The Cowboys and Eagles are a combined 9-1 this season, and they meet on Sunday Night Football for their first highly anticipated matchup of the year. Both teams have a chance to silence the critics and prove they are legitimate contenders in the NFC.
After one week, the entire football universe wrote the Cowboys off. They now roll into Lincoln Financial Field with a chance to hand the Philadelphia Eagles their first loss, leave atop the division standings, and improve to an impressive 5-and-1 on the year.
I was hoping Dallas could tread water when they lost Dak Prescott, and yes, Cooper Rush has done a tremendous job stepping in and doing all the right things a backup should be doing. Still, they are winning games by running the football and playing exceptional defense.
The Cowboys allow 14.4 PPG in an offensive-driven league, which is ridiculous. They have yet to allow any team this season to reach the 20-point mark.
The play-calling on offense has improved since Rush took over. They are playing to their strengths by running the football and allowing the defense to dominate.
I won't sugarcoat any of this; Philly has been impressive the first five weeks of the season, and they are unbeaten and sit atop nearly every NFL power ranking. The one weakness many thought coming into the season was Jalen Hurts, and he has looked good through the first five weeks.
Regardless of who starts Sunday, Rush or Prescott, throwing the football 35 times should be the option. They need to keep Hurts and the Eagles' offense off the field.
Philly ranks 2nd in total yards, 4th in rush yards, and 5th in total points. Yet another test for the Dallas run defense.
Can they limit Hurts and Miles Sanders?
Although Hurts has yet to beat the Cowboys in his career, the team surrounding him is much better than the last two years. This Dan Quinn-led defense will be the toughest he has faced this year, but on the same token, the Eagles' offense may be the most complete Dallas has encountered to this point in the season.
The recipe for success in winning this game is similar to last week. The odds of them jumping out of the gate early with a defensive score is highly unlikely, but a quick turnover or change in field position could help spark the offense.
The Eagles have an excellent offensive line, and the defensive front is solid, but the Cowboys need to keep the defense guessing and run the football. Dallas may not churn out results like last week, but it opens up easy throws for Rush to complete, and they may need them if the defense has a hiccup and surrenders some points.
The Cowboys will not win this game by kicking field goals; they need to finish drives and punch the ball into the endzone.
Offenses have proved they can move the ball on the Philadelphia defense. The Cardinals produced 313 yards on its final five possessions last Sunday. It is a matter of finding a matchup that works and finishing drives with seven instead of settling for three.
Lincoln Financial Field is going to be LOUD, and I would love nothing more than to silence that crowd and send those fans home with their fourth straight loss to the Cowboys.
This game is a massive test for both teams, and although it's only week six, it will put one team in a great position in the NFC beast.