Here we are, week 16, and the Cowboys host the Eagles on Christmas eve.
The Cowboys (10-4) come into this week after dropping a close one in overtime to Jaguars last week. On the other hand, the Eagles (13-1) may be without Jalen Hurts for a few games due to a shoulder injury.
I have been looking forward to this matchup since the first meeting between the two, but unfortunately, we may have to wait again to see both these teams at full-strength.
The Cowboys' defense will need to find some answers quickly at the corner position, regardless of who starts Saturday for Philly.
Second-year cornerback Kelvin Joseph was benched late in the game for Nahshon Wright after getting beat for two touchdowns. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said on Monday that it'd be a competition for the cornerback spot opposite Trevon Diggs.
The Cowboys' defense is fighting the injury bug right now, and even with a playoff spot locked up, I still expect almost everyone to be out there until the season's final week, but how will they attack Philly this week?
Well, it depends on who starts on Sunday. The Cowboys need to gameplan for both Hurts and Gardner Minshew. It is hard to tell if the Eagles are playing mind games here or if they will sit Hurts.
No matter who starts at QB for Philly, this defense must find its pass rush again. They look tired, and that is no excuse. They are without Jourdan Lewis, Anthony Brown, Johnathan Hankins, and now Leighton Vander Esch for a few games, so they need to regain that confidence with key players out.
As for the other side of the ball, you should not lose many when the offense averages over 35 points a game. We should see the debut of TY Hilton this week, an excellent sign for a WR room that, outside of CeeDee Lamb, is not showing up consistently.
Cowboys WR T.Y. Hilton said he’s called “The Ghost” because one second he’s next to a defender and next thing, he’s gone.
Does he need to show the league he’s still The Ghost?
“I just need to show the teams we’re playing that you’re still gonna have to account for me.”
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 20, 2022
So what do the Cowboys need to do to win this game?
Look, I am not worried about the offense because you should win football games when you score over 30 every week. The defense has become so shaky. Yes, much is due to injury, but for a unit that was so dominant throughout most of the season to just become a weakness is weird, no?
IF Hurts plays this week, the game will be very tight; if not, the Cowboys will control the entirety of the game. Although the Eagles' run defense has improved, Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott have a big day, and the Cowboys pull away from the Eagles late at home.
This game has been the talk of the media world for the last two months, and if Hurts doesn't play and the Cowboys win, it'll be just like when Philly beat Dallas at home with Cooper Rush. A backup who can win you games but is not as good as your starter.
I have the Cowboys 34-26, the offense will make enough plays at home and the defense will find a big takeaway late to bring the Cowboys to victory.