It would take quite a bit to overshadow “Dallas Week” in Philadelphia, but the Phillies’ first home playoff games in 11 years are coming pretty close. That said, nobody is forgetting that the Birds host the Cowboys to cap off a pretty busy weekend at the Sports Complex. It seems sacrilegious to think about football right now, but the Frenetics soldier on.
The guys have alternated victories thus far this season, meaning it’s John’s turn to go first as they tell us what’s going to happen at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday night.
John (3-2-0): Cowboys Week is upon us, but it doesn’t feel like it. With the Phillies advancing to the NLDS and the Eagles cruising at 5-0, a battle for first in the NFC East seems like it’s on the back burner…for now.
This is a huge game. Even though the NFC East is better than expected, both Cowboys games and the remaining contests against the Packers and Titans might be the only true litmus tests for the Eagles this year. Because this game is at home, the Eagles have an advantage in what should be a battle of the defenses. This doesn’t mean that it will be a low scoring game. It’s truly all about turnovers and who can get to the QB in this one.
That’s where the Eagles have an advantage. Once again, they’ll have to rely on Jalen Hurts’ legs to get them out of trouble. He can do it again, but handing off early and often to Miles Sanders may help them maintain a consistent approach against a defense that has given up a decent amount of rushing yards this year.
On the flip side, this feels like a Jordan Davis breakout game. His snap count has been increasing and he seems due to make a big impact. Yet again, Haason Reddick will be called on to do his thing and create havoc with a key turnover. This game might be more interesting than we want, but another Eagles W is on the horizon. Eagles 27, Cowboys 22.
Offensive Standout: Miles Sanders
Defensive Standout: Jordan Davis
Joe (2-3-0): I gotta be honest, I’m finding it difficult to care about the Eagles game when I know that by the time they kick off at the Linc on Sunday night, the Phillies will have either swept a pair of playoff games at Citizens Bank Park to reach the National League Championship Series, have been swept out of the last three games of the NLDS with two home defeats, or just played a Game 5 that either sent them on or sent them home. Suffice to say, I don’t have the emotional bandwidth necessary to feel any sort of way about this game, before or after.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t have thoughts!
Dallas is good. Their backup quarterback has taken the NFL by storm – six weeks ago, everyone thought “Cooper Rush” was some sort of sorority house recruitment event – but their bread and butter is on the other side of the ball. Between Demarcus Lawrence, Micah Parsons, and Trevon Diggs, there’s top-flight talent at each level of the defense.
As much as the Eagles have had success running the ball the last two seasons, that isn’t going to work against the Cowboys. Jalen Hurts is going to have to win this game with his arm, not his legs, and that means guys other than A.J. Brown are going to have to make plays. DeVonta Smith, whichever Batman he is, needs to have a big night, and the banged-up offensive line has to keep Hurts on his feet.
The reality is that the Eagles are a fortunate 5-0, as they’ve regressed each week since the second half of the game at Washington in Week 3. I don’t have much confidence that they’ll stem that tide, and my instinct is to take the Cowboys here in a close, but ultimately not-in-doubt result. But Lawrence decided to give the Eagles some bulletin board material, even though they shouldn’t need it, so I expect Suspect Arm Batman to pull out another one, maybe even by scoring the winning touchdown himself. Eagles 23, Cowboys 21.
Offensive Standout: DeVonta Smith
Defensive Standout: Kyzir White