The Eagles are trying to lock down the No. 2 seed in the NFC. Jason Garrett is trying to lock down the Cowboys’ head coaching job beyond an interim role. Most of the Philadelphia Eagles’ top players will watch today’s regular-season finale against Dallas from the sideline. Quarterback Michael Vick, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, cornerback Asante Samuel and others are not expected to play against the Cowboys, in order to rest up for the playoffs. The (5-10) Dallas Cowboys will look to ride out the 2010-2011 campaign on a high note and they will be playing for Jason Garret today against the (10-5) Philadelphia Eagles, kickoff slated for 4:15 PM EST.
The Cowboys will be led by Stephen McGee, making his first NFL start, but after getting beat by Joe Webb, the Eagles have no room to look beyond the unproven signal caller. The Cowboys have been much better under interim head coach Jason Garrett, but they’re coming off a disappointing loss to the Arizona Cardinals last Saturday night. Knowing that this is their last game of the season, expect the Cowboys to leave it all on the field. Dallas travels into Philadelphia with an overall mark of 5-10 on the season. The team puts up 25 points and 370 yards per game. Dallas will be on the road for the eighth time this season where they sit at 3-4. Their three road wins came at Indianapolis, the New York Giants and Houston Texans. The club is coming off a 27-26 road loss Christmas Day to the Arizona Cardinals as a -7 point favorite. Dallas put up 382 yards and converted on 8 of 18 on third down. The team ran the ball very well with 183 yards on 34 carries for nearly 5 ½ yards per rush. The team was very sloppy with three turnovers and took none away from Arizona. Dallas’ two thrown interceptions were run back for Arizona touchdowns. Quarterback Jon Kitna completed 12 of 20 passes for 115 yards with a touchdown and two picks. Kitna was forced to leave the game with an oblique injury and is questionable for this game. His backup Stephen McGee relieved and hit on 11 of 17 passes for 111 yards with a touchdown and no picks. If Kitna cannot go it will be McGee getting the start. Running back Felix Jones on 16 carries ran for 77 yards. Marion Barber on 8 rushing attempts ran for 58 yards and a score. Wide out Miles Austin led the club with 6 catches that went for 115 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Jason Witten contributed with 8 pass receptions for 45 yards and a score.
This is not the situation the Eagles expected to be in. With a chance to make a serious push for a first-round bye, the Eagles laid an egg at home Tuesday night in their 24-14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings and are now locked into the #3 seed in the NFC. As a result, there’s a likelihood that, working on only five days rest, Andy Reid will choose to rest some banged up starters, namely quarterback Michael Vick. If Kevin Kolb does play, it will be his first start since the Week 7 loss to the Tennessee Titans. If not, Vick will have a chance to right the ship as the Eagles head to the playoffs. While their standing won’t change win, lose or draw, the Eagles certainly don’t want to enter the playoffs on the heels of a two-game losing streak, especially against such a bitter rival. This is the third consecutive year that the Eagles will finish their regular season with a contest against the Dallas Cowboys. Two years ago, the Eagles made their way to the playoffs thanks to a thorough 44-6 smashing of their NFC East rivals at Lincoln Financial Field. Last year, with a chance to cement a bye, the Eagles were dominated by the Cowboys 24-0. Now, they meet again in what amounts to not much more than a rivalry game. The Eagles are seeded third in the NFC, but no team is a clear favorite to represent the conference in the Super Bowl. If they play up to their potential, the Eagles are certainly capable of getting there for the first time since the 2004 season. But if they struggle, they could lose in the first round for the second straight season. Before the Eagles start their push toward the Super Bowl, let’s take a look back at the plays and players that helped and hurt them during the regular season.
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Cowboys vs Eagles Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Dallas Cowboys +3
@ Philadelphia Eagles -3
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Cowboys vs Eagles Predictions for Week 17:
Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – The Eagles have proven all year long that depth and perseverance go along way to building a contender. The Dallas Cowboys have proven once again that one can build an all-star line-up but one cannot make that line-up mold and play like a contender. Philadelphia has plenty to play for this Sunday and I believe Andy Reid will have his players fired up to finish out the regular season strong. The Cowboys come into this one extremely banged up and baffled from their collapse in Arizona on Christmas night. Dallas is 3-8 SU in its last 11 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia and 5-11 SU in its last 16 games. The Linc has proven to be a strong home field advantage for the Eagles this year, Philadelphia is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home. The Eagles would like nothing more then to have an extra week for Vick and the others to rest and heal and with a win on Sunday they would go along way to doing that for them. We will consider the Eagles and a field goal this Sunday against a banged up bunch from Dallas.
Game Total Prediction – For all of the fire power that both team posses offensively they have also shown that they can go into deep slumps and I believe the latter will show this Sunday. Both teams will be playing their backup quarterbacks and I expect the game plans and play calls to be heavily scripted and totally foreseen. Philadelphia will use RB McCoy to chew up the game clock and control the ball. With Kitna out for the Boys’s I expect Garret to call upon RB’s Jones and Barber to get a healthy dose of touches. The Cowboys will move DeMarcus Ware, their prolific defensive playmaker, all around the formation to get the best matchup possible. They will also want to do that to avoid Ware matching up with another elite player in offensive tackle Jason Peters. Nonetheless, the Eagles still must be aware of Ware’s presence at all times. Ware is tied for second in the NFL with 12.5 sacks and is on his way to yet another Pro Bowl and I expect him to to hinder the Eagles offensive possibilities with Kevin Kolb. Of course, it remains to be seen whether Peters could rest Sunday. Weather forecasts have this game kicking off in extremely cold temperatures with a chance of flurries so do not expect the airways to be filled in the Linc come Sunday. We will look for a closely fought tilt between divisional foes and I expect the UNDER to come through. Cheers!