Posted on November 8, 2018, by Travis Pulver
The Philadelphia Eagles came into the season looking to repeat as Super Bowl champions. The Dallas Cowboys entered the season hoping to make it back to the Super Bowl for the first time in years. If either is going to become a legitimate contender, they will have to start winning a lot more than they have been.
So, come Sunday night, one will take a step in the right direction. But for the other, the writing may be on the wall.
The Dallas Cowboys finally admitted that they made a mistake by not finding a replacement for Dez Bryant by acquiring Amari Cooper. However, if Cooper’s first game as a Cowboy (last Monday night against the Titans) is any indication, the Dallas offense is not going to change much.
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Having a deep threat doesn’t mean much of anything if you just have him run the same short to intermediate routes as everyone else. Cooper led the Cowboys in receptions (five) and yards (58) last week. But his longest catch was just 19 yards.
They already had guys that could run those routes. They certainly didn’t need to use a first-round pick to acquire someone else that could give them more of the same.
Philadelphia has also had some issues at wide receiver this season and acquired Golden Tate from the Detroit Lions to fill their void. His first game for the Eagles will be this Sunday’s against the Cowboys; a team who he lit up for 132 yards and a pair of touchdowns (off eight receptions).
However, while all eyes will be on each team’s new wide receiver, the deciding factor will be how well each defense plays. Both teams are allowing under 20 points a game this season (Dallas—18.9; Philadelphia—19.5). Both are good against the run (Dallas—seventh; Philadelphia—second). But Dallas has a much better pass defense (fifth in yards allowed) than Philadelphia (25th in yards allowed).
On paper, it looks like the Cowboys should be able to handle the Eagles. They may not be able to run as much as they would like. But if they would eve try to push the ball downfield, they may actually move the ball a little.
However, with how the Cowboys have been calling plays all season (and really, the last two seasons) it is hard to imagine the Cowboys calling the type of plays they need to call. That means this one is going to turn into a slugfest.
The Eagles are going to chip away at the Dallas defense with short to intermediate routes. Dallas is going to be as predictable as always. They’ll run Ezekiel Elliot on first down followed by two short passes.
Dallas has the talent to beat the Eagles. But will not call the play they need to in order to do so. So, take the Eagles to win straight up, but for Dallas to win against the spread (seven points).
The over/under is 43, but these guys will probably not break 30.