Philadelphia Eagles versus Dallas Cowboys game day is here. It goes without saying that this is a huge game. The Eagles can get rid of their losing record by advancing to 4-4 with a victory. As an added bonus, the Eagles can crush any hopes Dallas has of making the playoffs by dropping the Cowboys to 2-6. On the other side, an Eagles loss would drop the Birds down to 3-5 with a 1-3 division record. It would also keep Dallas alive as Tony Romo continues to get closer to making his return. It's a must-win game for both sides.
The Eagles are in for a long day if this game is anything like the last time these two teams met in Week 2. Philadelphia couldn't manage to get ANYTHING going on offense until scoring a garbage time touchdown in the final seconds. DeMarco Murray somehow rushed for mere two yards despite having 13 carries. Murray will certainly be hoping to be much more productive against his former team this time around. Considering the Cowboys' defense allows the fifth most fantasy points to running backs and only ranks 20th in run defense by Football Outsiders, there's some hope for Murray.
But there is also plenty of reason for pessimism. The Eagles will be without starting left tackle Jason Peters in this game because he's been ruled out. Losing Peters forces Philadelphia to shift their starting offensive line configuration. Lane Johnson is set to move to left tackle to block Greg Hardy while backup Dennis Kelly will start on the right side. These changes certainly don't inspire confidence in an offense that has already been struggling.
I feel like I say this every week, but this is truly a time where the Eagles need Sam Bradford to step up. Bradford has had a real rough start to the first half of this season. Bradford has the opportunity to put those struggles in the past by doing his best to deliver a win in a big spot like this. The confidence level in him being able to do so is low, so he needs to prove people wrong.
If the offense continues to be unreliable, this could be another game where Philadelphia's defense will have to carry the team. The good news is that they just might be able to do that. Matt Cassel is starting at quarterback for Dallas. He's thrown three interceptions in 52 attempts so far. The Eagles' defense has the fourth most interceptions, so this could be a bad mismatch for the Cowboys. Or maybe Cassel will randomly get hot like he did against the Eagles when he was with the Minnesota Vikings in 2013 ... but probably not.
The Eagles are favored to win this game. Playing in Dallas hasn't been a huge challenge for them in recent history. They are 4-1 in their last five games, with the one loss coming in the year the Eagles went 4-12. The Eagles are coming off a bye week so they should be more rested the Cowboys and ready to go. It's up to Chip Kelly to get the most out of his team in this one and bring a win back home to Philadelphia.
Score prediction: 21-20, Eagles lose.
Bold prediction: DeMarco Murray rushes for two touchdowns.
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