Know your Eagles enemy: The Dallas Cowboys (part two)

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It’s back! Dallas Hate week has returned!

It might be Dallas hate week every week, but it’s extra hateful this week.

It’s “win and in” for Dallas and it’s “win and then win again” for Philadelphia.

Part One

The Eagles and Cowboys faced off for the first time this season during week seven on October 20th, with both teams being 3-3. The Eagles were in this game after the first quarter, 14-7 Cowboys, but that was that time they looked competitive.

The Cowboys pulled ahead 27-7 at halftime and ended the game 37-10.

Wentz wasn’t great by any means that game, completing 16 passes for 191 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His best receiver that game was tight end Dallas Goedert, who caught four passes for 69 (nice) yards. Only two wide receivers caught passes that game, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, and combined for four receptions for 62 yards. 

While Dak Prescott didn’t have the 455 yard passing performance he had against the Eagles in December of 2018, he had an efficient 21 of 27 passing day for 239 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The damage to the Eagles came mainly from the Cowboys running attack.

Ezekiel Elliot had 22 carries for 111 yards and one touchdown. Prescott had five carries for 30 yards and one touchdown. The Eagles were also burned by a Tavon Austin 20 yard touchdown run. This was a rush defense that was ranked second in the league at that point. 

The loss dropped the Eagles to 3-4 and brought the Cowboys to 4-3, with many fans and media pundits awarding the Cowboys the division after this week seven win.

The rematch

The two teams face off with identical records yet again, with both being 7-7. However, this match up is just a tad more important for the two rivals.

With a win, the Cowboys will clinch the NFC East for the second year in a row. They would be the first repeat NFC East champion since the Eagles won four straight from 2001-2004. 

With a win, the Eagles will be in a “win and in” situation in week 17 versus the Giants. If they lose to the Giants, the Cowboys will win the division no matter their outcome in their match up versus the Redskins.

Since the week seven game, the Cowboys have gone 3-4, which included a three game losing streak, while the Eagles have gone 4-3, which also included a three game losing streak. 

The Cowboys averaged 26.8 points per game during that span and their defense gave up 20.7. The Eagles averaged 23.2 points per game during that span and their defense gave up 20.3. With both defenses being sieves the past few weeks, it will be up to which offense can sustain long drives.

The key to the game for the Eagles won’t be trying to stop Dak Prescott, it will be trying to contain Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott has never been a part of a loss versus the Eagles, being suspended for one of the losses and inactive due to rest for the other. In five games, Elliott 114.8 rushing yards, 48.2 receiving yards, and has five total touchdowns. 

In seven games versus the Eagles, Prescott has a 5-2 record but averages 230.3 passing yards (aided by that 455 yard performance last year), with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. This match up might prove especially difficult for Dak to improve on those numbers.

For the first time in his career, Prescott was limited in practice this week due to an injury to his throwing shoulder suffered during the week 15 win versus the Rams. Although he’s not listed on the Cowboys’ final injury report, it will definitely be a factor in today’s game. If his injury isn’t fully healed, it could have the same affect it had on him last Sunday. Take a look at his air yards after his injury:

The Eagles need to stack the box versus Zeke, but also defend the short passes. It’s not looking like Prescott will be launching the ball downfield much today.

This will be the game that defines Jim Schwartz’s career.

For some history and game predictions, check out the next page!

 

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