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The wait is finally over. After a long week of anticipation, the Philadelphia Eagles (7-1) will host the Dallas Cowboys (5-2) at Lincoln Financial Field this afternoon.
We have a lot of ground to cover here, so let’s jump right into this week’s preview.
Dallas is coming to Philly on a high note, one week removed from a dominating 43-20 win over Los Angeles. Dak Prescott had his finest game of the season, going 25-of-31 for 344 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite target, Ceedee Lamb, was dominant in his own right, hauling in a career-best 12 receptions for 158 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Cowboys offense has been riding high all season, but their ground game has been pretty average. Tony Pollard has topped the 100-yard mark just once in 2023 and is currently averaging 3.9 yards per carry. The Eagles have the best run defense in the league through eight weeks, holding teams to an average of just 65.5 rushing yards per contest. Expect their dominance to continue in Week 9.
Philly’s secondary, however, has been lackluster throughout most of the year. Injuries have certainly played a role, but it’s not the only reason they’ve struggled on the backend. Both Darius Slay and James Bradberry have struggled, with neither of them posting PFF grades better than 65.0. Overall, the Eagles are allowing 247.5 passing yards per game, good for 26th in the NFL.
Dallas is going to try to exploit the Eagles coverage deficiencies early, but if the Eagles can apply pressure to Prescott and tighten things up on the backend, they should be able to contain the Cowboys’ passing attack. Now that Kevin Byard has had a few weeks to settle in, I expect his presence to make a huge difference for Philly’s pass defense.
While the Cowboys offense has been getting it done in recent weeks, their defense is the reason they’re considered a formidable contender in the NFC. Led by Micah Parsons, the Cowboys defense ranks second in total yards allowed, fourth in passing yards per game, and fourth in points per game.
However, Dallas is not great against the run, surrendering an average of 108.9 rushing yards per game. This is where the Eagles can really take advantage of Dan Quinn’s unit. They’ve averaged 132.3 rushing yards per game. Stats aside, we all know that when the Eagles want to impose their will on you with the running game, they can – regardless of the opponent.
If the Eagles control the ball and continue to put together long, clock draining drives, there’s no reason they leave this game without a W.
|Eagles||-3 (-115)||-170||O 46.5 (-108)|
|Cowboys||+3 (-105)||+142||U 46.5 (-112)|
The Eagles are going to win this ball game. The real question is, how much will they do it by?
Dallas is a downhill team. If they can get a lead on you and unleash their pass rush defensively, they’re hard to beat. But, their odds of winning drastically decrease if they find themselves in a hole. Dak can’t play from behind and their defense can’t stop the run.
The recipe for success here is pretty simple – get an early lead, pressure Dak and force him into mistakes, and run the ball down their damn throat. The Eagles are more than capable of doing all three, and I fully expect them to this week
Prediction: Eagles 34, Cowboys 17
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images