The NFC East title is still up for grabs as the 7-7 Philadelphia Eagles meet the 7-7 Dallas Cowboys in Week 16. Kickoff is set for 4:25 EST on Sunday, December 22 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. A majority of the country will be able to watch the game on Fox.
Current betting odds have the Cowboys favored by 2.5 points on the road with an over/under of 46 points. Be sure to check out all of the Week 16 NFL betting odds.
Just when it seemed like things couldn’t get any bleaker in Dallas, the Cowboys surprised everyone with an incredible performance. On the heels of three straight losses, Dallas crushed the Rams 44-21 in Week 15 to get back on track at 7-7. For what it’s worth, the Cowboys have still lost four of their last six games and Jason Garrett is more or less a lame-duck coach at this point. However, the Cowboys still remain in control of their own destiny.
As for the Eagles, they also appear to be moving in the right direction with back-to-back wins over the Giants and Redskins. Those games haven’t been particularly convincing, as Philly needed to rally late in both games to avoid a crushing loss against a weaker opponent. Nevertheless, the Eagles have also managed to put a three-game losing streak behind them and get back on track. More importantly, they are also in control of their own destiny heading into this week’s showdown with the Cowboys.
With both teams sitting at 7-7, this game will likely decide the NFC East. Since the Cowboys beat the Eagles earlier this year, a Dallas win on Sunday would clinch the division. Meanwhile, if the Eagles win this week, they would still need to beat the Giants on the road in Week 17 or hope the Cowboys lose at home against the Redskins.
As mentioned, Dallas blew out the Eagles 37-10 when they met in October. The Cowboys went up 14-0 midway through the first quarter and never looked back, as four Philadelphia turnovers doomed any chance of a comeback. With that win, Dallas has now won four straight head-to-head meetings with the Eagles. Even more surprising is the fact that the Cowboys have won six of their last seven games in the City of Brotherly Love, as the road team is 13-6 in this rivalry during the current decade.
Neither of these teams has been particularly trustworthy over the past month. However, the Cowboys at least showed signs of life last week while the Eagles have beaten two bad teams the past two weeks using smoke and mirrors. I’m not sure how Philadelphia has managed to stick around, aside from the Cowboys collapsing alongside them. But I think the Eagles are about to run out of luck. I’ll lean toward Dallas to win and cover by a comfortable margin.
Of course, the biggest X-factor in this week’s game is the health of Dak Prescott. Garrett insists that he’s just “banged up,” so nobody should doubt that Prescott will play this week. It’s just a matter of how much his shoulder issue could hinder his passing. The good news for the Cowboys is that they seemed to rediscover their rushing attack last week, as both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard topped the 100-yard mark. In a December game in Philadelphia, the running game is going to be important anyway, swinging the pendulum toward Dallas.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles are quite limited offensively due to injury. The hope is that Nelson Agholor can return from injury this week. You know you’re in bad shape when Agholor is your potential savior. With Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson out for the season, Carson Wentz is relying on Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside to serve as complements to tight end Zach Ertz. The Eagles also have a couple of injury questions along the offensive line.
For what it’s worth, Wentz has eight touchdown passes and just one interception over the past three weeks. However, he’s done that against the Dolphins, Giants, and Redskins. There were also long stretches in those games when Wentz struggled and the Philadelphia offense went cold. The Eagles may not be able to get away with that this week.
The Dallas defense hasn’t been all that bad during the team’s recent struggles. Sure, they were gashed by Mitch Trubisky, but the Cowboys also forced two turnovers in that game. They also held the Patriots to just 13 points not too long ago. Last week, the Dallas defense came up big, completely shutting down Todd Gurley and the L.A. rushing attack. If they can slow down the run again this week, there’s no way Wentz will be able to win the game in the air with the inexperience the Eagles have at the receiver position right now.
All things considered, Philadelphia’s path to victory in this game is rather narrow. They’ll have to slow down a top-5 offense and hope that Wentz can work his magic with a depleted supporting cast. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have momentum from last week and the confidence from their shellacking of the Eagles earlier this year. Given their recent road success in Philly, I feel comfortable taking the Cowboys to win and cover.