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Game Notes

Week 11 Eagles @ Cowboys Staff Picks & Predictions

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In just over 24 hours, the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles will be kicking off at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, and all eyes will be on this matchup. The Eagles sit atop the NFC East, NFC, and entire NFL with a record of 8-1. The Cowboys are at 5-4. The team to beat two weeks ago won't be the team to beat tomorrow.

After a rocky start, the Cowboys strung together three wins in convincing fashion, against the Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers, and Kansas City Chiefs. Then, last week, Ezekiel Elliott lost his suspension battle and LT Tyron Smith was ruled out for the game.

You could say things were expected to get a little rough for our 'Boys, but nobody expected it to be THAT bad. Sean Lee injuring his hamstring was just icing on the cake.

One potential saving grace for Dallas this week is the Eagles are fresh off a bye week. When a team in the NFL starts a season as hot as they have, a bye week can destroy momentum and cohesion.

Another potential saving grace is the Eagles' schedule this year. They've had an awfully easy schedule, based on their finish last year, and have enjoyed the confidence that comes with beating weaker teams regularly.

However, the Eagles are not to be trifled with.

Don't forget, they're a division team and division teams have a way of going after each other like no other. That's something the Cowboys can look forward to just as much as the Eagles, as every game between the two is a bit of a tossup.

S Jeff Heath and LB Sean Lee have already been declared. Heath is technically listed as questionable but it is highly unlikely that he'll be active at game time since he wasn't even cleared to practice. Tyron Smith is also listed as questionable. If there is any way the Cowboys can get Smith on the field, even in a limited role, their odds increase. That's how terrible Chaz Green and Byron Bell were at LT against the Atlanta Falcons in week 10. But I suspect they'll save the risk with the short week and let Tyron rest before Thursday's Thanksgiving tilt.

We need Tyron Smith for the next four games more than this game tomorrow.

The Cowboys are starting off hamstrung by injuries at crucial positions. The Eagles are hoping the hot hand hasn't cooled off. This is going to be an interesting game, if not a complete blowout.

As always, I encourage you to add your own predictions for the game in our comments section below.

✭ ✭ ✭

Lee Proves to be Invaluable, Once Again

I think the Cowboys will go out there and fight. The importance of this game for them, the rivalry, the stage on Sunday Night Football will give this team a shot. However, without Sean Lee on the field, the Eagles will be too much for Dallas. This would be a tough game even if the entire team was healthy (or not suspended). Even if Tyron Smith plays, I'm picking the Eagles to win this Sunday Night. Sigh. Mauricio Rodriguez – @PepoR99

Cowboys 20 – Eagles 27

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Offense Rebounds, but Defense Struggles

The offense rebounds from its poor week 10 showing, but can't overcome the poor play of the defense without LB Sean Lee. John Williams – @john9williams

Cowboys 24 – Eagles 31

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No Lee, No Chance

Until they prove otherwise, Dallas' defense can't be trusted without Sean Lee in the lineup. The Eagles are coming off their bye week and have had this game circled on their calendar all year. It won't be pretty. Jess Haynie – @CowboysAddicts

Cowboys 23 – Eagles 34

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Cowboys Steal One From Eagles

Moving the ball is going to be a struggle for the Cowboys. Especially if Tyron Smith doesn’t play. I do think the Cowboys somehow pull this out. Philadelphia is coming off a bye and sometimes that can hurt teams who have been on a roll. I would expect to see the coaching staff make a lot of adjustments to help get the ball out quick and put some early points on the board. Connor Livesay – @Connorx147

Cowboys 17 – Eagles 16

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Fly Eagles Fly, Back To Philadelphia Without A Victory

I'm probably going to be in the minority here, but I think the Dallas Cowboys have a good chance to win this game. Yes, the Eagles are 8-1 and coming off their bye week, but they are not completely dominating their opponents. I expect the Cowboys to play angry after their embarrassing performance last week and do just enough to outlast the Eagles at home. Brian Martin – @BrianMartinNFL

Cowboys 27 – Eagles 24

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Bailey, Come Back

A classic NFC East scratch and claw game that stays close throughout. Dez comes up big with two touchdowns and the defense is able to force a few punts. Even though the Eagles had a lead, Dak drives in the last minutes, but Nugent shanks another field goal. Wentz kneels on the hearts of Cowboys fans to kill the clock. Christopher Wätjen – @SingForTheDay

Cowboys 17 – Eagles 20

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Hopeless-Lee

This has been a rough week for Cowboys Nation, and a win over the Eagles would go such a long way in collectively reinstalling hope for this 2017 season, while keeping the division race alive. Unfortunately, I see a spirited performance by the short-handed Cowboys falling three points short, as Carson Wentz's Eagles are just too much for a Rod Marinelli defense to handle without Sean Lee. Sean Martin – @SeanMartinNFL

Cowboys 31 – Eagles 34

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Dallas' D Can't Stop the Hot Hand, Eagles Ball Out

I still don't trust Alfred Morris, and I definitely don't trust him if the offensive line plays anything like last week. Add to that Awuzie's first game of the season, and missing Heath and Lee, and this is just too much of the wrong pressure for Dak Prescott. The offense will struggle, have a bright spot or two, miss a field goal, make a few more. The defense will be gassed by halftime. And I really hope I'm wrong. smh. Bryson Treece – @BrysonTreece

Cowboys 16 – Eagles 31

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The Eagles may not be an absolutely dominant team this year, not play-by-play, but they're finding ways to win and that's a hard thing to stop when a team finds it. This Cowboys team is a shell of its former self without Zeke, Smith, and Lee. Like I said before, this is going to be interesting, if it's not a total blowout.

Share your game picks below and, as always, Go Cowboys!



This is the General Staff account for Inside The Star, a blog for Dallas Cowboys news, scores, schedule, rumors, and analysis. We are the official home for @CowboysNation on Twitter. Follow us today for new content updates straight from our timeline. To learn more about our staff, please visit our Staff listing.

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1 Comment
  • Russ_Te

    The bad moon rose after Denver, and then went away… :^)

    Those (and myself) forecasting Dallas victory, are on a limb. Here are the positives;

    – Dallas must win / Philly, not close to a must win
    – Far, far better that this pivotal game in the Cowboys season, is not in Philadelphia
    – The Cowboys have the firepower to hang with Philly and outscore them

    They have to stop the siv at LT or it’s all academic. If Smith does not play, this has to involve different tactics than we saw in Atlanta. Quick hook for Green, and / or do not run as many pass plays from the pocket. What we saw last week has to go away.

    I know I am going to get lit up on defense without Lee. So I’m not playing passive 2-deeps and waiting for it to happen. I’m attacking Wentz, pure and simple. If he can burn it, at least the defense got off the field quickly. Better than giving up 7 points after 12 plays.

    Exactly as Dak, Wentz is not a seasoned veteran QB. Marinelli is a seasoned DC. It’s not unreasonable to ask him to bring some looks & pressure packages to the stadium, that Wentz has never seen. One timely turnover, can win this game.

    Dallas 31-24

Game Notes

NFC East Showdown: Cowboys Offense Primed to Dominate Redskins

Brian Martin

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Will Dallas' Recent Offensive Success Continue Against Washington?

The Dallas Cowboys are probably as confident as they have been all season as an offense after completely manhandling the Jacksonville Jaguars defense last week. They were able to put up 40 points on the Jaguar's top-ranked defense and now have to do the same against their division rival, the Washington Redskins.

I don't think there would be any argument if I were to say the Washington Redskins defense isn't nearly as talented as the Cowboys faced last week with the Jaguars. In fact, the Redskins are ranked near the bottom of the league in almost every defensive category, which should have Dallas' offensive players primed for this matchup.

As things stand right now, the Washington Redskins are giving up 21.2 points per game which ranks 24th in the NFL. They are also giving up 344 total yards (25th in the NFL) and 227.2 passing yards a game (24th). The lone bright spot of their defense is stopping the run, where they are currently ranked 12th in the NFL and are only allowing 116.8 rushing yards to opposing running backs.

Luckily, the Dallas Cowboys and Quarterback Dak Prescott looked to have found a groove with their passing game last week against the Jaguars top-ranked passing defense. With the Redskins ranked near the bottom of the league in passing defense, I think the Cowboys should and probably will build upon the success they had last week.

Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

Now, I fully expect the Cowboys passing game to find success once again against the Redskins, but I also believe Running Back Ezekiel Elliott to dominate on the ground like he has in the past against Washington.

Zeke only played in one game against the Redskins last season, but absolutely dominated in that contest. He rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns a year ago and I wouldn't be surprised if he is close to that milestone this week as well, even if it is against the strength of Washington's defense.

I'm really hoping I'm not a being a little overconfident here, but I guess I'm just buying into the success the Cowboys had on the offensive side of the ball last week. The offense finally started to do the things that have made them successful in the past and I'm expecting that to carry over into this week.

I believe we will see Prescott using his mobility once again, although I don't know if he will rush for 83 yards. I'm also expecting to see Wide Receiver Cole Beasley heavily involved in the passing game again because Washington doesn't have a defensive back who can cover him. Of course, let's not forget Ezekiel Elliott. I'm expecting him have a big game as well.

Overall, I really don't see the Washington Redskins defense giving the Dallas Cowboys any problems on the offensive side of the ball as long as they execute the way they did last week. I know when these two teams square off against one another it's usually a slobber knocker, but I think the Cowboys are the better team and is the one that comes away with the victory.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys offense will dominate the Redskins defense?



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Game Notes

Can Dak Prescott Continue His Washington Domination On Sunday?

Kevin Brady

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Dak Prescott, Redskins

There has been a lot of change within the Dallas Cowboys since 2016.

Veteran playmakers like Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are no longer around, Tony Romo lost his starting quarterback job, and Dallas has jumped from league best to worst to average seemingly every week.

One thing hasn't changed these past two years, however, and that is the Cowboys beating the Washington Redskins. In fact, since Dak Prescott took over as the starting quarterback in Dallas the Cowboys are 4-0 against Washington. Even as the sky was falling in Dallas a year ago, and the Cowboys offense looked like the worst in football, they still found a way to dominate Washington 38-14 and snap their then-three game losing streak.

In his four career games against Washington, Dak Prescott has quarterback ratings of 103.7, 108.9, 82.2, and 93.4. To put this into context, Prescott's average quarterback rating this season is 85.5 and that is really driven by his outlier positive rating of 118.6 against the Detroit Lions. To be fair, however, his 54.5 rating against Seattle was also a heavy outlier.

Prescott isn't the only Cowboy who has exercised this dominance over Washington, though. As Staff Writer John Williams has pointed out, Jason Garrett is 11-4 against the Redskins since becoming the Cowboys head coach, and Dallas has won six of their last eight against Washington since 2014.

So heading into Sunday's rematch with their division foe, history says the Cowboys should be feeling rather confident, right?

Well there's another streak occurring the Cowboys will actually be looking to break on Sunday. That, of course, is their winless start on the road this season.

Ironically the Dak Prescott-led Cowboys have actually been a good road team until now, going a combined 12-4 the past two seasons. And, since the new stadium opened in 2009, the Cowboys have been historically better on the road than at home, making this year's 3-3 start even more bizarre.

To put it simply, "somethings gotta give" on Sunday. Either Dak Prescott and the Cowboys will continue to beat up on the Redskins and get a leg up in the NFC East, or this horrendous road start will continue for another week.

Either way, I'm sure the takes will be hot on Monday morning.



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Game Notes

Cowboys Defense Getting Players Back at the Right Time

John Williams

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Could Any of These 3 Cowboys Disappoint Cowboys Nation in 2017?

The Dallas Cowboys have played really well on defense this season allowing the seventh fewest rushing yards per game, the third lowest yards per carry, and the eighth fewest passing yards per game this season. They've done it for most of the 2018 season without Defensive Tackles Maliek Collins and David Irving, and Linebacker Sean Lee, who's missed the last three games with a strained hamstring.

This week the Cowboys play the NFC East leading Washington Redskins, making this a very important matchup for the Cowboys playoff chances. The Dallas Cowboys are 2-2 in the NFC in 2018, so a win against the Washington Redskins on Sunday carries much more importance. If the Cowboys have hopes of making the playoffs, they're going to have to improve their record against the NFC and they can on Sunday with their defense getting back to (nearly) full health.

Still awaiting word on Chidobe Awuzie's availability for this week.

Antwaun Woods, Tyrone Crawford, and David Ross have held up really well on the Cowboys defensive interior without Irving and Collins, which makes their return even more important. Better depth along the defensive interior is only going to help those guys have more productive snaps. Both Collins and Irving are explosive penetrating defensive tackles that give interior offensive lineman fits with their combination of strength and quickness. They play the run and pass with equal effectiveness and make life a lot easier for the linebackers and the defensive ends.

In their first game back in week six, Irving and Collins combined for two quarterback pressures, a quarterback hit (Irving) and a sack (Collins). Irving also drew a holding call on a punt.

Getting them back takes so much pressure off the defensive ends to generate pressure in passing situations. With better pressure from the interior of the defense, DeMarcus Lawrence and the other defensive ends will have better opportunities for sacks because opposing quarterbacks won't be able to step up in the pocket with as much ease as they have through the first five games of the season.

The linebacker duo of Jaylon Smith, and Leighton Vander Esch have been one of the best position groups for the Cowboys this season. As good as they've been, Sean Lee is still one of the better linebackers in the NFL. Though he's leading the Cowboys in solo tackles with 43, Leighton Vander Esch probably sees a decrease in his snaps with Lee returning. They'll all play, however, and the Cowboys will look for ways to have them all on the field together.

Getting Lee, Irving, and Collins on the field at the same time with the defensive parts that the Cowboys already boast in Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Byron Jones is going to make playing offense nearly impossible.

How do you attack these guys?

The Washington Redskins rank in the bottom third in passing yards, yards per attempt, and are 18th in the NFL in passer rating. Washington ranks in the top half of the league in rushing yards per game, but rank 23rd in yards per attempt.

If there's an area where the Dallas Cowboys defense has been susceptible this season it's against the pass and having all of their best defensive players available for this week seven NFC East matchup is going to make all the difference. They'll be able to generate pressure with fewer blitzes because of the ability of Irving and Collins to generate pressure from the interior.

Though the Redskins have had some success on the ground in 2018, it's going to be tough sledding for Adrian Peterson and the Redskins run game. Lee, Vander Esch, and Smith all play the run extremely well and with the improved talent at defensive tackle, Peterson is going to find very few open lanes against the Dallas Cowboys defense.

The elite defense that we imagined this team could be may be right around the corner. Having everyone healthy and on the field together as the Dallas Cowboys get ready for the stretch run of the NFL season is huge.

Get ready NFL. Points are going to be really hard to come by.



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