Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles Pick 12/22/19
Dallas Cowboys (2-10 SU, 8-6 ATS) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7 SU, 5-9 ATS)
Date/Time: Sunday, December 22, 4:25 PM EST
Where: Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Point Spread: Dal -2.5 / Phil +2.5 (Intertops)
Over/Under Total: 45.5
The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles meet this Sunday in the City of Brotherly Love to determine who will be crowned king of the NFC East. Both teams have won half of their 14 games, have greatly disappointed their fan bases, but have hope that if they can find a way to win this game, they could get hot and make a deep playoff run. It will be a great game to watch, with sportsbooks making the Cowboys 2.5 point favorites and setting the over/under at 45.5. I like the Cowboys as a short road favorite. Here is the handicap.
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Philly Is Playing a 3rd String Offense
Carson Wentz is throwing to a group of wide receivers that probably should not be on NFL rosters. Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Nelson Agholor were at the top of the depth chart in week one and made a very formidable receiving crew. Last week in Washington, it was Greg Ward and JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who have combined for 26 career catches. The same two should be the starters this week when Dallas comes to town. This crew allowed the Eagles to get by against the Giants and Redskins, but they’ll be a big liability this week. Wentz will have to rely on his tight ends and running backs. Last week the backs and tight ends caught 23 passes against the Redskins and will have a chance to repeat that performance this week. Miles Sanders has become the focal point of the Eagle offense. He has taken over as the lead back with Jordan Howard, and Darren Sproles also sidelined with injuries. Sanders is averaging 4.6 yards per rush and 10 yards per catch, and last week had 172 yards from scrimmage. The Eagles have scraped by against the Giants and Redskins with this formula, but it will be a lot more difficult against the Cowboys.
Dallas defense ranks 8th in the league at opponents yards per play and 12th in points allowed, compared to the Giants and Redskins that are both bottom 10 in points allowed. Dallas held the Eagles to 10 points on 283 total yards in their week seven meeting in Dallas, and last week shut down the red-hot Rams. The Dallas defense has been up and down this year but matches up well with the Philly offense. Dallas has 36 sacks on the year and should be able to get pressure on Wentz, especially with Tackle Lane Johnson expected miss again with an ankle injury. Dallas has speed at the linebacker position in Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee to contain the short passing and running game of the Eagles. Philly only managed 16 first downs in their first meeting with the Cowboys, and I don’t think they will have that many in this game. It stacks up as a long day for the Eagle offense.
Dallas Offense Will Score
Dak Prescott led the Cowboy offense to 37 points in Week 7 against the Eagles. There were multiple injuries on the defensive side of the ball for Philly, but they gave up 189 rushing yards to Ezekiel Elliot and his teammates, the most they have given up this year. Dallas offense had their best game of the year last week, rolling over the Rams to 44 points on 475 yards. The ground game carried the Cowboys last week and should be able to keep rolling this week. Prescott only had to throw the ball 23 times against L.A., and the same game script will probably work this week. But Prescott will have a lot of success when he does throw. Amari Cooper is getting healthy, and Philly won’t be able to cover him, Michael Gallup or Randall Cobb. In addition, Elliot and Tony Pollard have combined for 17 receptions over the last three weeks, so Dallas is getting everyone involved in the passing game.
We remember the Eagle defense with the stout front four and an opportunistic secondary, but that is not the 2019 Eagles. They are middle of the pack in most defensive categories and have been exposed in the last three weeks by the Dolphins and the Redskins. Dwayne Haskins threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns without throwing a pick or getting sacked last week. Philadelphia’s lack of a pass rush and a secondary that can’t cover will be their downfall this week. Dallas offensive line will travel well to Philly, give Prescott time and Elliot holes to run through. I look for the Cowboys to score in the 30’s again against the Eagles.
The Eagles Magic Run Will End This Week
Doug Pederson led his team on a magical run last year to get in the playoffs, and the previous two weeks have given Eagle fans hope of a repeat this year. However, an overtime win against the “Eli Manning” led Giants, and a last-minute win against the Redskins should not be confused with magic. Those are the two of the bottom four teams in the league, and Philadelphia played at their level. The injuries can be blamed, but the bottom line is this is a bad team. Dallas is not as good as they were expected to be coming into the year, and Jason Garrett always has the capability to lose a game that they should win, but the talent level favors Dallas in all facets of the game. Philly has had a nice run the past few weeks, but it ends this week in front of their faithful fans.
Play the Road Favorites
You always have to think twice before investing in NFL road favorites, but if Dallas were at the Redskins or Giants, you wouldn’t hesitate to lay 2.5. The Eagles have proven over the last two weeks they are on the same level as these teams, so lay the points and play the Cowboys.
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