Who’s Picking the Eagles?
Here’s a roundup of national media predictions for Thursday’s Eagles-Cowboys game.
Three out of five NFL.com experts are picking the Eagles.
Meanwhile, seven of eight analysts at CBSSports.com are predicting a Cowboys victory.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com is one of those seven:
Cowboys 31, Eagles 23
This game features two of the top-10 scoring offenses in the league, so expect a lot of good offense. The Eagles have a tough task traveling on a short week. That gives the Cowboys a huge edge in this first meeting between the two. Tony Romo outplays Mark Sanchez.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com goes with the Cowboys:
Tony Romo is really @#%*$^& good on Thanksgiving. He’s 6-1 with 18 touchdowns against just six interceptions. Only Dandy Don Meredith was better by winning percentage, having won all three of his contests. The Eagles can ill afford Mark Sanchez turning the ball over in this game. With the way the Cowboys limit possessions by running the football, Philly simply won’t have opportunities to overcome multiple mistakes. Dallas ranks fifth in the league in time of possession and opponents’ total possessions.
John Breech of CBSSports.com is going with the Cowboys in a one-score contest:
Cowboys 38, Eagles 31
For some reason, I’m still not sold on Mark Sanchez. As a matter of fact, I’m the opposite of sold. Unsold? Sanchez’s two wins this season have come against teams that currently have a combined record of 5-16-1. Dating back to 2011, Sanchez has started 31 games and only one time has he beaten a team that would finish the season with a winning record. Coincidentally, if the Cowboys win on Thursday, they’ll finish the season with a winning record. I think I’ve talked myself into picking against Sanchez.
Don Banks of SI.com believes the Cowboys will win by a field goal:
Cowboys 27, Eagles 24
The Cowboys showed me some surprising get-it-done-grit in the comeback road win against the Giants Sunday night, somehow escaping with the victory despite being overshadowed by Beckham-Catch-Mania. Dallas, though, has been far tougher to deal with on the road this season than at home (5-0 versus 3-3), and that gives Philadelphia hope, despite the challenge of having to travel and play on short rest. The Eagles will produce their share of points against the Cowboys, but if Philly quarterback Mark Sanchez continues his two-picks-per-game trend, Dallas will make him pay, and that could be the difference in a narrow Cowboys victory. Dallas desperately needs to get this one in the win column, because the rematch is in Philadelphia in Week 15, where the Birds are undefeated (6-0) this season.
Five of seven analysts at FoxSports.com are picking the Cowboys.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com predicts a tight game with Dallas edging the Eagles by a single point:
Cowboys 31, Eagles 30
The last time Mark Sanchez played in a Thanksgiving Day game, well, you know what happened. Let’s ignore the “Butt Fumble” and focus on what might be Chip Kelly’s biggest national TV audience ever. I’m not a TV ratings guru, but I’d think more eyeballs — though perhaps not television sets — are watching a Thanksgiving late-afternoon game against the Cowboys with the NFC East lead on the line than either the Oregon-Auburn BCS Championship Game in 2011 or the playoff game last year versus the Saints. Expect some bells. Expect some whistles. I think the Cowboys take care of business, winning on a last-second Dan Bailey field goal, setting the stage for an epic rematch on Sunday night in Week 15.
All seven writers at USA Today are taking the Cowboys to win at home.
Bill Simmons of Grantland picks the Cowboys to cover:
Anyway, I see Dallas’s O-line dominating yet again on Thursday — even though the NFL screwed the Cowboys by sticking them with a Sunday-nighter followed by a Thursday day game. Saying the NFL cares about player safety is like saying the 2014-15 Sixers care about their fans.
At SB Nation, four of seven analysts like the Eagles to win in Dallas.
Vinnie Iyer of The Sporting News goes with the Eagles:
Eagles 38, Cowboys 34
LeSean McCoy won’t be defending his league rushing title from last season because barring injury, DeMarco Murray has pretty much wrapped it up this season. But you can bet McCoy is more concerned about putting the Eagles in position to win another division title.
There’s no reason to think there will be much defense in this game, vs. either McCoy or Murray’s running nor the dynamic passing games. Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez can light up these secondaries with big, speedy targets such as Dez Bryant and Jeremy Maclin. Here’s the rub for Dallas: Their game plan plays right into the hands of the Eagles.
The Cowboys need to dominate time of possession to protect their D. The Eagles don’t need much time to move the ball quickly and rack up points. They have a few more home-run hitters in their lineup, and Chip Kelly will put them all to good use. Defensively, Philadelphia also sports more of a pass rush to force a few key stops in the second half. The Eagles officially take control of the NFC East (again).
Matt Cassidy is a journalism student at Temple and an intern at Birds 24/7.