an end-to-end contest.

Prediction: OVER 49 points (-115)

Full-game Prop Bet

Insiders Status:


The expectation is the Cowboys will win this game outright, so taking the teaser to get them and 5.5 points while taking almost a full touchdown off the board makes this an excellent combination to tease. Four of Dallas' six games have totaled at least 46 points, and Philadelphia has had 51 or more in four of six contests.

Two Yardage Props We Like

Zach Ertz OVER 68.5 receiving yards (-114)

Ezekiel Elliott OVER 27.5 receiving yards (-114)

Four running backs have finished with at least 37 receiving yards against the Eagles thus far, and Elliott has been a two-way nuisance in their matchups. He has 13 catches for 107 yards in his last three games, and Prescott has not been shy about trying to find him, targeting him 16 times in that span.

Ertz has also been a matchup nightmare for the Cowboys, but there is less aggressiveness behind the selection because his two best games versus Dallas has come at home. His highest yardage total on the road against the Cowboys is 44 yards, but with at least seven targets in all six games, the feeling is he is worth the flyer.

Prediction: Cowboys +5.5/OVER 43 points teaser (-110)

Half-time Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Neither team has been a good first-half team, getting outscored cumulatively by a combined 32 points. Additionally, the Cowboys have gone from plus-25 in the first three games to minus-38 in the last three while failing to score a touchdown as the quality of opponent has increased.

Philadelphia has also done itself no favors on the road defensively in the first half, yielding 54 points while leading in one of three games. It may be an ugly process, but the Cowboys should have enough offensively to lead after two quarters.

Prediction: Cowboys (-115)

Half-time Total Bet

Insiders Status:


The suggestion is to jump on this low-side TD+FG hook now before it climbs the half-point. Both teams are averaging double figures in first-half points allowed -- Dallas is 11.2 and Philadelphia is 15.7 -- and both teams have enough offense that three touchdowns and a field goal is plenty reachable.

Prediction: OVER 23.5 points (-121)

Half-time Prop Bet

Insiders Status:


Frankly, taking the over for either team in the first half should be a winning play, but Philadelphia has been more consistent on the offensive end in the opening two quarters and reached double figures in its last four games.

Prediction: Eagles OVER 11.5 points (-115)

Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is based in Chicago. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiner, he worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Follow Chris daily right here at W&W and on Twitter at @AlTruda73. You won’t be disappointed.