Cowboys and Eagles Clash for the NFC East Division Title
Two NFL teams having 7-7 records doesn’t sound like much of an interest for NFL fans, however, when it’s the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles seeking the NFC East title late in a season, there’s huge interest.
Dallas comes off an impressive win against the defending NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia has been keeping pace with narrow wins in the last two weeks over the Giants and Redskins.
All that sets up a pair of 7-7 rival teams looking to control their own fate this week.
The Cowboys’ balanced offensive attack on display last week against the Rams cannot be overlooked. This offensive performance was one indicative of 'The Triplets' of the 90s as opposed to the more recent passing barrage from Dak Prescott, where he reaches 400 yards passing with multiple touchdown passes. No need for Dak to throw for that many yards and negate the running game when last week Dallas produced two 100-yard rushers in Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. Both running backs also scored touchdowns. The ability to run wild scaled back the need for Dallas to become one-dimensional by passing the ball and forget about one its most talented players, running back Elliott and now Pollard. For the record, Prescott did throw for 212 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions on 23 attempts. To date, Dak is second in passing yards, third in quarterback rating and fourth in touchdown passes in the NFL.
The Dallas defense picked up its game and displayed an attitude of “treat the opponents rudely” as it shut down the Los Angeles Rams for most of the game. This effort must travel to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia this week in order to win.
The Cowboys were consistently disruptive while taking the ball away from the Rams. It was highly beneficial to the defense seeing linebacker Sean Lee turn back the clock and play like he has in previous seasons. With that said, Philly quarterback Carson Wentz is prone to create turnover-like situations with the sometimes carefree way he handles the football. This means opportunity for the Dallas defense and they need to take advantage of this fact. Philly is banged up and probably will be without wide receiver Alshon Jeffery as well. The Eagles have had success from upstart running back Miles Sanders and wide receiver Greg Ward Jr., who have kept their team in contention the last two games.
The other important boost the Dallas Cowboys received was by new placekicker Kai Forbath who made field goals from 50 and two from 42 yards. Interestingly, Maher missed a field goal from 42 yards against the Bears in his last game before being released by Dallas. Forbath also made all 5 of his PAT (point after touchdown) attempts.
No excuses at this point in the season for either team, especially the Dallas Cowboys. They can still achieve their first goal of getting into the playoffs as NFC East champions and keep winning from that point forward.