On Sunday night, the Eagles will play just their second divisional game of the season when they host Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field and kick off the second half of their 2018 slate.
We’ve broken down the injuries, pointed out the key matchups to watch and offered our own predictions for this one. Now, as we do every weekend, it’s time to take a look around the nation to see how the various experts, both local and national, think Sunday’s matchup is going to play out.
[Spoiler alert: America is down on America’s team.]
• PhillyVoice staff: We each picked the Eagles to come away with a win (again) on Sunday night. Here’s what Eagles writer Jimmy Kempski, who predicted a 27-21 Birds’ win, had to say:
The Eagles are coming off their bye, and they are beginning to get healthy again after dealing with one significant roster loss after the next for the entirety of the season so far. They also made an addition at the trade deadline in Golden Tate, who could help spark the offense.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys head into Week 10 with bruised pride after a bad Monday night loss at home on national television to the Tennessee Titans. They’ll have a short week of preparation in a survival game to go along with a road trip to Philly.
Momentum clearly favors the Eagles, who also just happen to have a much better quarterback, team, coaching staff, and ownership, if you think those things are important.
• ESPN staff: All 10 of their national experts are picking the Eagles to beat the Cowboys.
• Tim McManus, ESPN.com Eagles writer: Eagles 28, Cowboys 20
The bye week did not rid the Eagles of their injury problems. Cornerbacks Sidney Jones and Jalen Mills likely won’t play, running back Darren Sproles re-aggravated his hamstring and will remain sidelined, and right tackle Lane Johnson is planning to gut through a Grade 2 MCL sprain. What they do have going for them is rest, and an extra week’s worth of preparation by the coaching staff for a Dallas team that played Monday night. That should be enough to power past the Cowboys, who appear a bit disjointed at the moment. Eagles 28, Cowboys 20
• Todd Archer, ESPN.com Cowboys writer: Eagles 27, Cowboys 17
The last two times these teams have met in Philadelphia there was nothing on the line with the Cowboys (2016) and Eagles (2017) having already clinched home-field advantage in the playoffs. But now Dallas’ season could very well be on the line. The key will be its offensive line. It must get Ezekiel Elliott going. In five of eight games, Elliott has not reached 80 yards running. He had just two games with less than 80 yards rushing in his first two seasons. Philadelphia has the second-ranked run defense, and the Cowboys will be operating with a different left guard for the first time this season. Eagles 27, Cowboys 17
• Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: Eagles 24, Cowboys 23
This game is the Cowboys’ season. Lose in Philadelphia and they can forget about the playoffs. They will be 3-6, trending massively downward. There are no more excuses. With Amari Cooper in his second week in the offense, a solid slot receiver in Cole Beasley and, of course, Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield, Dallas should be able to move the ball on an Eagles defense that is currently ranked 17th in yards allowed. In theory. Dak Prescott will have to make accurate, on-time throws. And here’s the joy of it: He will see windows, as this Philadelphia secondary has floundered often this season. Can he set up and read the field, anticipating his receivers coming open before they do? If not, the Cowboys will struggle to score. The Eagles’ D might bend plenty, but the unit still ranks fifth in points allowed. They stop the leaking when they must. A big part of that is their pass rush, which is notorious for making game-changing plays when quarterbacks hold the ball too long …
The Cowboys must have this game to have a chance to win the division. They looked awful against the Titans Monday night on offense and the heat is on Dak Prescott. The Eagles are coming off a bye, so they have the big edge there. They also look to be rounding into form. Their defense gets the best of the Dallas offense as the Eagles win it. Pick: Eagles 28, Cowboys 13
• OddsShark: Whoa. Their computer model suggests the Eagles win by 20 points on Sunday night.
• Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk: Eagles 30, Cowboys 13
Troy Aikman is right.
• Michael David Smith, ProFootballTalk: Eagles 28, Cowboys 20
The NFC East remains a three-team race, but the Cowboys probably have to win this one to have a realistic chance of staying in that race. I like the Eagles to put a dagger in the Cowboys.
• Bleacher Report, NFL staff: Eagles 28, Cowboys 16
When the Philadelphia Eagles smoked the Dallas Cowboys 37-9 last November in Texas, a Super Bowl team was gaining momentum against an opponent that was reeling without suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott. Philly is much less hot now, and the Cowboys have Elliott.
Does that mean we’re in for a closer affair when the two meet Sunday night in Pennsylvania? Philadelphia opened as a mere 4.5-point favorite, but few believe this’ll be that tight. The line has risen to seven in most spots, and our panelists are still unanimously on board with the Eagles. …
Also worth consideration? The Eagles are coming off a bye, which was preceded by a solid British victory over the Jaguars, and quarterback Carson Wentz has posted four consecutive triple-digit passer ratings. He should continue to excel as his knee progresses. Meanwhile, Dallas is on short rest coming off a deflating Monday night loss to an unimpressive Titans team.
Add it all up, and it looks safe to lay the touchdown with Philly.
• SBNation staff: Each of their seven experts is taking the Eagles over the Cowboys on Sunday night.
• Bleeding Green Nation staff: All seven of their writers are picking the Birds over Dallas.
• NJ.com staff: All six of their football writers are picking the Birds, several of them by double digits, including Eagles beat writer Zack Rosenblatt.
The Eagles are well-rested and just added another offensive weapon in Golden Tate to an offense that’s finally finding its groove. The Cowboys were beaten badly on Monday night by the Tennessee Titans and now have a quick turnaround — on the road — to get things back on track. Simply, Dallas is not very good, even with Amari Cooper in the fold. NFC East games are never easy, though this one could be for the Eagles.
PICK: Eagles 27, Cowboys 13
• Philly Influencer staff: All six of their writers are picking the Birds, including PhillyVoice contributor Nick Piccone, who incorrectly picked the a Jaguars win last week in London after swearing off picking the Eagles the rest of the way.
What I learned today:
I’m not predicting an Eagles win the rest of the season
— Nick Piccone (@nickpiccone) October 22, 2018
I can’t go against my tweet, can I?
Nah, maybe I can. Maybe the Cowboys are just that bad that it’d be stupid to pick against them just because of a tweet I made after the Eagles’ collapse against the Panthers. Although, this year’s team has left a lot to be desired in terms of holding leads and finishing games. In the second half of the season, they absolutely must take on a killer instinct, much like they had last season. It all starts Sunday night where they should beat Dallas by double-digits, but I won’t believe they have a killer instinct to bury teams until I see it. They’ll pull it off with a one-score win.
• David Steele, Sporting News: Eagles 31, Cowboys 16
Early Monday night, the Cowboys were in position against the Titans to take over the game, get back to .500, dive back into the division race and make this an even more dramatic duel with the Eagles. They failed on all counts, though, and now it’s the Eagles, with Golden Tate on hand to help, in position to launch a second-half run and chase down ailing Washington. Assume nothing about these Eagles, but they’re trending in the opposite direction from the Cowboys.
• Vinny Iyer, Sporting News: Eagles 24, Cowboys 20
The Eagles are coming off a bye with new wide receiver Golden Tate, who had a monster game against the Cowboys in Week 4 while with the Lions. Dallas will be on the road on a short week, and Philadelphia will be well rested. The Eagles will be a in groove offensively with Carson Wentz operating RPOs made to throw off Big D’s D. Meanwhile, Philly will gain its defensive edge by containing Ezekiel Elliott.
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