Nothing Left to Gain for Cowboys Starters in Week 17

    After having their playoff hopes shattered by the last Sunday, the now have just one game remaining in 2017. This week, they travel to Philadelphia to play their hated rival in a game which could not mean any less to the playoff picture. The have everything wrapped up — the division, the number one seed, and home field advantage throughout the .

    The Eagles have next-to-no reason to take this game seriously, and will most likely rest key players. Especially after what happened to just a few weeks ago.

    On the other hand the Cowboys are done, regardless of this week's result. And because of the meaningless nature of the game, some fans are wondering if the Cowboys' key players should also take the afternoon off.

    Left is expected to miss the game, considering he exited last week's game after just one possession. is banged up, as well as , but has insisted all week that everyone who is healthy will play against the Eagles.

    What exactly will “healthy” mean, though? At this point in the season, no one is healthy. After playing 15 NFL games every player is dealing with some type of issue, as spoke to earlier this week.

    Considering this game means nothing, and that “tanking” it could actually give the Cowboys some benefit this , what good would playing everyone really accomplish?

    I believe that in a perfect world, would play a healthy and productive first half and look like his old self. The Cowboys would look and feel good about their performance, and could lead backups during the second half to give the coaches a chance to evaluate everyone.

    But as we know, things rarely work out perfectly in the NFL.

    The Cowboys and Eagles traded places from 2016 to 2017 finales. Last year, the Cowboys had nothing to play for in . This year, the Eagles are the locked-in playoff contenders. In the finale, Dallas sat their key players and the Eagles went just about full tilt. The Eagles dominated a -led Cowboys team, and I guess it could be argued they built some momentum heading into the offseason.

    But what made the Eagles good this season wasn't a meaningless week 17 win in 2016, it was the smart personnel decisions their made to improve an offense which lacked weapons during Wentz' rookie year. It was the addition of pass rushers like and Derek Barnett which continued to build upon an already impressive .

    If the Cowboys are to bounce back in 2018, defeating the Eagles this week will have little to do with it. They need to improve in multiple facets this offseason, and giving younger, more inexperienced players some playing time to prove themselves this Sunday will do more to help accomplish that goal than will throwing Dak Prescott to the wolves without his .

    Kevin Brady
    Kevin Brady
    Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.


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