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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.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the Cowboys ranked fith overall in the league with 467 points scored, and the Eagles ranked third with 474 points scored. The situation was very different for points allowed, where the Cowboys ranked 15th with 352 points allowed while the Eagles ranked 22nd with 400 points allowed. If both teams pick up where they left off last year, Sunday's game could be a high-scoring affair.

Vegas certainly thinks so: The over/under for the game is currently set at 55.5, by far they highest of any Week 2 game. The 10 expert opinions we've polled below are not so sure, only four are taking the over. However, all but one predict a combined score above 50. Coincidentally, all these opinions have the Eagles winning. Average predicted score: 31-25.

Name Pick Score Comment
Greg Cote, Miami Herald

Phi_medium

34-31 This one has Game of the Week mettle beyond the fact it’s a duel to stake early claim to NFC East supremacy. You have Eagles RB DeMarco Murray facing the Cowboys, who wouldn’t pay to keep him. And you have Cowboys missing injured Dez Bryant but still with the confidence that comes from having a nine-game, regular-season road-winning streak. Dallas has won five of past six trips to Philly. I like the home Birds here, but closer than the bet-line.
John Breech, CBSSports
Phi_medium 34-31 The Eagles pass defense is so bad that I might have been inclined to pick the Cowboys if Dez Bryant was playing, but he's not.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
Phi_medium 31-27 The Cowboys will not have Dez Bryant, which will show up big time. The Eagles are playing on a short week, but this is their home opener. The Cowboys are a good road team, winning nine of their last 10, but not here. The Eagles will bounce back behind a big offensive showing. The Cowboys won't keep up.
Don Banks, SI.com
Phi_medium 31-25 No Dez Bryant for a while, and DeMarco Murray now plays for the Eagles—no one in Dallas envisioned this situation the last time the Cowboys visited Philadelphia, for that big 38–27 win in Week 15 which basically won the NFC East for Jerry’s team. But that’s the reality of things in 2015, and that means advantage, Eagles. Philly couldn’t quite close the deal on that almost-comeback-win in Atlanta on Monday night, but Chip Kelly’s team showed how quickly it can rally once Sam Bradford starts getting in a groove. Dallas will put up a decent fight, but the Eagles know winning this game will start charting their path to a division title.
Peter Schrager, Foxsports Phi_medium 31-24 Well, that wasn't how Byron Maxwell's debut was supposed to go. The former Seahawks corner, brought in to be the No. 1 in Philadelphia, was targeted 11 times Monday night against the Falcons. Opposing receivers caught 10 balls for 178 yards. Yuck. I'm not giving up on the Eagles just yet (they're my Super Bowl pick), but they absolutely have to win this one. I think they do.
Sam Farmer, LA Times

Phi_medium

28-27 A lot of question marks on Philadelphia’s defense were not answered in Monday’s loss at Atlanta. That said, with Dez Bryant injured, the Cowboys face a tall task trying to win in Philly.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com

Phi_medium

30-24 The loss of Randy Gregory for the Cowboys means Sam Bradford should be able to stand in a cleaner pocket. Still, the Eagles can't fall in love with the aerial attack against Dallas. Philadelphia's 16:52 run-to-pass ratio Monday night in Atlanta was beyond atrocious and telegraphed what the offense was going to do. Even tired pass rushers are faster when they know what's coming. You know DeMarco Murray is going to be as motivated as, say, a league-leading rusher playing a former team that didn't pay him and thought the offensive line was the primary reason for the running game's success. Tony Romo delivers scores to Terrance Williams and Jason Witten, but not the W. Eagles win.
David Steele, Sporting News

Phi_medium

28-24 The Cowboys' win over the Giants was a gift more than anything. They lost Dez Bryant in the process, and that completely changes how the Cowboys play, especially since they're no longer the running team they were last year. The Eagles can't be as bad as the Falcons made them look so often on Monday night.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk Phi_medium 27-24 There’s no such thing as a must-win game in the middle of September. For any team with designs on winning a division title, however, a visit from the defending division champion really is a must-win, because losing sets the stage for being swept. With Dez Bryant out, that task becomes easier.
Michael Smith, Pro Football Talk Phi_medium 31-16 This is about as close as it gets to a must-win game in Week Two for the Eagles: Lose, and Philadelphia falls two games behind Dallas already. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, I think their offense will struggle without Dez Bryant, and their secondary will struggle with the fast-paced attack of the Eagles. Philadelphia wins this one comfortably.

Not everybody provides commentary with their pick. Here are a few pick'em panels who don't offer any sound bites, but who do offer a take on who the favorite is for Sunday.

Site Cowboys Eagles Cowboys Season
Pick Accuracy
Dallas Morning News 1 10 1.000 (10-0)
Foxsports 1 6 1.000 (7-0)
SB Nation 1 6 1.000 (7-0)
NFL Around The League 0 5 1.000 (6-0)
ESPN 3 10 .923 (12-1)
CBSSports 1 7 .875 (7-1)
USA Today 0 7 .857 (6-1)
Bleacher Report 1 7 .750 (6-2)
Total 8 58 .948 (55-3)

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 20 combined points (17-3 Cowboys win in Week 7, 2013) and 65 points (38-27 Cowboys win in Week 15, 2014).

Who do you like for the win on Sunday?