SNF: Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles Spread Play
The Dallas Cowboys take on the Philadelphia Eagles in NFC East action on Sunday Night Football. Oddly enough, for a pair of teams who are a combined 4-9-1, a lot is on the line, with the division still for the taking. The Eagles are coming off the long week, posting a 22-21 win over the Giants last Thursday. While decimated from injuries, they have hung in there pretty tough the last month and now host a really sideways Cowboys bunch. On Sunday, the flattened Cowboys lost 25-3 to Washington, and it's not easy right now to be optimistic, even in a division where no team has surpassed two wins heading into week eight.
Whose Problems Will Surface More?
The Eagles have been peppered by injuries, but their defense has held up decently in spots. Carson Wentz is still dangerous, but he is really strapped for viable weapons with which to work, with the bulk of the Philly production sidelined. They’re trying to make it work with Boston Scott as lead back, with aerial weapons like Travis Fulgham, John Hightower, Greg Ward, and TE Richard Rodgers. Adding to the trouble is a once-solid line being rendered a shadow of its former self due to injuries.
Still, the Eagles have shown some grit, which is more than you can say for the Cowboys. In the last two weeks, with the Cowboys playing the Cardinals and Washington, they were outscored by the combined score of 63-13. Conversely, the Eagles have been serviceable, beating the 49ers on the road, slugging it out in a hard-fought game with the unbeaten Steelers, coming within two of Baltimore, and then beating the Giants last week. The home game against the Giants, however, where they averted a late two-point conversion to win, showed they're still a pretty dicey proposition.
Dallas has really bottomed out. Even with Dak Prescott in there, they were stinking it up, but at least had some offensive pop to make them a real threat. Without that, they're nothing. And on top of everything else, there seems to be an internal problem, where guys don't seem fully aboard mentally. Not to say head coach Mike McCarthy has lost the team, but even with the injuries, he's extracting an astoundingly-small amount of production from this group. The team for not going after John Bostic after he leveled Andy Dalton also speaks volumes.
How Can You Get Behind the Cowboys Right Now?
Quarterback issues aside, the Cowboys still have some of the best skill-guys in the league. Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t been great. But with Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Dalton Schultz, there are ample weapons. It’s really loaded when compared to the offense on the opposite sideline. Superior offensive firepower has to count for something. And beyond what the Cowboys can and cannot do at this point, how great of a feeling can one really have after seeing them the last few weeks? Unless they make a late-week signing, it looks like Ben DiNucci will start, a rookie 7th round draft pick, barring a fast recovery for Andy Dalton. And another downgrade at the quarterback position is the last thing this team needs, considering how impotent they’ve been without Prescott. When you have a last-ranked defense in the league, you can’t stop the run, and the “D” makes almost zero positive contributions to the cause, the picture becomes even bleaker.
Still, how comfortable are you laying a number on an Eagles’ team that has seen almost all of their pertinent offensive tools sidelined? Taking the Eagles when you’re getting points feels a ton better than this. Even if your assessment of their opponent suggests a good spot for Philly, you get points from offense, and they just don't have much right now. They can hang in there and maybe nip their opponents at the wire, but in no way is this team built to put separation between themselves and their opponents.
Hope for Philly
Even with a dilapidated O-line, they can still run the ball and will probably find success against a wavering Dallas front. Miles Sanders could practice and appear on Sunday, with Jalen Reagor, Lane Johnson, Jason Peters, and Dallas Goedert perhaps poised to return to the rotation. The Dallas defensive production doesn't match the level of the guys they have in there, which would suggest far better results than what might be a "D" that sets records for its futility. Expecting this Philly team to win in any kind of conclusive manner seems counterintuitive, perhaps, but if they were to do it, why not here? Dallas just got smoked by a massively-struggling Washington team. Their personnel issues are getting worse. And team-morale seems to have bottomed out.
Dallas at Philadelphia Week 8 Prediction
When a team is fancied in some circles as a Super Bowl candidate, and they end up bottomed-out after seven games, there's a certain deflation level that you won't see with other teams who just stink, knew they stink, continue to stink, and are more or less at terms with it. Dallas does have some horses, and in their heads, they could figure, "Hey, why the long faces? We're still in this thing!" But what changed from last week when Dallas put forth one of their most-inept performances in years? Granted, things aren't always as bad as they look at their worst, and Philadelphia is far from solid, particularly as a betting favorite, but I'm more inclined to back the Eagles in this one.