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Sunday Night Showdown: Eagles vs Cowboys Week 8 Preview

Cowboys battle Eagles for division PAUL MOSELEY VIA FLICKR


NFC East Division Lead Up For Grabs As The Eagles Battle The Cowboys

The week eight Sunday Night Football stage is set for one of the league’s biggest rivalries. The Philadelphia Eagles will travel to Dallas to battle the Cowboys in prime time. This will be the first of two contests in which these teams meet this season.

We’re midway through the 2016 NFL season and the Eagles and Cowboys find themselves in prime position to take the NFC East division lead. The Eagles are coming off of an impressive home win over the Minnesota Vikings and have a 4-2 record. The Cowboys are sitting at 5-1 and are fresh off of a week seven bye. The stakes are high in this one, as the winner will hold a one-game lead over the other divisional opponents.

The Cowboys are playing with great continuity and rhythm on offense and will put pressure on the Eagles’ offense to keep up. The Eagles offense has been shaky of late and didn’t seem to get anything going last week, even though they ended up with the win. Carson Wentz completed just over 50 percent of his passes for 138 yards, a touchdown pass, and two interceptions. Wentz was inconsistent as the pocket collapsed on him often throughout the game. He will have to make some corrections if the Eagles are going to have a chance in Dallas on Sunday night.

The Eagles have weapons on offense that need to step up and make plays against the Dallas secondary. Wide receivers, Jordan Mathews and Dorial Green-Beckham have yet to establish themselves this season and will look to get going. If Wentz can get solid protection, he should be able to take advantage of his young, athletic receivers down field.

The strongest asset for the Eagles this year has by far been their defense. Specifically the defensive line has been great at applying pressure and forcing turnovers or bad throws from opposing quarterbacks. They will face a tough battle in the NFL’s best offensive line Sunday night and that is where the game will be decided. If the Eagles can impose their will and power through the Cowboy blockers, they can stuff the run and force the Cowboys to play one dimensional. If the Eagles fail to apply consistent pressure, Dallas will continue to dominate through the running game and wear out the Eagles defense.

The Cowboys enter Sunday night’s game averaging around 28 points a game. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have blended perfectly together and no one seems to be able to stop this rookie duo. They have the Cowboys in contention for postseason play and don’t look like rookies at all. The weapons surrounding Prescott have given him the much needed confidence and support that all rookies need. Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, Brice Butler, and Jason Witten have all stepped up this season and have played extremely well. Beasley is having a career year so far as he’s leading the Cowboys in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns.

Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas offensive line will look to continue their rushing success. Elliott currently has four straight games with at least 130 rushing yards. The Eagles’ defensive line might be the toughest they’ve faced this season, so that will give the Cowboys some perspective on how great their running ability is. The Cowboys should also be getting their star wide out, Dez Bryant back this week. Bryant missed the previous three games due to a knee injury, however he should be ready to go against the Eagles.

With a high powered running game and solid quarterback play from Prescott, the Cowboys will look to add to their win total against the Eagles. It isn’t yet known how long Prescott will remain the Cowboys‘ starting quarterback, but as long as he’s in there he’s proven to give Dallas a chance to win every game. Sunday night will be the first of hopefully many match ups between Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz.

The Eagles and Cowboys will play Sunday night, on October 30th, at 8:30 p.m. ET.