The Week 8 edition of Sunday Night Football features a rivalry game in Philadelphia. It’s probably not going to get too many people excited, as it’s an NFC East rivalry game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. The NFC East is a dumpster fire, but somebody has to win this division.
The Cowboys, who are down to their third-team quarterback, are still alive in the NFC East hunt at 2-5. Even the 1-6 New York Giants are in the divisional race, which is just downright pathetic. The Eagles lead with a record of 2-4-1 going into Sunday night. Washington and Dallas are right behind with records of 2-5.
The Cowboys, Washington, and Giants aren’t good football teams at all right now. Considering the Cowboys’ injuries and their defense, the Giants might be in better shape than the Cowboys at the moment. That leaves the Eagles atop the hill in the NFC East. Despite injuries of their own to the offense, this is a division for the Eagles to lose. There are no excuses against this field.
The Eagles are slowly getting healthier. Talented rookie wide receiver, Jalen Reagor, is scheduled to return on Sunday Night. Along with Reagor, the Eagles should have tight end Dallas Goedert back on the field. Their offensive line has been in shambles, but the additional weapons will give Carson Wentz some more targets.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys are going with the pride of James Madison, Ben DiNucci, under center in Philadelphia. The next Tony Romo? I don’t know about that, but this guy could ball in college. We’ll see if it translates over to the NFL after torching inferior opponents. He gets a tough matchup on the road in Philadelphia tonight. Head below for our free Cowboys vs. Eagles prop picks for November 1, 2020.
There's no love between the Birds and the Boys.
— Sunday Night Football (@SNFonNBC) October 30, 2020
Greg Ward Receptions
With all of the injuries to the receiving core, Carson Wentz had to find some new favorite weapons. As much credit as Travis Fulgham has received for his breakout season, former Houston Cougars’ quarterback, Greg Ward, has been the most targeted receiver by Wentz.
Ward, who has operated mostly out of the slot, has been a perfect addition to the Eagles from the practice squad last season. He is a crafty route runner and does a terrific job at finding soft spots in the defense. If Wentz needs a quick hitter, Ward is typically the guy he looks to.
Ward has been targeted a total of 40 times through seven games. In those 40 targets, Ward has caught 29 receptions for 233 yards and 3 touchdowns. He’s coming off a 42-yard game with 5 receptions and a score against the New York Giants. In five out of seven games this season, Ward has caught at least 4 receptions.
The two teams that were able to silence Ward were the Ravens and Rams, which are two of the best defenses in the NFL. Otherwise, Ward has been able to shake free and do work. Quarterbacks have been having a lot of success against the Cowboys this season. Note that it could be a wet and windy game, hence the short quick hits will be even more valuable tonight. Reagor is back at receiver, but Ward will still catch plenty of balls underneath out of the slot.
Ezekiel Elliott Receptions
The Cowboys have a new quarterback taking the reins on Sunday night after Andy Dalton was ruled out with a concussion. Ben DiNucci will fill in for Dalton, as the Cowboys will go through their third different quarterback this season. It’s a really tough spot for DiNucci. If he had a solid offensive line to work with in his NFL debut, then I would give DiNucci more of a chance in this one on the road against the Eagles.
That’s not the case, though. The offensive line is in shambles, and even a running back like Zeke has been unable to find lanes to run. The Cowboys are going to have to try something different to get him out in open space. Besides getting the ball to Elliott with screens, I have to like the odds of DiNucci looking towards Zeke when the pocket is breaking down. The offensive line has been bad, and if DiNucci has to dump it off quickly, he’ll probably look at his closest option.
Elliott has caught 33 receptions for 210 yards on 44 targets. He’s averaged 4.7 receptions per game in 2020. In four of his previous six outings, Elliott has exceeded more than 3 receptions a game. At this price of +120, I think there’s more than enough value to consider this prop bet.
Ben DiNucci Rushing Yards
One of Ben DiNucci’s best talents in college at James Madison was to take off and run with the football when there wasn’t anything there. He also had some designed runs for him in the offense. In his junior season, DiNucci gained 433 yards rushing with 9 touchdowns. The 9 rushing touchdowns led the team.
The following year, DiNucci was on the ground running again, as he notched 569 yards and 7 touchdowns. He averaged 35.5 rushing yards per game and for 50+ yards in six games. Through 29 games, DiNucci had 1,003 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground. The 23-year-old rookie is likely going to be running around for his life in this game.
With nowhere to go, DiNucci probably takes off and scrambles to get what he can on his legs frequently on Sunday night. He might even have a few designed runs thrown in there. Expect DiNucci to get OVER this total. And if you’re worried about negative yards from kneeling the ball, the Cowboys likely won’t have that opportunity at the end of the game.