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Cowboys News: Can Eagles contain Dak Prescott and DeMarcus Lawrence?

Latest Cowboys headlines: Dallas offense still deadly with Dak Prescott; DeMarcus Lawrence climbing sack chart; more

Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys Photo b Ronald Martinez/Gett Images

Eagle Eye: Dallas Offense Still Deadly With QB Dak Prescott - Fran Duffy,
Some enterprising Eagles fans don't think there’s lot about the Cowboys’ offense to be scared about. The Eagles mothership doesn't wear those blinders and looks at film to show that the "Dallas offense can present anyone with a number of challenges both on the ground and through the air even with running back Ezekiel Elliott out of the lineup."

It all starts with second-year quarterback Dak Prescott. He is a talented player who can make throws from anywhere on the field with timing and touch. Prescott has developed into a formidable opponent.

Dallas’ offensive staff has done a lot to try and make the most of Prescott’s strengths, and have helped him transition from a shotgun spread offense in college to the NFL. With Prescott's athleticism, his legs have been an integral part of the offensive attack in both the run and pass games.

If the Eagles want to spend resources to cover Bryant, Beasley, Witten, and the rest of this receiving corps, they must also be wary of Prescott’s ability to scramble. Against man coverage, Prescott is outstanding at recognizing the opportunity for himself and taking off for big gains on the ground when defenders have their backs turned to the quarterback downfield. Against Carolina, the Eagles used a spy on Cam Newton. The Eagles are already a big zone coverage team already, so inherently there will be eyes on the quarterback. I expect a good mix of tactics to keep Prescott contained on the ground in this game.

Cowboys May Have An Ace In The Hole In Scott Linehan - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
They say familiarity breeds distress. Let's hope it's Jim Schwartz who feels that distress tonight.

Where the Cowboys might have a bit of an advantage is with their play caller. When Schwartz was head coach of the Detroit Lions, Scott Linehan was his offensive coordinator. Linehan had some nice campaigns working for Schwartz while directing his offense with Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. If the Cowboys are going to win this game, it will likely come down to Linehan's ability to figure out a way to attack Schwartz without putting his offense in harm’s way.

The Cowboys will need to execute ways of moving the ball without exposing their own weaknesses. This will be no easy task without some of his key players but armed with some inside knowledge just might be the trick.

Cowboys understand playoff implications going into game against Eagles - Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Cowboys have dug themselves a bit of a hole with their four losses to date.

The Cowboys are 5-4 going into Sunday’s game against the best team in the NFL, division rival Philadelphia Eagles. At 8-1, the Eagles have a chance to essentially put a stranglehold on the division title with a win.

“It’s a huge game,” Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said. “Anytime you get in November and you’re playing, they all become bigger and bigger. But certainly with where they’re at and where we’re at going into November, it’s a big game for us.

“We’ve talked about our margin a lot. But certainly we’re at a point now where it’s really tight and we need to play our best football.”

Sunday Night Football Betting Preview and Odds: Eagles at Cowboys - Covers Staff
A look at how the sharps and bookmakers are looking at tonight's game.

WHAT SHARPS SAY: "The Cowboys would have been the favorite in this game one month ago, but Dallas will now be missing several key players in this divisional primetime game and that is why the Cowboys are now a home underdog. Philadelphia is coming off their bye week and it will be interesting to see if they can continue their momentum as they are 7-0 SU (6-1 ATS) in their past seven games. Last season the Eagles started 3-0 SU/ATS, but then went 2-9 SU (3-8 ATS) after their bye week." - Covers Expert Steve Merril

"Major sharp money on the Eagles has come in throughout the week. We briefly moved down to -3 right after opening, but Philly money has poured in since. The Cowboys didn't look well without Tyron Smith and Ezekiel Elliott last week, and the betting public is reacting as well." - Scott Cooley, odds consultant for offshore sportsbook

DeMarcus Lawrence climbing sack chart - Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Lawrence is making a push in the Cowboys' record books.

Lawrence has 11.5 sacks and needs one more sack to tie Randy White (1983 and 1984), Charles Haley (1994) and Greg Ellis (2007) for the seventh-most sacks in a single season in team history, since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.

With two sacks, Lawrence passes Ed “Too Tall” Jones (13.0 in 1985) for sixth. He also needs one tackle to reach 100 for his career.

Big Question: DeMarcus Lawrence vs. Eagles RT Lane Johnson - Staff,
The writers for the Eagles mothership answer reader question, one of which is about the key matchup of the game.

Fran Duffy: To me, the biggest matchup has to be Lane Johnson against Demarcus Lawrence, the league’s sack leader. The Cowboys will move Lawrence around a bit, but most of his snaps will come against Lane. The only way the Cowboys win this game is if they are able to ground the Eagles' passing attack, and they’ll need Lawrence to be a big part of that. If Lane can shut him down in this game or at least keep his impact limited, that’s a huge win for the Eagles.

DeMarcus Lawrence has two words for Byron Bell's doubters as he prepares to step in for Tyron Smith - Jon Machota, SportsDay
No mincing of words here.

"He'll be ready," Lawrence said. "I know he will. That's just the dog in him. When your name is called you got to step up to the plate and do what you got to do."

Bell interrupted: "They don't believe all that. They all going to talk (expletive)."

Lawrence looked at Bell and then back at the TV cameras.

"Hey, bleep me out," Lawrence requested before looking back at Bell. "(Expletive) them."

Jerry Jones to receive Hall of Fame ring during halftime of Cowboys-Eagles game - SportsDay Staff
Roger Goodell will not be in attendance.

Dueling Letters Continue Cowboys Owner’s Feud With N.F.L. Over Roger Goodell - Ken Belson, The New York Times
Consider this a minor skirmish in the escalating war.

The messy battle between Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys’ owner, and the N.F.L.’s compensation committee took an odd turn on Friday when Jones thanked the committee for agreeing to his demand that all owners review the extension of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract, which is now being completed.

In a letter to the compensation committee, which has been working for six months on a five-year extension for Goodell, Jones said that he had been worried Goodell and the committee were trying to skirt the league’s constitution by not seeking a full vote on the new contract.

In a letter back to Jones, sent on Saturday, a copy of which was reviewed by The New York Times, the compensation committee — which includes the owners of the Chiefs, Falcons, Giants, Patriots, Steelers and Texans — said it was not violating the league’s constitution. The committee repeated that all 32 owners voted in May to extend Goodell’s contract and empowered the committee to work out the details.

The committee said it would continue to speak to all owners about the progress of the negotiations. Both letters were copied to all 32 team owners.

Why NBC should be acronym for None Bigger than Cowboys when it comes to Sunday Night Football - Barry Horn, SportsDay
The Cowboys rule Sunday Night Football.

To say that NBC loves having the Cowboys would not be hyperbole. Sunday night will be the Cowboys' league-leading 40thappearance since the network acquired the regular-season package in 2006. That's eight more than the New York Giants who are second on the list at 32. The Eagles, preparing for their 28th game, are No. 4. The Pittsburgh Steelers are No. 3 at 29.

They've played at least three regular-season games on SNF every season since the network took over the package from ESPN. Five times, the NFL has flexed a "bonus" fourth Cowboys game to NBC.

Philadelphia Sports: Why don't other cities reciprocate our hate? - Matty Breisch,
Eagles fans wondering why nobody is taking them seriously.

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