The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles have been unique rivals since the Dallas was created in 1960. Private challenges, public feuds, and massive football games have made the Birds and the Boys rivalry one of the greatest in NFL history.
When the two teams meet on Sunday night in Philly, the animosity will only grow. The Eagles are 5-0 for the first time since 2004, and the Cowboys haven’t lost with backup quarterback Cooper Rush as their signal caller.
Something has to give.
Let’s take a look at how the Cowboys look going into the biggest game of the year to this point.
Dallas Cowboys (4-1)
Last Game: 25-10 win over Los Angeles Rams
Offensive Ranking: 27th
Defensive Ranking: 7th
Head-to-Head Matchup: Dallas leads the all-time series 72-54
Dallas Cowboys Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Mike McCarthy
Offensive Coordinator: Kellen Moore
Defensive Coordinator: Dan Quinn
Special Teams Coordinator: John Fassell
Without Dak Prescott, the Cowboys offense has had to methoidcally find ways to move the ball down the field. That doesn’t make them any less dangerous though. The duo of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard is one of the best in the league, and the Cowboys offensive line has shrugged off their early season problems to be dominant once again. The question will be around Cooper Rush and the passing attack.
Rush is 5-0 as a start for a reason. He’s protected the football well and made the right throws. He’s also won the game for Dallas on numerous occasions. Ceedee Lamb is a perenial pro-bowl receiver and Dalton Shultz, while he may not play Sunday, is a serviceable tight end. The Cowboys offense is good enough to win on Sunday and should not be taken lightly at all.
Numbers aside, the Cowboys defense has played like the best defense in football. They are led by two young stars in Trevon Diggs and Micah Parsons. Diggs is having a better year than last year when he led the league in interceptions, and Parsons is arguably the favorite for defensive player of the year this year.
Add in stalwarts in Demarcus Lawrence, Leighten VanderEsch, and Kayron Kearse, and the Cowboys defense is the best, and fastest defense in football. If there is a weakness, it’s against the run. Dallas is 19th in the league in rushing yards allowed and 21st in yards per attempt. Dan Quin blitzes early and often with a player like Parsons at his disposal so expect a lot of running from Jalen Hurts.
X-Factor: Micah Parsons
A linebacker hasn’t had as large an impact on an entire team since Lawrence Taylor. What Micah Parsons is now is simply the most complete linebacker. It’s scary to think that this is only his second season. With the Cowboys defense going the way Parsons goes, the Eagles need to make sure they own the line of scrimmage. Keep Parsons limited by trusting your two stalwart left tackles, and the Eagles should have an easier time to move the ball down the field.
DNP: LB Micah Parsons, QB Dak Presecott
LP: TE Dalton Schultz, DE Demarcus Lawrence, OT Jason Peters
AP Photo/Ron Jenkins