Quite possibly the two most disappointing teams in the NFL so far this season meet when the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys renew acquaintances Sunday afternoon at the Linc (4:25 pm ET, Fox).
Eagles and Cowboys
Stumble into Sunday Showdown
With both teams at 3-5 and coming in cold, we've got no warm
feelings for either. But might there be some money to be made on this NFC East
Both these teams carry a stink about them. Dallas played probably its best game of the year back on
Opening Night, beating the Super Bowl champion Giants on their home field.
Since then, though, the Cowboys have devolved to once again finding ways to
lose games rather than win them.
For Week 2 Dallas went up to Seattle and got punked 27-7.
The Pokes then came home and beat Tampa 16-10, but followed that up with a poor
effort in a 34-16 Monday night loss at home to the Bears. Dallas then went to
Baltimore and, while giving a good effort, lost 31-29.
The Cowboys then won at Carolina 19-14, but in a showdown
game at home vs. the Giants Dallas fell behind 23-0, rallied to take a 24-23
lead but eventually lost 29-24.
Then Sunday night the Cowboys fell in Atlanta 19-13. So, Dallas has lost five of its last seven games.
One thing we'll grant the Cowboys: their five losses have
come against teams with a combined record of 32-10. And fortunately for the
Pokes their schedule gets a little easier from here on out.
On the other side of this battle of attrition, Philly
started 3-1 this season, but we saw cracks in the veneer. Opening weekend the
Eagles needed a late score to beat an inferior Browns team in Cleveland. The
next week, props to them, they beat Baltimore at home 24-23. But in Week 3
Philly flew out to Arizona and got beat up by the Cardinals 27-6. The Eagles
then, once again, gave an indication of what could be when they beat the Giants
However, since then Philly has lost a close games at
Pittsburgh, coughed up a late lead and lost at home to Detroit in overtime, got
their butts kicked at home by Atlanta and, Monday, got outplayed by the Saints
in New Orleans, losing 28-13.
So both these teams are 3-5, two and a half games behind the
first-place 6-3 New York Giants in the NFC East. But they're also a game and a
half behind 5-4 Seattle, which owns the second NFC Wild-Card spot at the
It's kind of the same old story with the Cowboys; their
numbers are good, but are not computing into victories. Dallas ranks sixth in
offense at 383 YPG and fifth in defense, allowing 313 YPG. The Cowboys are,
however, a little one-dimensional on offense, getting just 83 YPG out of their
Philly, meanwhile, ranks 10th in offense at 374
YPG, 10th in rushing at 131 YPG, 15th in defense at 344
YPG and 16th vs. the run, allowing 114 YPG.
By the numbers the Cowboys should be 5-3, or at least 4-4,
and the Eagles should be at least 5-3; instead, both just keep shooting
themselves in the foot.
The Eagles got away with turning the ball over a dozen times
over their first four games. But you can't get away with that crap for very
long in the NFL. And it was another Michael Vick turn-over, a tipped-ball
interception returned 99 yards for a touchdown, that sent Monday night's game
in the direction it ended at.
Philly is already down three/fifths of its Week One starting
offensive line, and it is showing. Vick got sacked seven times Monday night in
On the other sidelines Dallas RB DeMarco Murray is dealing
with a sprained foot, and is very questionable for Sunday.
Betting Odds and Trends
As of Tuesday morning some online sportsbooks were listing
Philly at -1 for Sunday's game, with a total of 45. But some shops were holding
off on releasing the odds for this game, possibly because the Eagles might make a change at
Dallas is 16-16 SU and 13-18-1 vs. the numbers under Coach
Garrett. Philly, over the last season and a half, is 11-13 SU and
Coach Reid and the Eagles are 3-1 vs. Garrett and the
Cowboys. Last year Philly swept the two games from Dallas, winning at home 34-7
and in Arlington 20-7. The Eagles covered the spread both those games, and both
games played UNDER on the totals.
Philly outgained the Cowboys in that first game last year
495-267, and 396-238 in the second game.
Free NFL Pick
We found this game a tough one to handicap because of the
intangibles involved. There's a bunch of talent on both these teams, but
combined, over the last four weeks they're 1-7. How do we account for poor
execution, poor coaching, poor attitudes, and the like. And now both coaches
are squarely on the hot seat. Will either Garrett or Reid be around for next
That all being said, two things stand out to us when making
the call on this game; the Eagles have beaten Dallas three out of the last four
games in this series, and Philly runs the ball better. So, we'll take the Eagles as our NFL Pick for Sunday's game.