The NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) travel to Texas to meet the Dallas Cowboys (5-4). The Cowboys are a distant second in the NFC East and need to make up some ground in the next seven weeks. This is the first meeting this season between the two teams. The Eagles last lost on Sep 17 to the Kansas City Chiefs 27-20. Since then, on their way to their bye-week, they ran off seven straight wins with the last one being a 51-23 drubbing of the Denver Broncos on Nov 5. Over their last five, the Cowboys are 3-2. They lost to Green Bay on Oct 8 by a score of 35-31, and then, after running off three straight wins against San Francisco, Washington, and Kansas City, they lost to Atlanta last week 27-17. Our Philadelphia plays Dallas 2017 NFL pick has the Eagles at -5.5 and the over/under at 47.5.
Philadelphia- Pluses and Minuses
The Eagles are averaging 31.4 PPG while holding opponents to 19.9 PPG. If TE Zach Ertz (43 REC, 528 YDs, 12.3 YPC, 6 TDs) plays, and we expect him to as his hamstring seemed fine this week, he will definitely be a challenge for the Cowboys. Along with Ertz, the Eagles have wideouts Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. Both have been highly productive. QB Carson Wentz (60.5 COMP%, 23 TDs, 5 INTs, 23 SCKs) has become adept at reading opponent defenses, making broken plays into ground gainers, and finding his receiver. The Philly rush attack is average at best. The O-line is struggling.
The Philadelphia defense is stellar. They have taken in 11 interceptions, forced seven fumbles and recovered five, and scored two TDs. Plus, they have 25 sacks, 40 TFL, and 56 PD. Corners Jalen Mills (3 INTs, 10 PD) and Patrick Robinson (3 INTs, 11 PD) are lethal defender, while DE Brandon Graham (5 SCKs, 5 TFL, 2 PD, 1 FF) is a stopper. This is a deep and able defense that can keep coming at you.
- Wentz and receivers can put points on board
- Philly secondary is top-notch
- O-line needs strengthening, as does running game
Dallas- Pluses and Minuses
The Dallas D has been allowing 22.8 PPG, while the Cowboys are generating 25.9 PPG. The PF/PA differential is mighty small and worrisome. Star RB Ezekiel Elliot will miss today’s game. He’s serving the second of a six-game suspension. RB Alfred Morris (25 ATT, 169 YDs, 6.8 YPA, 0 TDs) will most likely see an uptick in carries. QB Dak Prescott (63.3 COMP%, 16 TDs, 4 INTs, 18 SCKs) will be looking to connect with TE Jason Witten (42 REC, 378 YDs, 9.0 YPC, 3 TDs) and wideouts Cole Beasley (24 REC, 188 YDs, 7.8 YPC, 4 TDs) and Dez Bryant (42 REC, 478 YDs, 11.4 YPC, 4 TDs). Bryant, the leam’s leading receiver, is questionable today due to a knee injury.
The Dallas defense offers an excellent pass rush, and they are accomplished at forcing fumbles. They bring 28 sacks and 15 FF, along with seven fumble recoveries, to the field today. The secondary, which has five INTs and 38 PD, is suspect. DE DeMarcus Lawerence, who has 11.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries, is a major talent.
- No Elliot and that’s problematic
- Receiving corps is good but Bryant may be slowed
- Top D when it comes to sacks and FF
Three Major Takeaways
For our Philadelphia plays Dallas 2017 NFL pick, we have three important points to consider:
- Philadelphia has a dynamic offense
- Cowboys have defensive talent to permeate weak Eagle O-line and get to Wentz
- Wentz has talent to elude Dallas D
Philadelphia at Dallas Sunday Night Football Pick
When push comes to shove we see Philly as the more complete team on both offense and defense. However, the Dallas pass rush could be a major factor in this contest. They could certainly keep this game close and make it winnable. But the Cowboy secondary is not very strong and Wentz has become very good at eluding pass rushes and improving. The six-game suspension of Elliot really hurts the Cowboys in a lot of way. Our Philadelphia plays Dallas 2017 NFL pick is the Eagles at -5.5. We are taking the over in this one.