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Cowboys @ Eagles Expert Picks: Shootout Predicted In Philly

Divisional games tend not to adhere closely to any set of rules and predictions, but we take a look at what the experts are predicting for Sunday's game anyway.

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By points scored, the Cowboys rank second in the league with 183, the Eagles rank fourth with 166. The situation is very different for points allowed, where both teams rank near the bottom of the league: The Cowboys rank 23rd with 152 points allowed, the Eagles rank 30th with 179 points allowed. Does this mean Sunday's game will be a high-scoring affair?

Our panel of experts seems to think so. The over/under for the game is currently set at 55.5, and of the 11 expert opinions we've polled below, eight are taking the over. Coincidentally, all these opinions have the Eagles winning. Average predicted score: 33-27.

Name Pick Score Comment
Don Banks,
Phi_medium 34-27 The season is following roughly the storyline I expected in Philadelphia: See Michael Vick run. See Michael Vick get hurt. See Michael Vick miss games. See Nick Foles play, and play pretty well. As in NFC Offensive Player of the Week worthy. If Philly seizes sole possession of the division with a win over visiting Dallas, I predict Vick's sore hamstring will linger for as long as Foles plays winning football. That's just the way this league works.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
Phi_medium 37-31 This is for first place in the division, but the Cowboys come limping in. They are hurting and won't have their best pass rusher in DeMarcus Ware against an Eagles offense that is third in the league in total offense. That will put a lot of pressure on the Dallas back end. I just don't see them slowing down the Eagles offense without him. But Tony Romo will get his, too.
Peter Schrager, Foxsports Phi_medium 34-24 Though it was all about Chip Kelly’s offense this summer, it’s the Cowboys who actually have the most points in the NFC through six weeks this season. Foles, Vick, it doesn’t matter. Without DeMarcus Ware in the lineup, I’m going with Philly.
Greg Cote, Miami Herald


31-27 This battle for first place in the diminished NFC East is also the toughest call of the week for me. Dallas is a better all-round team, and Philly has lost eight straight at home, its worst streak since 1936-37. (There’s a "but" coming. Can’t you feel it?) But I think Dallas will be missing both its top runner (DeMarco Murray) and best defender (DeMarcus Ware).

Read more here:
Sam Farmer, L.A. Times


28-20 The subplot is Eagles Coach Chip Kelly versus Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. No matter how Kiffin schemed at USC last season, his defense was befuddled by Kelly’s Oregon Ducks.
Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas


31-27 The Cowboys haven't won on the road yet this year. They won't have DeMarco Murray and probably won't have DeMarcus Ware. While they have had good moments at Lincoln Financial Field, they have also had some awful ones. This won't be awful, but it won't be a win either. Chip Kelly gets the best of Monte Kiffin at the NFL level too.
Phil Sheridan, ESPN Philly


38-34 It seems impossible the Eagles have not won at home since Sept. 30, 2012, a victory over the Giants. That streak just can't go on forever. This will be another case study in how defense is dead in the NFL.
Elliot Harrison,


One might think this game will come down to Tony Romo, as Dallas contests often do, yet the running back position is the 300-pound Jay Ratliff in the room. Boy, the Cowboys could use help on the defensive line. Ratliff is gone, DeMarcus Ware is out and Jason Hatcher is banged up. We've seen Dallas going with a D-line that often is composed entirely of backups, which means LeSean McCoy could rush 25 times for 150 yards or 25 times for 1,500 yards. The other running backs in this game figure to be Cowboys rookie Joseph Randle and the physical Phillip Tanner. There's no doubt Romo can exploit the Eagles' secondary; the question is, how will Randle and Tanner fare in pass protection -- or at catching the ball? Oh, how this Dallas team will miss DeMarco Murray ...
Pro Football Talk





Smith: In the battle for first place in the NFC East, I like Nick Foles to keep the Eagles’ offense running smoothly and create a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia. The suspect Dallas defense is going to have a tough time keeping up with Philadelphia’s big-play offense.

Florio: Whether Nick Foles or Mike Vick or Matt Barkley, Chip Kelly’s offense is poised to run rings around a more-porous-than-expected Dallas defense. And Philly’s defense quietly has improved to the point where it can keep the Cowboys in check, especially with DeMarco Murray missing this one.

Vinny Iyer, Sporting News


38-34 It's the wrong week for the Cowboys to be without DeMarcus Ware, as the Eagles will see it more as an opportunity to have LeSean McCoy explode off the edge. No Ware also will set up Nick Foles to get the ball deep to multiple wideouts. The Cowboys have been passing often, and having no DeMarco Murray will only push Tony Romo more into one-dimensional mode. In a twist, it will be the Chip Kelly offense controlling both the fast and slow tempo of the game.

While the picks above all favor the Eagles, the table below summarizes a couple of other pick 'em panels where the predictions are split about evenly between the Cowboys and Eagles.

Rank (LW) Site Cowboys Eagles Cowboys Season
Pick Accuracy
1 (1) ESPN 8 6 .771 (64-19)
T2 (T2) Yahoosports 2 0 .750 (9-3)
T2 (T2) Pro Football Focus 6 2 .750 (36-12)
4 (T2) Dallas Morning News 2 6 .729 (35-13)
5 (T2) Foxsports 1 3 .708 (17-7)
T6 (6) NFL Around The League 2 3 .666 (20-10)
T6 (7) USA Today 5 2 .666 (28-14)
8 (8) CBSSports 4 5 .635 (33-19)
9 (9) Inside the NFL 1 2 .600 (6-4)
Total 31 29 .711 (248-101)

The pundits are predicting a shootout, but such a divisional game could just as easily turn into a low-scoring nailbiter. Over the last four games the two teams have combined for as little as 27 combined points (20-7 Cowboys loss in Week 16, 2011) and 71 points (38-33 Cowboys win in Week 13, 2012).

Who do you like for the win on Sunday?


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