Three-And-Out: Eagles-Cowboys Predictions

Eagles CB Cary Williams on field

Player I’ll be watching

McManus: Cary Williams.




This is the game where Williams can truly become an Eagle. He has spoken about his disdain for former rivals like New England and Pittsburgh, and how he is now learning to hate a new set of divisional foes. No worries, this type of stuff comes natural to him. He will be fueled up on Sunday and really, the type of bite that Williams can provide is exactly what the defense needs this week. Perhaps the biggest mismatch coming in is the Dallas receiving corps against this secondary. From a pure matchup perspective, it's difficult to envision the Eagles corners and safeties hanging with Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Co.

The talent is on the Cowboys side. The Eagles will have to try and find an emotional and psychological edge. This is where a player like Williams can come in handy.

"I think Cary is a highly competitive guy that wants to win in every situation he's in, whether it's on the practice field or against the Cowboys," said Chip Kelly. "I think that's just one of Cary's strong traits is his competitive nature.  We'd never do anything to try to diminish that.  I think that's why he's got an edge to him, and I think that's what Cary is all about, and it makes us better."

Kapadia: Mychal Kendricks

The Eagles' second-year linebacker isn't quite where he should be. He's been better the past couple weeks and played OK overall. But when you draft an inside linebacker with the No. 46 overall pick, you're looking for special attributes that separate him from the pack.

With Kendricks, those attributes were his speed and coverage ability. In Week 2, Kendricks had one of his roughest days as a pro going up against Antonio Gates. But several members of the Eagles' defense seem more comfortable now that they've played in this scheme for six games.

On Sunday, Kendricks can expect to get matched up with Witten quite a bit. Overall, the Eagles rank 18th against opposing tight ends, per Football OutsidersFletcher Cox had his best game of the season last week vs. Tampa. Now it's Kendricks' turn to make an impact.

Prop bet of the week: Over/under Tony Romo sacks -- 2. Whaddya got?

McManus: Romo is being sacked twice a game on average through six games, so I guess predicting a push would be the smart move. But what fun is that? I'm going over. The Eagles' defensive line is beginning to show some signs of life. That's particularly true when it comes to Fletcher Cox. The 22-year-old was stuck in neutral early on as he transitioned to a new scheme, but broke out this past Sunday against Tampa, notching five hurries. I'm betting that he has turned the corner.

The more Cox wreaks havoc, the more it will open things up for the rest of the pass rushers. The Eagles are tied for 24th in the league with 13 sacks on the season. Romo can be slippery, but I'll guess that the pass rush gets home this week.

Kapadia: Two is a good number. You are quickly becoming a master at setting these totals, McManus. But the way I see it, one or zero seem more likely than three or four.

Trent Cole has held up well against the run, but the pass-rush just hasn't been there on a consistent basis. Cox improved last week, but the Bucs were playing with a backup left guard. I need to see more.

The other problem is that Billy Davis' blitz packages haven't been getting home. Last week, rookie QB Mike Glennon went 10-for-18 for 148 yards when the Eagles sent extra pressure (per STATS, Inc.). Tony Romo has a 97.1 passer rating vs. the blitz and does a great job of escaping pressure and avoiding sacks.

For those reasons, I'm going with the under.

Predictions

McManus: Cowboys 30, Eagles 27

I can see an exciting, point-filled slugfest unfolding at the Linc Sunday. Both offenses should be able to move the ball. It will be critical for Nick Foles to remain efficient  in the red zone.

Can the Eagles get Romo to throw one of his late-game picks? If so, they may end Sunday in sole possession of first place in the NFC East. My feeling is that the 'Boys are the better team right now, even without DeMarcus Ware and DeMarco Murray. But not by much.

Kapadia: Eagles 34, Cowboys 31

I think we're underselling this Eagles' offense a little bit. Against the Giants, they had problems running the ball. They faced a strong Bucs run 'D' the following week, made corrections and found ways to be productive on the ground. They moved from one quarterback with a defined skill set to another whose strengths are different and still found a way to be dynamic with the passing game.

We now have a six-game sample size, and I'm comfortable saying Chip Kelly looks pretty impressive designing offense at an NFL level. The Cowboys are a 4-3 team that won't blitz a lot and won't be able to generate much of a pass-rush. I expect Foles and the offense to consistently move the football.

The defense is going to struggle, but other than Patrick Chung, they're healthy. And let's face it, their goal is just to be not as bad as the Cowboys' D. That's attainable... I think.

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  • doc

    Eagles will score in the forties going against Kippen + a banged up defense / Go Eagles

  • Andy124

    Re. Sconces: Hasn’t cost us with any bonehead personal fouls so far has he? Wasn’t that one of the bigger concerns with him? He said he wanted to get rid of the post-whistle antics part of his game and unless my memory is painting recent history with a rosy brush, he’s done so to this point. Good on him.

    • nicksaenz1

      3 PI penalties against SD. Not personal fouls, but costly penalties nonetheless.

    • mtn_green

      I recall sconces having 3 PI in one game. San Diego? I think he had none in last two games.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Yes, very costly PI penalties, but he’s gotten better since SD, I’ll give him that..

    • theycallmerob

      I may be wrong, but was he not getting torched badly by VJax last week? Of the two, Fletcher has been far better IMO.

      • Andy124

        I think Fletcher has been better too. I was really referring specifically to the post-play hooliganry.

        • theycallmerob

          I understand your point. It is just sad to me that a guy acting sane and refraining from hurting the team is seen as going “above and beyond”. Although I’ll still take him any day over TheyWhoShallNotBeNamed from last year

          • Andy124

            Agreed. I still want an upgrade there. I’d be happy with Fletcher as a #2 corner. But I’m willing to allow myself a season of lowered standards where Sconces seems pretty good in comparison to what was there before. Plus, he’s got that awesome nickname.

      • G_WallyHunter

        Fletcher keeps his mouth shut and performs, gotta love that, hopefully he surprises us all and makes St. Louis look stupid for letting him go..

      • anon

        Think Fletch is faster. I think that’s the problem with both corners. However Cary is a sure tackler and has a couple of picks and batted balls.

      • The Answer

        False. Williams played well actually and has done a decent job all season. Teams really haven’t targeted him much over the past few games. All the action is on Fletcher’s side and Fletch has stepped up. This week will be a good test to see where this defense is as a whole.

        • JofreyRice

          The Giants threw at him 14 times. The Bucs only threw at him twice, but he allowed a TD on one of the catches (Vincent Jackson). In fairness to Cary, Nate Allen did take a horrible angle and was totally out of position to make the tackle. On the season, PFF has him graded as 84th out of 101 CBs.

          Williams is what he is, a corner that needs to allow a healthy cushion so he doesn’t get smoked over the top. To his credit, he can tackle after the catch. For the defense Billy Davis is calling, he fits.

    • Vick Must Go

      He’s replaced personal fouls with Def PI

  • TPZ-1

    I agree with Sheil (and not just cause I’m an Eagle fan)..Special teams are also key – we cannot allow any good returns much less for a score!!

  • Justin

    51-10 Eagles, Romo throws 10 picks and gets sacked 6 times. Dallas sucks!

  • Token

    Can Kendricks be a OLB? I know hes much smaller than Chip probably want there. Heck, he may just be too small in general for that spot. Just trying to think of a place for him.

    • Bullwinkle

      How about safety? A 240 lb safety would give the receivers something to think about.

  • sprawl

    Romo isn’t easy to sack but I’m hoping we can induce another intentional grounding call on Sunday!

    • BlindChow

      Yeah those groundings are stealing our stats!

  • evanphilly

    I’ll be watching this game knowing that I have Romo, Shady and Dez on my FF team. I should be in for a good week. Eagles 37, Dallas 30

    • Andy124

      I refuse to have any Cowgirls on any of my fantasy teams ever. It’s unethical. Immoral. Reprehensible. Possible exceptions for kicker since they’re not really football players anyway.

      • evanphilly

        Haha, fair point. I am willing to take the point deduction when Romo throws a late-game INT that seals the deal for the Birds victory though!

      • theycallmerob

        Amen. Been my philosophy from the start, 11+ years now. I never seemed to have ‘skins either (mostly because they suck). And was burned by Hakeem Nicks last year; finally broke up with him once and for all.

        • anon

          Same with D. Murray. Always hurt.

        • jabostick

          I had TO as a keeper back in his first year with Dallas. On his return to Philly, I benched him and picked up Baskett just out of spite and Hank had that big game (his only??) haha. It was glorious

          • macadood

            a tisket a tasket

        • G_WallyHunter

          Lol I got burned by hakeem nicks last year too, avoided him at all costs this year. also got burned by demarco Murray. funny thing is I didn’t even pick them was away and 6 rounds late for the draft… autodrafted them.

          regardless of how I got them, I now vow to never have cowgurls or ginas on the roster. who needs them when u already have the best RB and WR on the roster (who also happen to be, you guessed it, eagles)

          • anon

            v. cruz is killing me.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Stay away from ginas from now on… hopefully those jokes can at least get a few wins and give Cruz some production..

      • BlindChow

        I’d see it as a kind of a consolation prize. It dulls the pain if there’s an ugly loss.

      • EaglePete

        Nope, I used to be that way in the early days, then I stopped caring and drafted who I thought was best. Even bigger problem is thinking you know everyone from the NFC East so well so you start drafting more players from our rivals. Its ugly, I commend your loyalty, maybe I should learn something here since I have not won in a while in fantasy anyway. Overall though, I think this is my last season of fantasy, I get way too emotional over gambling on stupid statistics. For example I am 1-5 this season and am putting up decent numbers every week, only Im winning in the points against category by a large margin, pure bad luck. Id much prefer to just put that money from fantasy into my online account and bet on games. Much more intense and fun anyway. Effff lame fantasy football. See Im bitter and over emotional.

        • GEAGLE

          I have a fantasy football juggernaut! Anyone want to put their players up against mine just for fun? Lol
          If you think you have a team that can beat:
          Luck/FOles
          Brandon Marshall, Jordy Nelson, Justin Blackmon, TY Hilton
          Shady, Reggie Bush, Giovanni Bernard
          Julian Thomas, Ertz
          Robbie Gould
          Kansas City defense

          12 team league…list your players and let’s go head to head this week lol

      • ICDogg

        I didn’t take a QB til late and no one had taken Romo yet, so I wasn’t going to shoot myself in the foot

  • Brian

    Maybe I’m just trying avoid the disappointment, but I will say this: I’m glad I sold my tickets to this game.
    No pass rush + Awful secondary (- Chip’s Offense) x Home game = 41-24 Cowboys victory.

    • anon

      I think the home field disadvantage is what we really have to worry about.

    • Brian

      I meant 41-31 EAGLES!!!

    • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

      It’ll be closer than that..but I won’t call it.

      I say 33-30 either way – last possession wins.

      • Andy124

        Last possession wins is my stance.

  • UKEagle99

    I hate the Cowboys. I hope they lose big and look bad doing it. I really hope we win this one, beat a divisional rival and lift the curse of the Linc. Come on Eagles! Is it Sunday yet?

  • Will

    35-28 Eagles Win…Foles is lights out….McCoy has big day…Djax 2 TD’s..

  • EaglePete

    Good Foles vibes in that stadium to reverse the home field disadvantage. Im having a hard time thinking they will win this game so Im not going to guess a score. Go Birds!!! I guessed theyd lose to the Giants so maybe its good that I think they will lose this game. Im a negadelphian at heart with this team lately but only because of having to endure the last 5 seasons.

    • GEAGLE

      We aren’t losing this game!! We might lose to the giants! we might lose to the raiders….but we aren’t losing THIS game!!! Fly Folesy Fly!!
      ..
      Our leader is Monte Kiffins Kryptonite

  • joethomas215

    I’m watching Boykin, it’s time to show your the Eagles best CB and own Romo. No better way to win the fans then to play big against Dallas

  • djack10

    As long as the Cowboys have Romo, we always have a chance.

  • Ascher Levy

    This is where Chip can really win over the fans and locker room. A big win evrsus the cowgirls at home. Pull out some plays he hasn’t shown yet. D needs a statement game. Eagles 34-20.

  • Dubiy

    I would be much more confident if this was a road game lol..

  • Sumo

    Romo has a great game, Foles good, McCoy very good, Dez gets jacked by Fletcher and the Birds win 45-42

  • GEAGLE

    This is the game my beloved Folesy becomes a Philadelphia GOD!!! Lol

    Funny reading so much positivity about Cary after months of offseason crucifixion…had it been up to fans and writers we would have wanted him to become NNamdi lol….oh yeah, and “BFLETCH is just some 4th CB on the rams”….right
    ….
    Fly Folesy Fly!!!

    • Media Mike

      Considering the Eagles play 3 straight games vs. trash teams (Dallas, NYG, and Oakland), Foles has a chance to really plant himself as the starter.

      • GEAGLE

        Yes sir…the NFL is about parity. there are a few top teams, a bunch of middle of the pack teams and some bad teams…but little separates one group from the next,,,FOles will prove to be a legit middle of the he Pack, NFL starter in these next few games, but because of how I little experience he has under his belt, he will still have potential to grow into so much more….a far cry from the career backup, 3rd round chopped liver sentiment that was prevalent for a calendar year… the more continuity and experience he is given, the more lumps we let him take and grow from…the quicker we find out just how good of a QB the kid can be. I think, every player that gets drafted in the top 4 rounds has NFL talent. Its how you Cultivate that talent and your mental make up that defines how bad or how great you will grow to be in the NFL…and mentally, the kid is sharp, so I Really do think he has a chance to be our future…..unfortunately we don’t get to ever find out unless he is given Gametime with continuity…but I expect FOles to play well enough to earn that…once he loses, we might go back to Vick, but he won’t start more then a game or two the rest of the year. FOles will play well enough to where we won’t be able to justify sitting the kid. Vick would have to come back and be extremely efficient because the kid is just running the offense with so much more flow then him

  • Media Mike

    Here’s a prediction; every “person” at that game in a Dallas Jersey is either an older school brotha who started cheering for the Cowboys in the 60s and 70s when the Eagles sucked or is a trailer park fake hick loser who thinks he’s a real-life Greater Philadelphia Area redneck.
    In either case I hate the Giants fans more, but every Philly-area Cowboys fan is a total fraud.

    • BC1968

      The Philly-area Cowboys fans are the worst fans in the history of sports. A guy said that he was at the Flyers-Penguins game the other night and saw at least 6 flyers fans with flyers jerseys and cowboys hats on. I’m switching hockey teams because all those bums are flyers fans and cowboys fans.

      • Media Mike

        Iran Sheik would have a good remedy to humble them.

  • dislikedisqus

    Dal 45-37. Don’t see our db’s stopping Bryant and Witten, or the rush getting to Romo often enough. If Mike Glennon put up 20, Romo can put up 40. Jason Garrett is pretty good designing plays too. Our offense should roll as well but will it be enough? They’re better on ST, too. Turnovers of course key whenever Romo is in the game.

  • Token

    So Polk is out. How did he manage to injure himself in the two snaps hes had?

    Lost cause.

    • knighn

      It’s a shame the Eagles spent such a high pick on him.

      • Token

        Didnt realize people were sentimental about Chris freakin Polk already.

        • knighn

          It was a two-sided, dry joke. 1) Polk was UDFA and hasn’t shown much. 2) Unlike other recent Eagles acquisitions that failed, at least this one is not a high draft pick.
          Polk is a nice story but I won’t miss him if he’s gone.

  • Max Lightfoot

    It’s just so much fun to hate the Cowboys, and even better when the Eagles beat them like a Chinese gong. If that happens Sunday, I will probably hear the cheers from the Linc out here in New Mexico! Go Birds! It’s also a special treat to tune into the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network after the Cowgirls lose badly – you wouldn’t believe the excuses their announcers dream up.