In all honesty, “America’s Team” hasn’t been the team for a very long time. Since 1995 to be exact. But, somehow the Dallas Cowboys are still managing to allow critics to think they are the team to beat.
Last week, ESPN published their power rankings, including those teams with the best chance to win the conference and the Super Bowl. Their No. 1 pick — the Dallas Cowboys, with a 29.3% chance to win it all.
Big fan of analytics/data/information/etc. but there’s no way the Cowboys have more than twice as good a chance to win the Super Bowl as the Eagles. 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/DrTAFmxCN8
— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) December 6, 2022
This was followed by the Kansas City Chiefs (22.9%), Buffalo Bills (19.3%), and the Philadelphia Eagles (13.3%).
A 13.3% chance for the actual No. 1 team in the league.
But, the Eagles love nothing more than proving people wrong and after their Week 14 performance, they metaphorically laughed in ESPN’s face. And the cherry on top was the Cowboys’ near loss to the Houston Texans.
EAGLES AHEAD OF COWBOYS DESPITE ESPN’S RANKINGS
Going into Sunday with an 11-1 record, Philly traveled to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Giants. The game highlighted each and every one of the players, and following their performance it’s really difficult to point out a flaw.
Jalen Hurts is now the first-place contender for MVP, the offense has scored at least 35 points in each of their last three matchups, and the defense has been stockpiling quarterback hits and sacks.
Brandon Graham who was selected for NFC Defensive Player of the Week (for the second time) had three sacks and a forced fumble against the Giants. His take on ESPN’s rankings — “[Bleep] them!”
Despite three of Philadelphia’s players leaving the game injured, and others on IR (Dallas Goedert, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, and Jordan Davis), the Eagles still had enough leeway to play their back-ups in the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys on the other hand had players come off injury, and should have played much stronger. However, Dallas won by only four points to Houston who has one total win under their belt.
A major downfall was the lack of rhythm between quarterback Dak Prescott and his receivers. The Texans defended 28% of Prescott’s passes, intercepting two. Since Prescott returned in Week 5, he has thrown nine interceptions in eight games, averaging 1.1 per game — his worst career mark.
WHAT WILL IT TAKE?
Following the drastic difference in both the Eagles’ and the Cowboys’ gameplay, it would make sense that ESPN change their rankings.
After Week 14, the Dallas Cowboys still have the best chance to win the Super Bowl in the league. At 22.5%, and tied with the Kansas City Chiefs, the NFC rival still sits ahead of the Eagles (21.3%). As for ESPN, it’s clear Week 15 won’t matter much either, but Christmas Eve should.
However, the reality is, the Eagles are consistent and the Cowboys aren’t, so it’s anyone’s guess as to which team Philadelphia will be playing. The battle of the season will be played in Dallas, with kickoff at 4:25 PM.