Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys: Playoff Game in Mid-October

Will QB Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys have the last laugh Sunday night?
Photo Courtesy: KA Sports Photos

By Zach Walker

Game Info
Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys
Sunday – October 20 – 7:20 p.m.
TV: NBC
AT&T Stadium – Arlington, TX

Record Before Kickoff
Philadelphia Eagles (3-3, 1-2 Away)
Dallas Cowboys (3-3, 2-1 Home)

Really, what doesn’t need to be reiterated, is just how much acquired sh** this Dallas bed is brimmed with. Yes, the Saints are a very good team and the plan was to have Teddy Bridgewater take over for Drew Brees, so that game (in New Orleans) was always a potential loss. The Packers own this franchise, and it really showed some character in this Cowboys’ team that they couldn’t muster up the amperage to get up for that game. That loss was pretty much in pen from the schedule release. The Jets though..? They didn’t have their starting left guard, starting free-agent linebacker, lost a lineman in-game and the Cowboys did the most predictable Cowboys’ thing imaginable, lose to a returning Sam Darnold, while making Darnold look as good as he ever has in his young career. What I’ll say about that Jets’ game… Dak Prescott got his ass kicked. It’s EXTRA funny just what constitutes roughing the passer. Prescott got one in the game, in the fourth quarter. Dude got absolutely Gregg Williams-Brand buried when he was taken to the ground, and if that flag came early in the game rather than late maybe Prescott doesn’t throw some of his passes a little high due to being worried about his post-throw follow through. But, it’s a loss.

This Eagles’ game. It’s big. For both teams, really. Philadelphia has been on a skid of their own. The Eagles have been hot and cold, start by beating Washington, then drop the next two to the Falcons and the Lions, then they look like a complete team against the Packers and just BULLY the Falk-ing Jets, just to drop a game against a rocky Vikings team.

What cannot be emphasized enough is just HOW HURT THESE TEAMS BOTH ARE. One could simply look the injury report themselves, however here’s the headliners: (As of Thursday end-of-practices) Did Not Practice: Anthony Brown (CB), Randall Cobb (WR), Amari Cooper (WR), Byron Jones (CB), Zack Martin (OG), Joe Looney (OL). For the Eagles: Tim Jerrigan (DT), Nigel Bradham (LB), Jason Peters (OT), Darren Sproles (RB), DeSean Jackson (WR). That’s a lot of very important players. Fletcher Cox is injured too, as is Ronald Darby. The Cowboys’ two starting tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins are trying to get back, then Michael Gallup and Chris Jones (the punter, the good foot) are also hampered. This isn’t a Sunday night football game, it’s a NBC broadcast of a triage unit.

The Cowboys defensive line, and all involved, are NOT getting the job done. DeMarcus Lawrence IS getting pressure, which is good, everyone will point to his effect on moving the quarterback as not being as ineffective as the stats would suggest. But, if he doesn’t start getting the quarterback down, all those “pressure” advance stats won’t be anything. Robert Quinn is doing work, and Maliek Collins is getting good things done. But, they just lost Tyrone Crawford for the season. This second round pick rookie, Trysten Hill, needs to get on the field.

The main dangers for both offenses, however, are still up and ready for action. I really don’t put that Jets’ game on either Dak Prescott or Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott worked his ass off for those yards, but I think my favorite play of his was a great block on the Dak Prescott draw touchdown run in the dying minute of the game. Dak got beaten down in that game, and he’s needing a resurgence. Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz are still really a dynamic duo, and when the going gets tough, Wentz has been known for going to his excellent tight end.

This Cowboys’ team is bursting for a victory. They need to throw the noodles, the pan, the kitchen sink, the whole ball of wax at this game, because their bye week starts after the game, which they need almost as bad as that victory.

Prediction
Dallas – 26
Philadelphia – 24