The Eagles are undefeated, but the Cowboys could be the one to notch one in the loss column for them this year.
The Philadelphia Eagles won on Thursday Night Football against the Houston Texans and improved to 8-0, their first such start in franchise history. At present, the Eagles are the definitive favorite out of the weaker conference, and they appear head-and-shoulders above of their postseason competition. But is that real, or optical illusion?
And if illusionary, who could finally notch an L for them?
It could be illusion. Before the season, the Eagles were determined to have one of the easiest schedules of the 32 teams in the NFL.
This year, they have two wins against above-.500 teams: The Vikings (a very convincing, 24-7 win) and the Cowboys, who at the time were without Dak Prescott. The current cumulative record of their opponents is 25-36, a winning percentage of .409.
Now, the Eagles deserve some credit. They have beat up on these teams and have the league’s second-best scoring differential (11.3). Plus, in the NFL, any team can win on any given Sunday with the right mix of circumstances, and the Eagles have kept that from happening. But a deeper look at some of the stats and team makeups indicates the Cowboys could be destined to be the team to give them the L.
Cowboys have the right characteristics to give the Eagles an L
If anyone gives the Eagles an L, it’ll be a divisional rival. They get to see the Eagles twice per year and are most familiar with them. The Cowboys and Commanders soiled their first opportunities against Philly this year, while the Giants have two swings at the plate.
The Cowboys, though, were without Dak Prescott, losing 26-17 in Philly in Week 6.
One important thing, too, is the Eagles hadn’t gone full-Pollard just yet, either. Running back Tony Pollard got 11 rushes, just a hair over his 10.12 per game average this year. Last week, the Cowboys saw a hint of what they could get from him when they gave him 14 rushing attempts and he rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns.
The Eagles are the perfect opponent to let Pollard (and Ezekiel Elliott, too) cook against. They’re 29th in yards per attempt given up on rushing.
Furthermore, let’s not forget how good the Cowboys defense is. The Eagles had 268 total yards against the Cowboys in their first matchup, the lowest of the season, 89 fewer than their second-worst yardage game of the year.
Not to mention the Week 16 matchup is in Dallas and the third game in a three-game stretch of road trips. The season will be winding down by then, the Eagles will probably be secure in their playoff status, and the Cowboys will have everything to prove.
In 2009, the Cowboys handed the 13-0 Saints their first L of the season. They could do the same to the 14-0 Eagles in Week 16 this year.
- Cowboys look like the team that could beat Eagles
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