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|Photo Courtesy: Philadelphia Eagles|
The Last Time They Met: October 20, 2013- Cowboys 17, Eagles 3
|The first meeting featured the debut of Barkley.|
Photo Courtesy: nj.com
Tony Romo wasn't his usual self in the game either. He completed 28 of 47 passes for 317 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. His favorite target was Dez Bryant (who else?); Bryant hauled in eight passes for 110 yards.
The running games for both teams were almost non-existent; Joseph Randle carried the ball 19 times for 65 yards, while LeSean McCoy carried the ball 18 times for 55 yards.
Eagles Offense vs. Cowboys Defense
|The loss of Sean Lee doesn't bode well|
for the Cowboys.
Photo Courtesy: ESPN
Let's go back to Foles. He's getting a late Christmas gift, as he'll be going up against the 31st ranked passing defense in the league (the Cowboys allow an average of 290.7 passing yards per game). Foles has been nothing short of spectacular this season, and although he hasn't started all 16 games, you can't take away from his season stats: 186 completions on 291 attempts for 2,628 yards, 25 touchdowns, and just two interceptions. He was named a first alternate to the Pro Bowl, but many believe he was snubbed (myself included). Regardless, Foles has had an excellent year, which means the Eagles no longer have to worry about taking a quarterback in the 2014 draft. DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper have had career years, Jackson has 79 receptions for 1,304 yards and nine touchdowns while Cooper has 44 for 796 and eight touchdowns. The tight end combination of Brent Celek and Zach Ertz has also contributed, combining for 857 yards and nine touchdowns. Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne are both decent CB's, but they've been inconsistent this season. The Eagles secondary was supposed to be one of the worst in the league, but the Cowboys secondary might have topped them.
Cowboys Offense vs. Eagles Defense
|The man who was benched in favor of Tim Tebow|
will be starting in a winner-take-all game.
Photo Courtesy: Bleacher Report
The Cowboys also have a decent running back in DeMarco Murray; it's just a question of whether or not they'll actually use him. On the year, Murray has 1,073 yards and nine touchdowns on an even 200 attempts. The Cowboys average 94.5 rushing yards per game, and going up against the 12th ranked rushing defense in the league (the Eagles let up 107.5 yards per game) doesn't bode well.
Special Teams Battle
Alex Henery has converted on 22 of his 27 field goal attempts this year, with a long of 51. Donnie Jones, one of the best punters in the league all season long, has had 32 of his 77 punts downed inside the 20 (an Eagles record) with a long of 70. The main returners are Damaris Johnson and Brandon Boykin on kickoffs (although Brad Smith has started to earn some attempts) and DeSean Jackson on punts.
Dan Bailey has converted on 25 of his 27 field goal attempts this year, with a long of 53. 28 of Chris Jones' 74 punts have been downed inside the 20, with a long of 62. The main returner is Dwayne Harris (on both kickoffs and punts); Harris is very dangerous and is always capable of taking one back.
Prediction: Eagles 41, Cowboys 24
The Eagles will come out focused and determined, and although the Cowboys will keep it close for a while, they won't have what it takes to win. Nick Foles will throw for around 300 yards and three touchdowns, while LeSean McCoy will end the regular season on a high note, rushing for around 120 yards and two touchdowns.
The Eagles will win the NFC East for the first time since 2010, treating fans to at least one home playoff game. It will depend on what happens in the earlier games, but the Eagles will play one of four teams next Saturday or Sunday: the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, or San Francisco 49ers. According to most experts, the most likely opponent is the Saints.