Eagles fans have been waiting a long time for tonight’s matchup. If the Birds win, they essentially clinch the NFC East and knock the Cowboys out of playoff contention. If the Cowboys win, the stay alive for another week and put themselves in the middle of the playoff hunt. It’s hard to not envision the birds winning this game handedly, they’re better at nearly every position across the board. Let’s break down five reason the Eagles should dominate the Cowboys on Sunday night.
- The Eagles are better at coaching around injuries.
The Cowboys’ injury report has been a strong narrative all week. “How will we ever win without Zeke, our precious Sean Lee, and our future HOFer Tyron Smith?! Blah blah blah.” Well, guess what Cowboys’ fans? Every other NFL team has dealt with injuries. The bad teams usually aren’t deep enough or don’t know how to coach around them, and the good teams are either deep enough to plug someone else in or are able to game plan around these injuries. The Cowboys, well, it looks like you guys just aren’t a good team right now. Not only are they not deep enough to soften the blow of these injuries, but Jason Garrett simply doesn’t know how to coach without star players to bail him out. Last weekend was a perfect example of this. With the Cowboys missing Tyron Smith, Garret decided to throw Chaz Green out there and give him absolutely no help against one of the best pass rushers in the game, Adrian Clayborn. Clayborn racked up six of his team’s eight total sacks and had Green on skates all day. Even after Green was obviously overmatched by Clayborn, Garret continued putting him out there with no help. He barely even put a tight end on Green’s side to chip the defensive end in passing situations. That’s simply bad coaching. And guess which team has also been dealing with an injury to their future HOFer left tackle? That’s right, the birds. The Eagles lost their left tackle, Jason Peters, for the season about four weeks back and haven’t missed a step. Instead of forcing Peters’ replacement, Big V, to step up and play like an All-Pro, coach Doug Pederson has game planned around the injury and hasn’t put Big V in many bad situations. I touched a lot on Pederson’s masterful game planning in the last Birds’ Roundup, so go take a look at that if you’re interested. But the bottom line is, the Eagles have dealt with just as many injuries, if not more, than the Cowboys have. The well-coached teams are capable of game planning around these injuries, and Jason Garrett just can’t do that.
- Wentz > Dak
Listen, if you still believe that Dak Prescott is a better quarterback than Carson Wentz you’re either lying to yourself or you just don’t know that much about football. Wentz has Dak beaten in nearly every passing category this season. Check out the stats break down:
|Passing Yards||Comp. %||AVG.||Passing TDs||INT|
Aside from completion percentage, Wentz has been better than Dak in every other statistical category. It’s not all about the statistics though. Wentz is more valuable to the Eagles than Dak is to the Cowboys. Dak is nothing more than a very efficient game manager, he is not capable of carrying a team like Wentz is. This has been evident all season. Without his workhorse running back, Ezekiel Elliot, Dak has gotten little to no productivity on offense. The Dallas offense relies on a strong run game in order to set up the play action pass game. Without Elliot carrying the load, their run game has diminished significantly. Add on the fact that Tyron Smith, the Cowboys’ All-Pro left tackle, will also be out for the Sunday Night matchup, and it should be another long night for Dak and company.
3. The Eagles’ Defensive Front-7 Will Dominate.
The Eagles’ front-7 has been dominant all season long. They’ve arguably been the best defensive line in football this season, and they’ve definitely been the best aspect of the defense up to this point. They should completely dominate the Cowboys’ offensive line, especially considering Tyron Smith will be inactive. Brandon Graham and company are tenth in the league in sacks this year with 25, averaging just about three per game. Not to mention, the birds have been overwhelmingly the best team in the league against the run this season.
- With Ronald Darby returning the secondary is the healthiest it’s been all season.
Due to unexpected contributions from Patrick Robinson and Rasul Douglas the Birds back end has actually held up nicely in his abesence. For what it’s worth, Robinson is the 3rd highest rated cornerback in the league according to Pro Football Focus. That said, this still remains a vulnerability for an otherwise elite defensive unit and Darby returning to the lineup gives the Eagles a chance to see their secondary as they envisioned it when they traded for him. We’ve seen Dez Bryant pick on lesser Eagles corners in the past – and even Mills specifically – but with a true number in the fold they won’t be able to lean on him like they have in the past.
- The Eagles are just a better team, top to bottom.
Beyond a more talented roster the Eagles boast a more impressive organization. Our owner doesn’t openly threaten the commissioner nor does he willingly support women abusers. Our head coach is less of a glorified cheerleader – a role Jason Garrett has embraced – and more like a mad scientist. Stephen A Smith characterizes the Cowboys as the walking embodiment of mediocrity and they routinely find ways to prove him correct. With the Birds clicking on all cylinders and the Cowboys seemingly lost without a cause I expect nothing less tonight.