Okay, we get it, both teams have been terrible underachievers this season. Neither has lived up to the lofty preseason expectations portrayed both inside and outside the locker room. Yet, The Eagles and Cowboys face off this week for the NFC East title and a ticket to the playoffs. You can say that these teams are mirror images of each other. Their offenses are streaky, the biggest weakness is the defensive side of the ball, and both have dealt with injuries throughout the season. None of that matters this week with both teams’ seasons on the line. The Cowboys embarrassed the Eagles 37-10 in their week 7 match-up. Can the Cowboys capitalize on several favorable match-ups?
Ezekiel Elliot vs Eagles’ Defense
Dallas has thrived against the Eagles in recent years, going 5-2 since Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have joined the team. Ironically enough, all five wins have come with Elliott in the game. In those five match-ups Zeke has averaged 114.8 yards-per-game on the ground, while only finding the endzone twice. Averaging a healthy 4.5 yards-per-carry this season, the Ohio stud will look to continue this trend against the Eagles’ third ranked rushing defense. The match-up may not seem favorable on paper, but it’s doubtful that Philly stacks the box as their secondary has been plagued with injuries.
Dak Prescott vs Eagles’ Secondary
While the Cowboys game-plan for this week, expect Dak Prescott and Kellen Moore to be chomping at the bit in anticipation for this Eagles’ secondary. Decimated by injuries, Philadelphia ranks 18th in pass defense while the Cowboys are second in passing offense. Jim Schwartz and Philly’s defense have struggled to limit big plays. Expect Dallas to target this ravaged secondary with their big play receivers as Cooper has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark while Gallup is knocking on the door (911).
Battle in the Trenches
This game will likely come down to which team is able to move the chains on third down. Dallas and Philadelphia rank first and second in the league in third-down conversion percentage. On the flip-side, the Cowboys are fourth in third down conversions allowed (34.3%) while the Eagles sit just inside the top-ten at ninth (35.4%). While we have seen both secondaries struggle at times, both teams have proven to have a strong defensive line. Whichever team can win in the trenches, will likely win the game and be crowned NFC East Champions.
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