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NFL Week 17 Preview: Cowboys Versus Eagles

Is week 17 meaningful for Dallas? BILLY BOB BAIN VIA FLICKR


How Meaningful Will Week 17 Be For Dallas With The NFC Already Locked Up?

The Dallas Cowboys will travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles to finish up their 2016 regular season. The outcome of this match up might not be meaningful for the Cowboys, however it’s unclear how many snaps the starters will play. With many injuries occurring last week, the Cowboys might be a bit more cautious with their star players. However, one Cowboys star is making his season debut. Former Eagle Mark Sanchez will get the bulk of the snaps, while Dak Prescott will more than likely start.

After the Eagles defeated the Giants last Thursday night, the Cowboys locked up the number one seed in the NFC. So going forward with the remaining regular season games, they weren’t very meaningful as far as Dallas being able to better themselves. Talks of resting or playing their starters began to rise. Last week, multiple players suffered season ending injuries, one being Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr. I highlight Carr because the Raiders had already locked up a playoff spot and he ended up suffering a broken leg.

The Cowboys ended up playing their starters against the Lions on Monday night. Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dez Bryant all played the majority of the game. Tyron Smith suffered an apparent knee injury late in the game and has already been ruled out for week 17. This might supply some concern for Jason Garrett and the Cowboys. They have to ask themselves how meaningful would it be to keep the starters out there against the Eagles, knowing the risk. Prescott and Bryant have mentioned multiple times that the team would like to stay hot and continue to roll into the playoffs with some momentum.

There are a few different obvious sides to this week. It could actually be meaningful for the team to play their star players this week. With such a young team, and two rookies leading the offense, chemistry and momentum are huge. Dallas is 13-2 and staying hot can help them make a deep playoff run. In the past, teams have rested players before the postseason began and it cost them in the playoffs. The best team doesn’t always succeed or win in the NFL, it’s the hottest team. Not to say that Dallas isn’t the best team, but they certainly have the most momentum going into the playoffs this year.

The other side is the injury risk. Since Dallas has already secured the number one seed and home field, why would they want to take a chance on any injuries to players? The NFL is a violent game and every week it seems like someone suffers some kind of injury. The risk is high, especially in a divisional game. Dallas might look at this week and simply decide to rest or limit the snaps of their starters. They have already stated that Mark Sanchez will be active, so that could be hinting to an early exit for Dak Prescott.

This week might not be very meaningful for Dallas, but it’s the last game of the year for the Eagles. Carson Wentz will finish up his rookie campaign at home and will look to end on a good note. It’ll be his last chance this year to establish some rhythm with his receivers. It will be very meaningful for Wentz and the Eagles to get one more win, especially against the Cowboys.