Fans from both the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles can rejoice as their Sunday night showdown is finally here. A win for both teams means earning first place in the division and a clear shot at the top spot in the NFC.
The Dallas Cowboys go into the contest riding a four-game winning streak that has been led by a backup quarterback in Cooper Rush. While their offense has been average, their defense has allowed 20 points total in the last two games and are top ten in most statistical categories. They are led by the second-year defensive end/linebacker Micah Parsons who is tied for the NFL lead in sacks with six.
As for the Philadelphia Eagles, they are the only undefeated team remaining in the league with a five-game winning streak to start the year. Quarterback Jalen Hurts is playing at an MVP-caliber level throwing to multiple weapons including AJ Brown, Devonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert. Their offensive line is among the best in the league leading the fifth-best rushing attack in the NFL thanks to Miles Sanders being top five in the NFL in rushing yards.
Expectations for this game are it should be the most anticipated game of the season with both defenses playing at a high level. It’ll be a chess match between Super Bowl-winning head coach Mike McCarthy and second-year head coach Nick Sirianni. Both teams are talented rosters and are physically up front on both sides of the football. This rivalry game on paper looks like the makings of a memorable game.
Top Storylines Of Cowboys-Eagles Game
Best Matchup: Cowboys Defensive Line Versus Eagles Offensive Line
What makes the NFC East special from other divisions is how physical each of their division games is on the front lines. Teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys draft their teams with offensive and defensive linemen because they know the importance of winning up front. Sunday’s match features two of the best lines in the league.
Led by center Jason Kelce, the Eagles’ offensive line struggled mightily in their week one win over the Detroit Lions. They have been firing on all cylinders since leading one of the best rushing offenses in the league and allowed just 11 sacks in five games. Their offensive line will get a boost on Sunday as left tackle Jordan Mailata returns to the lineup and teams up with right tackle Lane Johnson protecting Hurts on each side of the line.
Everyone knows about the success of Micah Parsons and the type of season he is having. The defensive line for the Cowboys has helped the defense record 20 sacks in five games. DeMarcus Lawrence and Dorance Armstrong have come on strong the last two games making impactful plays on the defensive side.
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Cowboys X-Factor: CeeDee Lamb
The leading receiver for the Cowboys CeeDee Lamb has been one of the very few bright spots in the passing game for Dallas. Lamb has become Rush’s most reliable target getting 50 pass targets in five games which are almost double the next most targets which are Noah Brown at 29. He leads the team in catches (28), yards (341), and touchdowns (two).
While fans would love to see other receivers get more involved in the offense, these are the type of games Cowboys fans want to see Lamb be the number one receiver he is supposed to be. Lamb has shown flashes of being able to take over a game, but with the offensive calls being more balanced between the run and pass, fans haven’t been able to see it as much. The expected matchup will be Lamb versus Eagles cornerback Darius Slay so if Lamb can find early success against Slay, fans could see the first 100-yard receiver for Dallas this season.
What To Expect From Cooper Rush
Quarterbacks will always rule the headlines in any game and with Dak Prescott expected to be out for this game, Cooper Rush will be starting his fifth straight game at quarterback for the Cowboys. Rush hasn’t been the type of quarterback to create big plays, but he has a quick release and hasn’t thrown an interception all season. He’s smart with the football in his hands and knows what needs to be done to win games for the Cowboys in clutch situations.
This will be the best defense the Cowboys have played all season with Rush struggling to get to 102 yards passing against the Los Angeles Rams. He’ll face just as much pressure from the Eagles’ defensive line with Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox headlining the line. Philadelphia’s secondary is loaded with talent and Pro Bowlers that includes Slay and James Bradberry.
Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore will most likely have a conservative play-calling sheet as he will be 50-50 on running and passing the football. Rush’s main job will be to continue to not turn the ball over. One thing he must do though is throwing it deep and create big plays in the passing game to keep the Eagles’ defense off guard. Rush must have the best game of his career to beat the Eagles which he is more than capable of doing.