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Preview: Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys - prediction, team news, form guide

Sports Mole previews Monday's NFL tie between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles, including predictions, team news and head-to-head records.

A pair of NFC East rivals will square off at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, as the Dallas Cowboys host the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.

Dallas evened their record at 1-1 last week thanks to a late field goal as time expired, beating the Los Angeles Chargers 20-17, while the Eagles were shut down in week two, losing 17-11 to the San Francisco 49ers and dropping to 1-1.


Match preview

America's Team, also known as the Dallas Cowboys, have been involved in two tight games to start the season, but last Sunday, they came away on the right side of the scoreline against a tough Chargers team.

As they prepare for their home opener in the prime time Monday night slot, Mike McCarthy has to be feeling pretty good about how his team overcame the loss of five players who started in their opening game loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they looked a lot better on all sides of the ball last weekend.

Offensively we saw a lot more balance to their game in week two with 27 passing attempts and 31 plays on the ground, a vast disparity from their opener where they had 58 passing plays.

Last week they reverted to some old habits which hurt them significantly last season, allowing far too many second and third and short situations, conceding 95 yards on the ground to LA, an average of five yards per carry.

Their defensive line got some good pressure on young quarterback Justin Herbert, sacking him twice while adding two interceptions and holding him to a passer rating of 87.2.

They have done a great job of securing the football so far while making smart decisions on offence and not forcing any unnecessary throws, with only two interceptions and no fumbles lost.

In his first season as head coach, Nick Sirianni has put together a team with a solid defensive presence who will make you earn every yard, while also forcing their opponents to try and beat them underneath.

The Birds have only given up one play of 20 or more yards in the early portion of this campaign, holding two elite quarterbacks in Matt Ryan and Jimmy Garoppolo to under 200 yards passing in each of their first two games, though they have yet to cause a fumble or an interception.

Opposing offences clearly have a lot of respect for what the Eagles possess in the secondary as there have only been three pass attempts of 15 yards or more against Philly this year.

Their wide receivers made a significant impact in the early going versus San Francisco, with five receptions in the opening quarter but they began to fade away as the game wore on, with only one catch the rest of the way.

While they have shown a desire to go deep down the field, the execution has not been there with several drops or balls slightly overthrown.

With a defence that does not concede many big plays, expect to see the Eagles try and force Dallas to hand the ball off a lot in between the tackles, which they hope will put the Cowboys in plenty of third and long situations.

Dallas Cowboys form:
  • L
  • W

Philadelphia Eagles form:
  • W
  • L



Team News

Ezekiel Elliott in action for Dallas Cowboys on January 5, 2019© Reuters

The Cowboys will not have Dorance Armstrong available on Monday because of an ankle injury, DeMarcus Lawrence is still out, Ty Nsekhe will miss this one with an illness, safety Donovan Wilson is doubtful with a groin injury and receiver Amari Cooper could be a game-time decision because of a rib injury.

Quarterback Dak Prescott was 23 of 27 versus Los Angeles for 237 yards, helping to put together an 11-play, 49-yard drive in the fourth quarter, setting up the game-winning 56-yard kick from Greg Zuerlein, who went three for three on field goals after missing two of his attempts in week one.

Dallas' ground game came to play last week, as Tony Pollard rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, while Ezekiel Elliott had 16 touches for 71 yards and a major score.

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts did most of his damage with his legs last week, with 10 carries for 82 yards and a TD, but struggled through the air, going 12 for 23 and 190 yards, although 91 of those yards came off one pass.

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and running back Boston Scott could miss this game due to illness, while Jordan Mailata is questionable with a knee injury, centre Jason Kelce has a foot injury and Davion Taylor is nursing a calf strain.

Philly will hope to have tight end Zach Ertz taken off the reserve/COVID-19 list as he has lit up the Cowboys in the past, putting up 66 receptions against them for 641 yards and four touchdowns.


Head To Head

The Cowboys hold a 70-54 advantage all-time against the Birds going into this matchup on Monday, with their most recent victory coming last season by a score of 37-17 in late December.

While Dallas have a significant edge overall, recent history tells us that these two sides often trade blows against one another on a game by game basis, with neither side winning more than four straight contests against the other since 2003.

One of the most famous storylines in this rivalry came over 40 years ago when these teams met in the NFC Championship game at Veteran's Stadium where the Eagles forced the Cowboys to wear their navy-blue jerseys despite them being the road team, as Dallas lost that game 20-7 with many superstitious fans saying afterwards that a curse of those uniforms was born from there.


SM words green background

We say: Philadelphia Eagles 20-Dallas Cowboys 24

In his first home game since a gruesome ankle injury last October, Dak Prescott will be keen to put on a show for the home crowd against an Eagles team who have made their opponents work hard in the opening two weeks.

Expect this to be a very even game featuring two teams who should be battling for the NFC East title this season, but the Cowboys will be slight favourites with an experienced quarterback who has shown a lot of moxie through his first two games this year, while they should be more than comfortable to run the ball efficiently against an Eagles team with excellent pass coverage.


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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady in action on September 20, 2020
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