First Place on the Line in the NFC East
Championships aren’t won in mid-October, but you can often look back at where things stand at the end of the season and find the road markers along the way. A win over your rival on national television is generally one of these markers, pointing the way to winning a division.
And when it is the Cowboys vs. the Eagles, this is more than just a game between division opponents. It’s a game between teams, cities, and generations of fans who genuinely hate one another.
There were the Eagles NFC East fans who cheered when Michael Irvin’s career came to an end in their stadium. We have had not one, but two Bounty Bowls. The Cowboys were accused of running up the score on Philadelphia’s replacement players, later to be avenged by Buddy Ryan. And in one of the more memorable NFL Draft moments, with the event in Philadelphia, Cowboys great Drew Pearson got up on stage to thank all of Philadelphia for making his career so successful.
And oh yeah, there is a pretty good football game happening on Sunday Night.
Why the Cowboys Will Win
The Cowboys secret to success since Dak Prescott went down in Week 1 is simple. Protect the football and play great defense. The Cowboys led the NFL in turnovers and turnover margin last season, and yet are actually ahead of last year’s pace. That’s because in five games, they have surrendered the ball just twice – one fumble and one interception, and the interception was Prescott’s in Week 1.
Cooper Rush hasn’t been spectacular this season, but he has been careful with the football. He only has four touchdown passes in four starts, but he has not turned the ball over once.
Combine his solid play with the absolutely incredible play of the NFC East Dallas defense, and this team is a winner. Micah Parsons has six sacks, and Dorance Armstrong, Demarcus Lawrence, and Dante Fowler also all have more than one. Cold, Hard Football Facts ranks the Cowboys defense sixth on Defensive Real Quarterback Rating, ninth in Defensive Hog Index, and No. 1 overall in Bendability.
It is on the back of that defense that the Cowboys will win the game.
Why the Eagles Will Win
As mentioned, the NFC East Eagles fans hate the Cowboys more than anything else on earth. Lincoln Financial Field, filled with angry Eagles fans in prime time, is going to be the most inhospitable place for anyone from Texas.
That environment is unlike anything Cooper Rush has ever seen, and it will get to him. His inexperience in dealing with noise, calling audibles, and executing silent counts, will change the NFC East Dallas offense. And this world-class NFC East Dallas defense has gotten a little fat against statuesque quarterbacks like Matthew Stafford, Joe Burrow, and Carson Wentz.
Enter Jalen Hurts, one of the featured names in any MVP conversation, and a man at or near the top of every statistical category tabulated by Cold, Hard Football Facts. The Eagles NFC East offense is fourth in Real Quarterback Rating, sixth in Offensive Passer Rating, first in Real Passing Yds/Attempt, and first in Offensive Rusher Rating.
It is on the back of Jalen Hurts that the Eagles will win the game.