An important NFC East matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys is this week’s edition of Sunday Night Football. It’s a critical meeting between the 4-2 Eagles and the 5-1 Cowboys, which will undoubtedly have an impact in the race for the NFC East. The Redskins and Giants are hanging in there with records of 4-3 as well. We’ll see if it remains a tight race, or if a team or two run away from the rest. It’s tough to say what’s going to happen in this division, but the Cowboys have jumped out as the early favorites to capture the NFC East crown.
Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott will take the spotlight on SNF for their respective teams. Wentz and Prescott are two rookies who hope to put in a solid night of work in this one, as well as carve out a productive career. Of the two Prescott has been the bigger surprise. He didn’t even expect to be the starter, but then Tony Romo and Kellen Moore got hurt and he suddenly went from being the third-stringer to the starter.
Wentz on the other hand started hot, but hasn’t looked as sharp the last two weeks. Nevertheless, the Eagles were able to upset the Vikings in Philadelphia last week thanks to a resurgence from their defense. Wentz passed for just 138 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions, but it was enough for the Eagles to earn the 21-10 win against the Vikings. The previous week he threw for 179 yards with no touchdowns in the loss against the Redskins. Wentz still has an impressive stat-line, with 8 touchdowns and 3 interceptions on the season.
He has been compared to Ben Roethlisberger, and remember, Roethlisberger was not counted on to win that Super Bowl in his early years against the Seahawks at Super Bowl 40. He was simply letting the defense win games, and then blossomed into an elite quarterback some years down the stretch. Pittsburgh had an excellent defense and their running game was dangerous with Willie Parker and Jermome Bettis. The Eagles want Wentz to do the same thing with his career. However, Philadelphia does not have the same kind of defense the Steelers did during that time.
Don’t get me wrong, though, the Eagles defense in 2016 has been pretty good. They beat the Vikings last week in large part because of the defense. We’ll see how they perform on the road against Dak and the rest of the Cowboys. Prescott has been smart and efficient with the ball, passing for 7 touchdowns and 1 interception. He has also rushed for 67 yards with an additional 3 touchdowns rushing. The Dallas offensive line makes this all possible for Dak, who also carves out massive holes in the defense for their running game. Important one tonight in Arlington. Let’s get to the pick below.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Cowboys -5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Eagles vs. Cowboys Pick:
Dak isn’t the only rookie having fun in a Cowboys’ uniform. Fellow rookie, running back Ezekiel Elliott, has been having himself a nice rookie campaign. So, two rookies are running the show for the Cowboys on offense and it’s worked out considerably well thus far. Elliott has rushed for 705 yards for a very good average of 8.9 yards per game, along with 5 touchdowns. Not enough good things can be said about their offensive line, who is making it easy on Prescott and Elliott.
Dallas are 3rd in total offense, averaging a prolific 401.5 yards per game. Rushing the football has been their speciality, churning in an average of 161.2 yards per game on the ground for 1st in the NFL. The Cowboys are averaging 26.5 points per game this season, impressively without leading receiver Dez Bryant. Conversely, the Eagles are 28th in yards per game.
There has been a considerable difference between the Eagles at home and on the road this season. Away from Philadelphia, they are just 1-2 with their only win coming against the Chicago Bears. Their two losses on the road came against the Lions and Redskins. This will be the biggest spotlight on Wentz’s career playing on SNF against the Cowboys on the road. The Dallas defense is allowing just 17.8 points per game this season, including just 17 points at home. They’ve stifled the Bengals and Packers’ offense for just 16 and 14 points, and I expect them to do it again tonight. The points look really attractive in this NFC East matchup, but it’s hard to expect much out of Wentz. Cowboys win here by about 7-10 points.
PICK: COWBOYS -5 (-110)