It’s a clash between the top two teams in the NFC East down in the Lone Star State. The Philadelphia Eagles look to further distance themselves from the rest of the pack as they take on the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night in prime time. Philadelphia had a bye last week: they won their seventh straight game as they trounced the Broncos 51-23 at home on November 4 in their last contest. Dallas had their three game win streak snapped with a 27-7 loss on the road in Atlanta last Sunday. The Cowboys hold a 62-50 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams: they split two meetings last season with each team prevailing at home.
Philadelphia Eagles Seek Eighth Straight Win
Philadelphia may have just wanted to pass on the bye last week after reeling off seven straight wins heading into it. The Eagles are 8-1 and enter this game with a three game edge over the Cowboys in the NFC East so a win could pretty much put the division out of reach. Philadelphia jumped to a 17-3 lead after the first quarter, extended it to 31-9 at the half and cruised the rest of the way. The Eagles held a 419-226 advantage in total offense, racked up 25 first downs to Denver’s 14 and forced a pair of turnovers while committing just one, though that was a scoop six in the fourth quarter. By that point, however, the game was well in hand.
The Eagles enter this contest 14th in the league in passing offense with 240.2 yards per contest and 4th in the league in rushing with 136.8 yards per game. Philadelphia is second in the league in scoring offense as they put up 31.4 points per game and tied for 10th in scoring defense as they allow 19.9 points per contest. Carson Wentz has completed 176 of 291 passes for 2,262 yards with 23 touchdowns against five interceptions while adding 211 yards on the ground. LeGarrette Blount (109 carries, 504 yards, two TD) is the lead back in the committee for the Eagles. Corey Clement (48 carries, 182 yards, three TD), Wendell Smallwood (43 carries, 168 yards, TD) and the recently acquired Jay Ajayi (146 carries, 542 yards, TD, eight carries, 77 yards, TD with Philadelphia) are in the mix as well. In the passing game, tight end Zach Ertz leads the team with 43 receptions for 528 yards plus six touchdowns. Alshon Jeffery (34 receptions, 500 yards, five TD) and Nelson Agholor (29 grabs, 428 yards, five TD) are the top outside receiving threats. Caleb Sturgis was one of two on extra points and three of three on field goals with a long of 50 before getting hurt. Jake Elliott has hit 24 of 27 extra points and 17 of 20 field goals with a long of 61.
Dallas Cowboys Need Win to Stay in NFC East Race
Dallas was absolutely brutal in their first game without star running back Ezekiel Elliott, who finally served the first game of a six game suspension. The Cowboys were stagnant offensively and, with the run game kept in check for the most part, Dak Prescott was a sitting duck. Dallas was outgained 336-233, gave up 22 first downs while recording 18, lost the time of possession battle 32:06 to 27:54 and turned the ball over twice while forcing just one takeaway. The Cowboys’ lone touchdown drive covered 21 yards, set up by an interception. Dallas allowed eight sacks in the game, including a franchise record six by Atlanta’s Adrian Clayborn, who had just two sacks all season coming in.
The Cowboys come into this one 20th in the league in passing with 211.7 yards per contest and 2nd in rushing with 143.6 yards per game. Dallas is 8th in the league in scoring as they put up 25.9 points per game and 17th in scoring defense as they allow 22.8 points per contest. Dak Prescott is 183 of 289 for 1,994 yards with 16 touchdowns against four interceptions while rushing for 237 yards and five scores. Ezekiel Elliott leads the team with 191 carries for 783 yards plus seven scores but he has five more games on his suspension. That means Alfred Morris (25 carries, 169 yards) gets first crack at being the feature back. In the passing game, Dez Bryant (42 receptions, 478 yards, four TD) and Jason Witten (42 catches, 378 yards, 3 TD) are tied for the team lead in catches. Terrance Williams (31 grabs, 366 yards) and Cole Beasley (24 receptions, 188 yards, four TD) are other options in the passing game. Dan Bailey hit all 16 extra points and seven field goal attempts with a long of 56 before sustaining a hip injury. Mike Nugent has connected on all eight extra points and four of six field goals with a long of 48.
- Eagles are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win
- Eagles are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS win
- Eagles are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game
- Cowboys are 2-8 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
- Cowboys are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record
- Cowboys are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game
Dallas looked absolutely brutal last week against the Falcons as they couldn’t seem to block anyone. The offense was flat without Elliott and it’s hard to see how another week will change that dynamic. Philadelphia was on a roll before the bye and used the time to get some guys healthy, not to mention getting Ajayi more acclimated to the system. The Eagles own the league’s best record and there’s no reason to think they won’t make it eight straight wins here. Give the points and take Philadelphia, even on the road.
Pick: Philadelphia Eagles -3
Philadelphia brings the league’s second highest scoring offense into Big D for this one and they’ve shown little thought to slowing down this season. The Eagles piled up 51 points on the Broncos and their season low for points in a game this season is 20, which came in their lone loss of the year. Dallas was rolling along offensively until the judicial system put an end to the Elliott appeal train, forcing him to the sidelines. Without him, the Cowboys merely looked lost: giving up eight sacks, a couple where it seemed the line didn’t get out of their stance before Clayborn blew by, is concerning to say the least.
The over is 14-2 in the Eagles’ last 16 road games, 10-2 in their last 12 games against NFC East opponents, 5-1 in their last six against teams with a winning record and 4-1 in their last five after a straight up win of at least 14 points. Dallas has seen the over go 5-1 in their last six against teams with a winning record, 4-1 in their last five after an ATS loss and 7-3 in their last 10 after throwing for less than 150 yards in their last game. With the way the Eagles are scoring, it’s hard to go against the over. Expect Dallas to get some late points like Denver did to help push this one beyond the number.