Cowboys vs Eagles: Preview for the Battle of the NFC East

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 30: Dak Prescott
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 30: Dak Prescott /

The 2016 division champion Dallas Cowboys, host the 2017 division leading Philadelphia Eagles tonight in the battle of the NFC East.

The floundering Dallas Cowboys once again find themselves in a must-win contest as they take on the one-loss Eagles on Sunday Night Football. Currently standing outside of the playoff picture, the Cowboys are in do-or-die mode as they close out the month of November.

Without the services of Ezekiel Elliott, Sean Lee, and likely Tyron Smith, the odds will be heavily stacked against Dallas. Last week, epically poor play at left tackle doomed the Cowboys offense and prevented Dak Prescott from sustained drives. Will the Cowboys coaching staff learn from their mistakes and scheme to succeed against an even better opposing defensive front?

We discuss in our predictions…

Dan Ruppert Prediction

With the news coming out that Tyron Smith probably won’t be playing, Sean Lee and Dan Bailey still being out, and of course how can we forget Jeff Heath (ok so that is a little sarcastic) not playing, the Dallas Cowboys are facing an uphill battle this Sunday night. The fact they are facing a red-hot Eagles team should give pause to anyone thinking the Dallas Cowboys will win this game.

If the Cowboys want to win they have to get their pass rush to be the difference maker. Carson Wentz has been hit a lot more this season than last, and if he isn’t doing a three-step drop and throwing, he becomes much more beatable.

Working on a three step drop, Wentz has the best QB rating in the NFL. However, if asked to push the football deep or if forced to check his throw, he becomes very average. He is great short and intermediate, but not very good deep.

If the Dallas Cowboys’ corners can make Wentz pause from quick throws and the pass rush can pressure Wentz, then mistakes can and will be made, leading to a Cowboys upset.

This all being said, I haven’t seen enough from the Cowboys with Lee out to think this can happen. Add in if the Eagles score early, it could force Dak to throw more than he would like. I just can’t pick the Cowboys this week as much as it hurts me to say.

Philadelphia Eagles 33 – Dallas Cowboys 23 

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Dink Kearney Prediction

The Dallas Cowboys face the daunting task of beating the Philadelphia Eagles in a Sunday Night showdown. The Cowboys will be without Pro Bowlers Tyron Smith, Sean Lee and the best running back in the NFL, Ezekiel Elliott. It’s going to be very hard to beat the Eagles without Smith in the lineup, let alone without Lee and Zeke.

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Reserve left tackle, Byron Bell, will start over swing tackle, Chaz Green. This after Green played absolutely patheticly last week against the Atlanta Falcons, giving up 6 sacks and countless preasures.

With that being said, expect the Cowboys to play their butts off in the first half and make it a competitive game. The Cowboys will do their best to protect Dak in pass protection by giving Bell some help, and the Cowboys will run the ball more and rely on play action pass to get the offense going.

Dak will have a big game as he battle Carson Wentz, the newly dubbed Hall of Famer according to some NFL experts. But with no Smith, Lee, and Zeke, this means the Cowboys don’t have their best pass blocker, their best linebacker, and the best RB in the game.

The Eagles will take advantage of this and exploit the Cowboys weaknesses. The Eagles will win a close game in classic NFC East fashion.

Eagles 31   Cowboys 24 

Next: If you think Dak was disappointing last week you're not paying attention

Reid Hanson

As said around Cowboys Nation everywhere, the loss of Zeke and Sean Lee are big, but the loss of Tyron Smith could prove insurmountable. If fully staffed, I would predict a beatdown of the Eagles tonight. But given the current state of the roster, the coaching staff’s inability to adjust, and the lack of depth at arguably the most important position other than quarterback (LT), I don’t see any way this ends well for the Cowboys.

Eagles 34 Cowboys 17