It’s a big day in the NFC East as the Cowboys and Eagles clash to determine, most likely, the division winner in 2019. As is normal by this late point in the season, both teams will have to overcome injuries in the pursuit of victory.
What can we glean from the team’s final injury reports for Week 16? Who’s in, who’s out, and whose status hasn’t been confirmed?
- LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck) – OUT
- WR Devin Smith (knee) – Questionable
- LB Joe Thomas (knee) – Questionable
- CB C.J. Goodwin (thumb) – Questionable
For Dallas, the story of the week has been the injury to Dak Prescott’s throwing shoulder. But despite his limited status throughout the week, Dak is clear to play today and will hopefully suffer no limitations.
We remain without Leighton Vander Esch this week and perhaps the rest of 2019. Perhaps the starting linebacker could come back for the playoffs, but at the lack of any certain timetables for Leighton’s return is pretty concerning at this point.
Joe Thomas was able to practice some on Friday, so hopefully he will be back this week to help bolster the LB depth. Sean Lee had a big game against the Rams but the veteran may not be able to duplicate that effort a week later.
Dallas’ special teams woes could worsen without C.J. Goodwin, who is one of their top players on return coverage. He was able to practice in a limited capacity on Friday.
- OT Lane Johnson (ankle) – OUT
- RB Jordan Howard (shoulder) – Questionable
- WR Nelson Agholor (knee) – Questionable
- DE Derek Barnett (ankle) – Questionable
- CB Avonte Maddox (knee) – Questionable
Philly’s only confirmed out this week is a big one in starting Right Tackle Lane Johnson. They were missing Jason Peters on the left side the last time Dallas played, and now they will have to ask backup Halapoulivaati Vaitai to go up against DeMarcus Lawrence. That could be the matchup which decides this game.
The Eagles remain wrecked at receiver. They at least had Alshon Jeffery in Week 7, but now he’s on IR along with DeSean Jackson. Philly could also be without veteran Nelson Agholor again, who missed all of practice this week.
Jordan Howard’s shoulder issue has been mitigated by the rise of rookie RB Miles Sanders. While Howard is the starter, Sanders may be the best back on the team and is the type of runner who can give Dallas problems.
On defense, starting DE Derek Barnett missed two days of practice but returned in a limited capacity on Friday. Veteran Vinny Curry would get the start if Barnett can’t go.