3 PREDICTIONS YOU’LL LIKE
The Eagles’ quarterback will face a Dallas defense ranked seventh overall and gets after the quarterback.
Hurts might need his legs and evasive skills more than normal to fend off the Cowboys’ pressure. Hurts faced blitzing pressure from Arizona and used quick passes on the perimeter to slow down the rush. Dallas Goedert had eight catches for 95 yards.
Hurts’ play is how potential league MVPs play. That doesn’t mean he will perform that well every game. But so far, Hurts has gone out and demonstrated how much his game has improved from last year.
Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence ramped up the rivalry this week, a rivalry that doesn’t require any enhancement.
“Has he played us?” Lawrence said about Hurts. “All right. All you need to write is [that] he hasn’t played the Cowboys yet. So we don’t know how good he is.”
Well, Hurts has been pretty good. We expect more of the same Sunday.
THE RUNNING GAME
Good news was found on Friday’s injury report. Four offensive linemen returned to practice and are expected to play, along with kicker Jake Elliott.
The Eagles’ running game is fourth in the NFL. Miles Sanders is the fourth-leading rusher in the league with 414 yards, trailing Nick Chubb (593), Saquon Barkley (533) and Josh Jacobs (490).
The Eagles will emphasize the run against Dallas, which is ranked 19th against the rush. If the Eagles run the ball, they take pressure off Hurts and give Dallas’ attacking defense something to think about.
This won’t be easy — Dallas games rarely are. Will the Eagles’ second-ranked offense overcome the Cowboys’ seventh-ranked defense?
The game is going to come down to whether the Eagles can move the ball against Dallas. The Eagles don’t want to throw 45 passes because either they’re losing or out of desperation.
The Eagles better be ready to tackle. Dallas ran the ball 34 times last week.
This game will show the Eagles where they stack up. Are they the dominant 5-0 team their record says they are?
I think they are. Eagles, 26-20. Even without Dicker the Kicker.
3 PREDICTIONS YOU WON’T LIKE
COOPER RUSH SHOW
Other than among his immediate family, Cooper Rush wasn’t exactly a household name heading into this season.
Rush took over for an injured Dak Prescott and won four games — when most experts thought Dallas would go 2-2 at best.
- “Hats off to Dallas. They’ve done such a great job,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said when he learned that Rush is expected to start. “They lost their best player, one of the best players in the league, and they keep rolling.
- “I got to give credit to Cooper Rush. He’s going out there and he’s executing. And he’s putting them in a position to help them win.”
Rush’s passing stats aren’t overwhelming but one stat is: 4-0. Expect Rush to utilize his running game. He only threw 16 passes last week against the Rams.
- “I want to line up and be simple and play and out-execute and out-hit them,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said.
- “That’s going to be our challenge … because they do the exact same thing on offense. They kind of line up. They play. They out-execute, and they out-hit you. It will be good-on-good Sunday night.”
We don’t understand the Cooper Rush phenomenon, but we no longer are going to underestimate him. We expect a solid, well-managed game from him.
First-team All-Pro Parsons won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award last year. He’s so good, he actually might be underrated.
“I think he just has so much speed and power,” Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen said. “He is so fast off the edge and the way he retraces back on certain plays and chasing down guys, I mean, it’s very impressive to see him fly around.
“Even when you are accounting for him … this guy is going to make plays … We have to limit those plays on Sunday.”
Good luck with that. Parsons is a fierce and relentless pass-rusher coming off the edge. He tackles with toughness and sure hands. He has six sacks, tied for first in the league.
“He’ll be accounted for every single play,” Sirianni said. “That doesn’t mean he’s not going to make some plays here and there.
“He’s a really outstanding, outstanding player. I think we all know that. The league knows that. He’s proved it for the last year and a half.”
Expect Parsons to terrorize the Eagles’ offense, create a turnover and just be a general nuisance.
We don’t want to see those words — Cowboys win — but Dallas is more than capable of knocking off the Eagles.
How will they beat the Eagles?
- A powerful running game; control the ball; move the chains; keep the ball away from Hurts.
- A disruptive pass rush that sacks Hurts and forces him into bad throws. Parsons dominates the game. The front seven controls the Eagles’ excellent running game.
The game will be close. It feels like a turnover game. Expect a Cowboys’ victory, because we’ve seen it too often, 27-24.