This isn’t a game that matters at this point for the Cowboys, but it gives the Eagles a chance to finish their lackluster season on a slightly positive note. The Cowboys are headed to the playoffs, and Philly is destined for the off-season, but they’ll have one last battle this Sunday. Dallas went 13-2 this year and has a first-round bye. Philadelphia will be playing to avenge their very close loss to the Cowboys in week 8. The big story, of course, is will the rookie Dallas starters play? The Eagles are the -3.5 favorites on Sports Interaction’s NFL odds.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Point spread: Eagles -3.5
Date: Sunday, January 1, 2017
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
As Dallas heads to their game in Philly, the spread for the game hovers at 3.5 points favoring the Eagles, for no other reason that the Cowboys starters are being rested before the playoffs. Giving Ezekiel Elliott a break would be wise, considering how many hard hits he took during the Lions game last week. Dallas should be able to do well without him, with a talented roster in their backfield. That said, if he plays, he and the Cowboys could make some history, and break the rookie rushing record set by Eric Dickerson in 1983.
The last time these two met this season, it went into overtime after the Eagles led for the first half. That win was the sixth win in a row at that point for the surging Cowboys, and they went on to make it 11. Now at 13-2, the Cowboys have had one of the best seasons in franchise history, and have a first-round bye and home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
On the quarterback front, it’ll be interesting to see who the Cowboys go with. Will Romo suit up? Owner Jerry Jones has told the media that the starters will be playing, but if they do decide to rest Prescott, it could be Romo or official backup Mark Sanchez, a former Eagle, who gets the gig. The defense will be ready for any of those three options on their attempt at a second-straight win at home over this division rival.
This game will be one that the Eagles will want to win for their pride as much as for a positive note to end their season. That last game against the Cowboys was a heartbreaker for Philly, during a prime time slot on Sunday where they looked like they might win it going into the second half. It came down to a Cowboys win in overtime, and ended up dropping Philadelphia to 4-3 on their season, and was the start of a seven loss run.
The Eagles have the league’s 10th-ranked rushing offense this year, and are behind only the Cowboys, the 49ers and the Falcons in the NFC. Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz ranks second, behind Dak Prescott, among the league rookies in passing yards with 3,537 and 14 touchdowns.
So while the Eagles aren’t as stacked talent-wise, they’ve look stronger in the last few weeks than they have all season. They gave the Ravens a tough game a couple weeks back, and got a win against the Giants last week.
Cowboys vs. Eagles Prediction
If they Cowboys aren’t playing all their big guns, the Eagles should be able to get away with a win here. Eagles -3.5