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Cowboys news: Dak Prescott says he’s “good to go” for Cowboys-Eagles showdown

Dak Prescott doesn’t plan on missing this game with the Eagles no matter what.

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NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott Says He'll Be "Good To Go" Sunday- Jonny Auping-
Despite being limited by a shoulder injury so far this week, Dak Prescott says he'll be good to go for Sunday's NFC East championship game.

Dak Prescott picked an inopportune time to be limited in practice for the first time in his NFL career on Wednesday, sending a brief sense of panic through Cowboys fans just before a crucial division game against the Philadelphia Eagles that could determine whether Dallas reaches the playoffs.

Prescott, who is dealing with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder, hasn’t been throwing much so far this week, but after Thursday’s practice he essentially put to rest any doubt about whether he would start Sunday’s game.

”I’m getting better,” Prescott said. “The mobility and function is all improving. I’ll be good to go on Sunday.”

Jerry Jones ‘not worried’ as Cowboys QB Dak Prescott remains limited in practice - Michael Gehlken- Sportsday DFW
Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones doesn't seemed worried about his quarterback's availability for Sunday though Dak Prescott has a sprained AC joint.

“You’d like for everybody to be out there practicing,” Jones said on K&C Masterpiece on 105.3 The Fan (KRLD-FM). “But I’m totally convinced that he’ll be in top form, and we’ve got to have him in top form, and he will be in top form. I think the situation has been described accurately. These are things that guys play with and practice with, so I think we’re in good shape. ... I’m not worried about it.”

Before this week, Prescott hadn’t missed or been limited in a regular season practice in his NFL career.

Dak Prescott is not concerned about shoulder ahead of divisional showdown with Eagles- Frank Schwab- Yahoo Sports
Dak Prescott says his shoulder is not concerning and that he expects to play this week.

On Wednesday, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Prescott’s right shoulder injury was affecting how he could throw the ball, and he wouldn’t throw much at practice. That’s not the news the Cowboys wanted to hear before trying to clinch a division title.

Prescott said Thursday that he’ll be fine. What else is he going to say though?

Prescott is tough and he’s not going to miss a game this big unless he is held out by the team. So even if he was suffering, he wouldn’t say so.

Still, his words on Thursday were optimistic.

Dak Prescott says “I’ll be good to go Sunday”

Cowboys-Eagles: Ezekiel Elliott will be pivotal in NFC East showdown - Jori Epstein- USA Today
Ezekiel Elliott will be the Eagles' main focus this weekend in pivotal NFC East clash.

The Eagles aren’t changing their preparation either way, coach Doug Pederson said.

One reason: Philadelphia has a bigger problem to worry about. His name is Ezekiel Elliott.

“We understand Zeke is the guy and things are going to go through him,” Pederson told Dallas reporters on a conference call. “We know the focus is on Zeke and trying to at least slow him down.”

Historically, the Eagles have struggled to do that.

Elliott has faced Philadelphia five times since the Cowboys drafted him fourth overall in 2016. (He was sidelined for a Week 17 contest to rest ahead of the 2016 playoffs and missed another game during his 2017 suspension.) The Eagles have not defeated the Cowboys when Elliott plays. And Elliott has dominated each game. Four times he’s rushed for more than 100 yards, the fifth falling just short at 96. He’s racked up at least 141 yards from scrimmage in all five contests. The Eagles are aware.

Carson Wentz refers to Eagles-Cowboys in Week 16 as biggest game of his career -Jeff Kerr-
Carson Wentz is excited to play in his first must-win game after dealing with back-to-back season-ending injuries over past two years.

No pressure for Wentz, who finally gets to play in a “must-win” game after having season-ending injuries in December the past two years. Wentz has never played in a postseason game for the Eagles, but Sunday’s battle for the NFC East is as close as it gets.

”You could probably say that,” Wentz said when asked if Sunday’s game was the biggest of his career, via the Eagles website. “I mean, it’s definitely a big game. We know the situation. We know what’s going on. At the same time, we’re treating it as another game and we’re aware of everything. We’re real excited and for one, I’m real excited that we’re at home. I know these fans are going to show up and be loud. I can’t wait until Sunday afternoon.”

Three ways that the Philadelphia Eagles could lose to the Dallas Cowboys - RJ Ochoa-Blogging The Boys
Those who know the Eagles best at BGN tell us their biggest fears.

3 - The Cowboys just have the Eagles’ number right now

The Eagles are 2-5 in their seven games against the Cowboys since the Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz eras began in 2016. Each team has had a meaningless Week 17 over the other in that span, so if you take those out, it’s 1-4.

Still, the fact remains that the Eagles have lost four straight games to their biggest division rivals.

If you’ll indulge me in a cross-sport comparison, this recently one-sided series reminds me of how the Sixers really struggled to beat the Celtics prior to this current NBA season. There was a point where Joel Embiid said: “This is not a rivalry. I don’t know our record against them, but it’s pretty bad. They always kick our ass.”

It feels like the Eagles are in a similar situation. The Cowboys aren’t really your rivals if they always beat you.

Maybe the Eagles will show that they’re tired of losing to Dallas. But I’ve reached the point where I’ll believe it when I see it. The matchup just doesn’t seem favorable. The Cowboys are the better team on paper.

Yes, The Cowboys Can Win The Super Bowl. We Figured Out Their Best-Case Scenarios - Ty Schalter- FiveThirtyEight
What are the paths to a championship for the 7-7 Dallas Cowboys?

Wait, Super Bowl contender?

That’s right: Plenty of other team-strength measures indicate that Garrett’s squad is well-positioned to make a deep postseason run.

Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average ranks the Cowboys eighth in the league in recency-weighted team efficiency and fifth in the NFC. Aaron Schatz of that same site found that the Cowboys were the 11th-strongest team by DVOA ever to start their season 6-6. ESPN’s Power Rankings rank the Cowboys 13th in the league and seventh in the NFC. FiveThirtyEight’s Elo rankings also slot the Cowboys 13th overall and seventh in their conference, with a small-but-nonzero chance to win it all.

But perhaps the most relevant metric is Drinen’s take on the Simple Rating System, a predictive model built on point differential and strength-of-schedule. After Week 15, the Cowboys’ SRS rating is +5.1, the seventh-highest in the NFL — and behind only the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints in the NFC. Unlike most other metrics, SRS is predictive, as it correlates more strongly with what’s going to happen next than with what’s already happened.

So if the Dallas Cowboys really are the fourth-strongest NFC team going into Week 16, how can they capitalize? Their path through the playoffs is rocky, for sure, but the Super Bowl is still within reach for the beleaguered team. By plugging future results into our Elo prediction model, we can plot a few different paths to the mountaintop.

Amari Cooper Looking To Capitalize On His Chances- David Helman-
Amari Cooper knows all about the splits but he plans to be ready for action on Sunday against the Eagles.

“It depends on what I do with the opportunity,” he said.

That was Cooper’s catchphrase this week – taking advantage of the opportunities. Despite tallying 1,073 yards and eight touchdowns, that hasn’t always been the case. Injuries have played some role in that, but Cooper could also point back to nagging mistakes from earlier in the season – offensive pass interference penalties in New Orleans, dropped passed against the likes of New England and Green Bay.

Perhaps that’s why, when Cooper was asked if he should have been named to the Pro Bowl, Cooper said no.

“I don’t put myself above any of the guys who made it,” he said. “I feel like I could’ve done so much more. So I definitely feel like it was all in my hands, and I came up short of that.”

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