On Christmas Eve, the Philadelphia Eagles will travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys in what has become the most anticipated game of the season so far.
Both teams have already clinched a payoff berth, but Philly is looking for one more win to secure the NFC East, as well as home field advantage for the playoffs. With betting lines changing across the board this week, Dallas has the odds in their favor. However, will it play out that way?
EAGLES VS COWBOYS
Things have changed slightly with the decision to sit quarterback Jalen Hurts out. But, now it’s time for Minshew Mania, and I think the Eagles can still play a really good game.
Minshew hasn’t had much playing time this season, only playing in three games (because the Eagles were ahead). However, he’s one of the best back-ups, coming with experience from Jacksonville and a 104.8 passer rating last season with the Eagles.
The quarterback did miss walkthrough on Tuesday as he was delivered a eulogy for his former coach, Mike Leach, but he’s made up for lost time.
Head coach Nick Sirianni stated, “Gardner will be our guy and Gardner will be ready. Gardner worked his butt off for this opportunity against a really good football team. Had a great practice yesterday. I think you guys have all heard that, how good a practice he had yesterday — a lot of energy out there. He’s ready to go.”
And, Minshew isn’t the only one ready. Tight end Dallas Goedert will return after missing the last five weeks due to injury, and the Eagles recently found out they have eight Pro Bowlers with nine alternates. In simple terms, Philadelphia’s roster is stacked.
ESPN keeps placing the Dallas Cowboys as the No. 1 team in the league, and frankly, that’s just wrong. The team is 10-4 which isn’t a bad record, but the Cowboys are facing a lot of issues.
Illnesses have been a concern for Dallas. Linebacker Micah Parsons missed two practices, and cornerback Trevon Diggs’ status is in question for Saturday. Their rookie defensive end Sam Williams was also involved in a car crash this week.
An even larger concern has been quarterback Dak Prescott and the number of interceptions he throws. Through 15 weeks, he totals 11 — but, he’s only played in 9 games. His interception rate is 3.9 percent, which is the highest rate throughout the league.
WEEK 16 PREDICTIONS
Everything about Saturday’s game will be exciting. The Cowboys have a lot to play for, but so do the Eagles who are marked as underdogs every week despite holding the top-spot in the league.
As a back-up, Minshew is still better than many starting quarterbacks and the energy he’ll bring to AT&T Stadium will be palpable. Dallas’ offensive line won’t be able to keep Prescott protected for very long, and I think the Eagles are ready to show ESPN where the Cowboys really should fall on their list.
Prediction: Eagles, 27-20
The NFC East match-up is scheduled for Saturday, December 24 at 4:25 PM.