With playoff contention at play, the 5-6 Cowboys will host the 5-6 Redskins for a classic NFC East match. For both teams, this is a "make-or-break" kind of game. With the Cowboys coming from three straight blowout losses, the expectations for this football team aren't as high as one would like them to be.
Instead of arguing if the Cowboys can be Super Bowl contenders, the discussion among Cowboys Nation's members revolves around firing coaches, pointing fingers at players and more.
That's why, as every game day, I share with you my Cowboys Wishlist. Let's try to take our minds off of the coaching staff, the injured players and more by hoping these wishes come true.
If you have any wishes yourself, don't hesitate to use the comments section below to share them with Cowboys Nation!
Wish #1: Keep Hope Alive
Every week, the main wish is to get the W. But now, it's more about just winning a football game. The Dallas Cowboys were supposed to be one of the best teams in the NFL. But through 13 weeks, they have a losing record and need a win to stay alive.
Before, I'm sure Cowboys Nation's would have high hopes on this team's chances of turning things around. Today though, that may not be the case.
I wish someway, somehow, the Cowboys come out tonight ready to surprise everyone by putting on a show and beating the Washington Redskins.
Wish #2: Chidobe Awuzie Gets an INT
Earlier this week, it was announced that Anthony Brown was being demoted. The sophomore cornerback was one of the Cowboys' starting CBs, and after an impressive rookie season, we expected it to remain that way.
However, Brown has had a rough year as he's been burned by a lot of WRs throughout the year. So now, it may be second-round pick Chidobe Awuzie's time to shine.
After dealing with an injury at the start of the season, Chido is now healthy and he'll surely get his chance to prove himself tonight. With a lot more changes coming to the secondary, I wish Awuzie gets away with an interception, giving every Cowboys fan out there a taste of what he can do.
Bonus Wish: Anthony Brown may have been disappointing as CB1, but what if he gets back on track by being tried on different spots of the secondary? Now, that would be awesome.
Wish #3: Rod Smith Gets More Carries and Scores Again
The Cowboys have barely been able to score points without super star running back Ezekiel Elliott. Last week, Rod Smith was able to score a TD against the Chargers as he was handed the ball nine times by QB Dak Prescott.
After releasing Darren McFadden, the battle for the back-up running back position in Dallas is all between Alfred Morris and Rod Smith.
Personally, I'm a fan of Smith. I really think he's got more upside and potential than Morris, and I like the idea of him becoming a long-term back-up for Zeke down the road.
Hopefully, with a coaching staff desperate to make some changes, Smith will get more opportunities to shine, maybe even score another touchdown. I wish he does.
Wish #4: Dak Bounces Back
No one is safe from this 2017 season. Not even Dak Prescott. Naturally, he's being slandered by a large portion of NFL fans. Earlier this week, Brian Martin wrote about how this team could get Dak back on track.
Without Zeke, it is imperative to see 4 back at it again. He'll need a lot of help from his teammates, specially since Byron Bell is expected to start at RT.
While many fans are quick to judge Dak's short throws on third-and-long downs, the truth is these receivers are not getting open. I get that Prescott is to blame for a lot of things, but it's not all on him.
I wish that not only Dak Prescott gets back on track, but the whole passing game becomes effective once again.
Wish #5: Dan Bailey Splits The Uprights
Last Thursday, we were excited to see Tyron Smith, Anthony Hitchens and Dan Bailey active to play versus the Los Angeles Chargers. But even though he was out there, we didn't get to see any field goal or extra point attempt by the most accurate kicker in NFL history.
Hopefully, we get the chance to see 5 do his thing and kick FGs making it like the easiest thing on Earth today.
Not only would it mean that Automatic Bailey is officially back, but also that Dallas is scoring points and is actually in the game and not getting blown-out again.
Brett Maher’s 62-yard FG Gives Cowboys 6-0 Halftime Lead over Eagles
Brett Maher drilled a 62-yard field goal, a new Dallas Cowboys record, to give his team a 6-0 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles at halftime.
A holding penalty by Tyron Smith seemingly took the team out of field goal range, but Maher bailed him out with the monster kick.
The lead could be bigger it not for some Dallas mistakes. Dak Prescott threw an interception on an otherwise strong drive, and Maher ended another drive with a missed field goal.
However, the Eagles have also struggled. A strip sack by Tyrone Crawford ended their last drive of the half. Randy Gregory also got a sack on Carson Wentz earlier in the game.
Overall, though, Philadelphia just isn't converting downs and being stifled by this exceptional Cowboys defense. They only have 70 total offensive yards at the half.
Ezekiel Elliott is putting together a big day, already with 72 rushing yards and another 20 yards receiving. Rod Smith also has 24 yards of offense, adding to the major production from the RB position.
Speaking of position production, the Cowboys tight ends have already accounted for six catches for 37 yards. Blake Jarwin has four of those receptions, which is a new career high.
The Eagles will get the ball to start the second half.
Cowboys Vs Eagles Leads NFL in Playoff Leverage for Week 14
The Dallas Cowboys are certainly playing like a playoff team as of late, but aren't in the clear yet when it comes to holding off Sunday's opponent -- nor the Washington Redskins -- in the NFC East. At 7-5, the Eagles and Redskins sit a game behind the Cowboys with identical 6-6 records.
The Cowboys going 5-0 from their first win at the Eagles in week 10 to their third divisional game of this stretch would go a very long way in cementing the Cowboys mid-season turnaround. As has always seemingly been the case in this division though, the same is said of the defending Super Bowl champs.
With a loss, the Cowboys stand just over a 50% chance at the postseason. A win would add 42 percentage points to this figure, setting up the Cowboys favorably through a December schedule that features the Colts, Buccaneers, and Giants.
NFL playoff leverage week 14
The only team with more at stake today is the visitors of AT&T Stadium. The Eagles gain 47 percentage points on their playoff hopes with a win, though even this marginally moves the needle over 50% for them. An Eagles loss all but ends their chances of repeating as NFC East winners.
Though the Redskins are reduced to their third quarterback in Mark Sanchez, their early kickoff at the 4-8 Giants provides hope that they'll remain in contention through the regular season. In a division that will be dictated by the moves made at the trade deadline, it sure feels like the Cowboys and Eagles are pulling away however - with Dallas in prime position to lap the competition starting Sunday.
If the Cowboys and the Giants win today, Dallas would have to lose out, and the Redskins or Eagles would have to win out in order for the Cowboys to lose the division. In other words, Dallas and NYG winning today would mean one more victory and the Cowboys clinch the NFC East.
Wide Receiver Amari Cooper has made a bigger difference than Dallas could have ever hoped for. With the Eagles secondary banged up again for their meeting with the Cowboys, a home team with sights set on playoff football could begin to fine tune their offense to match a defense that set the tone against Philadelphia last time out.
National pundits may be forecasting a "classic" late season collapse for the Cowboys, but fans know better than this. It was in fact early season losses that dug the hole the Cowboys are viciously fighting out of. Asking for this opportunity against the Eagles is as good as it gets for Jason Garrett's young team, once 3-5 after eight weeks that feel like ages ago.
So does any dominant stretch of football from the Eagles, though the Cowboys shouldn't be quick to find out just how much Philly wants to play spoiler.
Cowboys Wishlist: Dak Prescott Exploits Eagles’ Secondary
It's rivalry weekend for the Dallas Cowboys as they get ready to host the Philadelphia Eagles. It will undoubtedly be a special game since the Eagles are practically playing to save their season this time around. Tables have turned for these two teams with now the Cowboys as home favorites for this fun matchup.
As always, here's this week's edition of Cowboys Wishlist. Enjoy!
Wish #1: Get Jourdan Lewis Playing Time
Cornerback Jourdan Lewis did a fantastic job versus the New Orleans Saints last week and I'm intrigued to see if the Cowboys will continue to find a job for him and get him on the field. Lewis had an interception and some other key plays in just eight snaps. Lewis has been an interesting narrative this year.
He's a good player and getting him more involved could result in good things for this team. We'll see if the Cowboys use him in this important divisional game.
Wish #2: Get The Early Big Lead, Rest Elliott
Running Back Ezekiel Elliott has done an amazing job for the Cowboys over the past four weeks. Both in the passing and running game, Zeke has been able to consistently move the chains as he's received a huge workload to carry the offense and control the time of possession. He currently leads the league in touches per game.
If the Cowboys are able to get a big lead early, I wish we get to see a lot of backup RB Rod Smith. As much as we all love to watch Zeke be fed, this time Cowboys Nation should appreciate seeing him on the sideline a bit more than usual. For that to happen, though, an early considerable lead is required.
Wish #3: Improve on Red Zone
So far, the Dallas Cowboys have been able to efficiently move the ball and get first downs. What they have struggled with though, is the red zone. Many times, we've seen the offense settle for three instead of getting seven.
This Saturday I argued why, if the Cowboys are able to improve on red zone, this could be a playoff caliber unit. This team shouldn't struggle as much in this area. With Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield, Amari Cooper lined up and a mobile QB, Scott Linehan's squad simply needs to do better.
Wish #4: Dak Prescott Gets 300 Yards
The Philadelphia Eagles have placed CB Jalen Mills on IR. With Ronald Darby out already, the Cowboys are about to face a very injured secondary. Philadelphia ranks 26th in passing defense. Dak Prescott's stats have greatly improved since week 7.
However, a big 300-yard performance has yet to occur. I wish he gets just that against the Eagles. For this, he'll certainly need help from his receivers, including Amari Cooper, who has been outstanding with a Star on his helmet.
What are your wishes for this week's matchup versus the Eagles?
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