Latest posts by Raphael Haynes (see all)
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Finally, this matchup is here. Since the third week of the season, this has been building up momentum each week. The 4-2 Philadelphia Eagles will travel to Texas to play the 5-1 Dallas Cowboys. What makes this matchup intriguing is the two rookie quarterbacks in Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott which have impressed the entire NFL this season. Both quarterbacks have not only led their teams with their play but has shown a great amount of poise. Dallas has controlled games with their offensive line and rookie standout Ezekiel Elliot. Nothing special, just let’s see if you can stop us type attitude and they haven’t been. Philadelphia on the other hand has dominated games with their defense. Their ball-hawking and physical defense has been suffocating teams and giving their offense great field position. This definitely will be a NFC East divisional showdown and will live up to the hype.
Keys To The Game:
The Eagles offense has to come out and put pressure on the Cowboys defense. Of course, the Cowboys expect the Eagles to come out throwing the football since their running game is not hitting on all cylinders. Philadelphia needs to just do that. This is the game where your best has to be your best and not try to do what you aren’t. In the passing game, they need to mix it up with redirection screen plays and dump offs from the start to keep the defense on their heels. On defense, as good as they are, if the offense comes out scoring and jump out to a lead, it makes Dallas one-dimentional which gives the Eagles the edge on defense. Creating turnovers is a must for them to get a victory.
It’s no secret that the running game has to be the Cowboys’ bread and butter but play-action can be very effective and will cause Philadelphia’s defense to start guessing. The Cowboys passing game must be careful with being careless yet surprise them with the deep ball. It’s expected to see Dallas’ passing game be methodical so catching them off guard with the long ball off play-action can set the tone. On defense, they have to get pressure on Wentz early. If they can shake his confidence and get him rattled early, it can cause the Eagles to be in trouble. They should dare the Eagles to run the ball and make them have to convert third and longs.
The X-Factor for the Eagles is Fletcher Cox. In order for the Eagles to have any success against he run, Cox has to be disruptive. His ability to blow up running plays before they develop can be detrimental to the Cowboys game plan. This will make them predictable on second and third downs.
The X-Factor for the Dallas Cowboys is Cole Beasley. Beasley will be Prescott’s safety net and the connection that have established makes him Prescott most comfortable receiver to throw to. He can will free up the other receivers because of the Eagles having to double team him.
Prediction: This will be a dog fight till the end and the better defense will win. Philadelphia clearly has the best defense but the Cowboys’ running game will make the Eagles’ defense be the second best in this contest. Cowboys win 27-23.