Three issues to look at for when Eagles tackle Cowboys in Week 14
The Philadelphia Eagles (6-6) want to preserve their playoff hopes alive on Sunday afternoon after they tackle the Dallas Cowboys (7-5) at Jerry World (4:25 p.m., FOX). For each groups, it is a big sport as whoever wins will greater than probably be within the driver’s seat for the NFC East crown.
The final time we noticed the Eagles on the highway, the New Orleans Saints smacked them 48-7. Nonetheless, since that humiliating defeat, Philadelphia has overwhelmed each the Giants and Washington in consecutive weeks to place them one sport behind Dallas within the division standings.
The Cowboys are sizzling in addition to they’re driving a four-game successful streak with their final loss approaching Nov. 5 in opposition to the Tennessee Titans. Over the course of their newest successful streak, Dallas is outscoring their opponents 93-72.
Can the Cowboys rise to the event and wrap up the division in a must-win sport? Or will the Eagles assist them choke down the stretch with solely three video games remaining within the common season?
To reply these questions and extra, listed below are three issues to look at for on this pivotal NFC East contest.
1. Eagles’ run protection exhibiting indicators of enchancment
If the defending Tremendous Bowl champs need to have an opportunity at successful on Sunday, they should cease excellent Cowboys operating again Zeke Elliott. In final month’s primetime contest at Lincoln Monetary Discipline, Elliott racked up 187 whole yards and two touchdowns.
It was clear that Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz didn’t have a solution for Elliott, who was hurdling over defenders and made their eight-man entrance seem like Swiss cheese. Nonetheless, if there may be some excellent news, it’s that Philly’s run protection has drastically improved over the past couple of weeks.
After getting gashed by Saquon Barkley again in Week 12 to the tune of 97 dashing yards within the first half, the Eagles’ protection tightened up and held him to solely seven dashing yards within the second half.
This identical actual state of affairs occurred earlier this week in opposition to Washington. Philly’s protection didn’t do an ideal job of tackling and allowed Adrian Peterson to tear off a 90-yard dashing landing within the second quarter.
Nonetheless, Peterson completed the sport with solely 98 yards on the bottom. The Eagles’ run protection has to maintain Elliott beneath 100 yards or near it on Sunday.
2. Successful the turnover battle
It’s not a coincidence that of their final two wins, the Eagles have received the turnover battle. In opposition to the Giants, they intercepted quarterback Eli Manning within the second quarter to spur their comeback after which in opposition to Washington, they intercepted quarterback Mark Sanchez within the fourth quarter to safe the victory.
Due to this fact, the sport plan is sort of easy for the Eagles’ protection: stress Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and power him to throw the ball sooner than he desires too. However that’s simpler mentioned than performed, particularly this season.
Throughout their four-game successful streak, Prescott has performed a very good job of taking good care of the soccer with 4 landing passes and nil interceptions. The third-year quarterback’s final interception got here in opposition to the Titans, a sport during which the Cowboys misplaced 28-14.
3. Who steps up for the Eagles?
Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen the likes of Golden Tate and Josh Adams step up with breakout performances to assist carry the Eagles to victory. Who might be that man this week for the defending Tremendous Bowl champs? It’s robust to say, nevertheless it could possibly be Alshon Jeffery.
Philly’s high huge receiver has not scored a landing since Week 7 in opposition to the Carolina Panthers, which was additionally the final time he had greater than 5 catches in a sport (seven receptions for 88 yards).
We already know that the Cowboys’ protection might be paying heavy consideration to star tight finish Zach Ertz and ensuring they restrict his targets. Which means that Jeffery ought to have some one-on-one alternatives on the skin in opposition to Dallas’ cornerbacks.
Jeffery had 4 receptions on seven targets for 67 yards and a landing in final season’s win at Dallas.