Dallas Cowboys, SIC score 85.3
The Cowboys, 10-4, were without their starting quarterback Dak Prescott when the Eagles defeated Dallas in Week 6, and Cooper Rush threw three interceptions – a result that the defense will look to repeat with backup Gardner Minshew this weekend.
Unfortunately, the Cowboys have challenges of their own in pass defense, which has a matchup-low sectional SIC score of 81.3.
Middle linebacker and leading tackler Leighton Vander Esch was ruled out with a shoulder stinger and cornerback Anthony Brown – who was starting in place of Jourdan Lewis after his season-ending injury – suffered a torn Achilles two weeks ago.
Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs are each questionable with an illness after missing at least one practice this week but are likely to suit up.
Veteran offensive tackle Tyron Smith, SIC score 84, returned from a hamstring avulsion fracture last week and played 54 of 75 snaps at right tackle while rotating with Jason Peters.
PFF graded the perennial pro-bowler out at 59.4, including a 40.1 rating in pass blocking. Rookie Tyler Smith, who was reportedly being prepped as the left tackle of the future, will remain the starting LT this week.
Wide receiver Michael Gallup, SIC score 84, has improved gradually in his return from a torn ACL but his production has been unspectacular, hauling in 31 of 57 targets for 339 yards and three scores and only once this season going over 50 yards receiving.
Philadelphia Eagles, SIC score 88.59
With a chance to clinch the No. 1 seed and NFC East against the rival Cowboys, the Eagles will turn to who else at quarterback but Gardner Minshew.
Starting quarterback and MVP favorite Jalen Hurts, SIC score 67, is expected to miss his first game of the season with a right shoulder sprain, although the absence is more a consequence of schedule and precaution than the severity of the sprain, according to the Pro Football Docs.
Even without Hurts the rest of the all-league offense is intact, including tight end Dallas Goedert, who was activated off the IR and will play for the first time since Week 10 with an SIC score of 86.
Goedert had a career-best performance in the first of Minshew’s starts in 2021, hauling in 6-of-6 targets for 105 yards and two touchdowns in Week 13 against the Jets.
The second Minshew start was also against the Cowboys, albeit in Week 18, and the former Washington State Cougar threw for 388 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception on 67.2% completion over the two games.
None of his 58 attempts, however, went to A.J. Brown – who has 74 catches for 1,201 yards and 10 scores this season – and second-year receiver DeVonta Smith totalled only five catches on eight targets for 56 yards.
The glaring difference between the two quarterbacks is on the ground: Hurts is second on Philadelphia with 156 rushes and 747 yards and leads the offense with 13 rushing scores, while Minshew gained 21 yards on nine carries in 2021.
The Eagles’ secondary remains without No. 2 cornerback C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who had 55 tackles with six interceptions and eight passes defended before he suffered a lacerated kidney in Week 12.
Including that 40-33 win over the Packers, the Eagles have allowed 20-plus points in three of the four games since Gardner-Johnsons’s injury after allowing 20-plus in three of the first 10 games of the season.
Cowboys vs Eagles Betting Odds
Dallas is a four-point favorite at home, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, with the Cowboys moneyline at -200, the Eagles moneyline at +168, and the over/under set at 47.5.
Miles Sanders, who has 12 rushing touchdowns, is listed at -105 to score an anytime touchdown while A.J. Brown is +150, Dallas Goedert is +270, and Kenneth Gainwell is +500.
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