Christmas night was not as joyful to watch as most expected as the Eagles offense and defense experienced a role reversal from just a week ago in New York. However, a win is a win and the Eagles clinched home-field advantage. Although this week is meaningless in the standings, the Eagles will look to get some work in for Nick Foles and much of the backups as the Cowboys come to town. Here is the crew’s predictions for the game:
TYLER EDGERTON (13-2)
After a fantastic first quarter drive, the offense struggled mightily in the second half racking up just 61 total yards against an Oakland defense that has been mediocre all year. I believe it is a complete neglection and malpractice if Nick Foles does not play into the second quarter this week. The chemistry between him and the wide receivers will be a major key to keep an eye on for the Eagles playoff success this year. After last week, the play calling needs to change to favor the run early on first and second down. Expect rookies to fill in for veterans who need some rest. With a rejuvenated Ezekiel Elliott and a bitter taste in their mouth, the Cowboys come into the Linc and hand the Eagles their first loss at home in the regular season finale.
Final Prediction: Eagles 17, Cowboys 23
MATTHEW SCOTT (13-2)
After an ugly Week 16 win against the Raiders at home, the Eagles welcome in the Dallas Cowboys in a meaningless New Years Eve game. Nick Foles will get the start, and while I don’t think the Eagles will slow down, I do believe they give their key guys some rest. This is nothing more then an accelerated practice for the Eagles, meanwhile, Dallas does want to prove they still have a little left in the tank with their division rivals wrapping up the NFC East. All in all, Dallas pulls out a late victory on the road.
Final Prediction: Eagles 17, Cowboys 23
TYLAR POMROY (12-3)
It’s hard to believe that a New Years Eve game at home against Dallas means so little to this team. But even though they’re completely knocked out of the playoffs, you can’t count Dallas out completely. Ezekiel Elliott is back and the rivalry won’t be taken lightly because of playoff circumstances. Don’t be surprised if you see more than a half of Nate Sudfield at quarterback. While the Eagles haven’t looked like a first-round bye playoff team in recent games, this will be the game they can try and re-establish NFC dominance. This won’t be a high scoring game but a win will mean so much moving on to the playoffs.
Final Prediction: Eagles 16, Cowboys 7
BRETT SANTOS (9-6)
Although this game means nothing in the standings, the importance lies in how well different aspects of the teams do. Facing the Cowboys means facing Zeke Elliott, who is one of the best backs in the league when on the field. I think the Cowboys will run a ton in this game and allow Zeke to finish the season strong. Considering how badly the Eagles struggled to stop the run against Alfred Morris last time these teams played, Zeke should run for 150+ yards. The hope is that Dak Prescott makes mistakes as he has often late in the season.
The story going into the week is how well Nick Foles will perform after struggling mightily last Monday against the Raiders. I think the Eagles gameplan will attempt to make Foles comfortable and look good, but that will probably result in a lot of check-downs and short passes. I see Foles having a slightly better performance than last week, but I don’t believe he will have a very good day overall. Unfortunately, I think this will lead to a game that flows similar to last week where the Eagles struggle to get the ball across midfield as Dallas will force Foles into throwing the ball by shutting down the run game of the Eagles. I don’t think the Eagles defense will do much to stop Elliott especially due to Brandon Graham being out this week.
Final Prediction: Eagles 16, Cowboys 24
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