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Dallas Cowboys Week 8 opponent preview: Philadelphia Eagles

Cowboys are facing another NFC East rival this week in a must-win game.

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Things aren’t going to get any easier for the Dallas Cowboys this week as they will be facing off against the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys offensive line struggled to block the talented defensive line of the Washington Football Team and this week this offensive line has to face off against another strong defensive line. The Cowboys should be getting back right guard Zack Martin which will help but it’s still going to be a tough game. Let’s take a look at the Eagles.

Philadelphia Eagles

2019 Record: 9-7

Last Meeting: 12/22/2019 Eagles 17, Cowboys 9

Head Coach: Doug Pederson

Key Additions: DT Javon Hargrave, CB Darius Slay, CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, S Will Parks

Key Losses: S Malcolm Jenkins, CB Ronald Darby, WR Nelson Agholor, OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, RB Jordan Howard

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Biggest offensive strengths and weaknesses

If you’re looking for a team that has gone through as many injuries this season as the Dallas Cowboys, then look no further than the Philadelphia Eagles. The only difference is that they are getting healthy while the Cowboys are still taking on injuries and will not have their starting quarterback, Dak Prescott, coming back to help them this season. It’s easy to figure out the strength on this offense and it’s quarterback Carson Wentz. If the Cowboys want to have any chance of winning this game then they have to force Wentz into making mistakes whether it be sacks, fumbles, or interceptions. If they can’t then Wentz, even without his top targets, will be able to pick this weak defense apart.

If you want to find a weakness on this offense look no further than the offensive line. Just like Prescott and Andy Dalton, Wentz has been running for his life this season thanks to the lack of pass protection from his offensive line. The Cowboys have the personnel and talent to get pressure on Wentz, but that talent hasn’t shown it yet. The Cowboys will need a big game from DeMarcus Lawrence, Aldon Smith, and Randy Gregory if they want to win this game.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Biggest defensive strengths and weaknesses

The Cowboys face another huge challenge in the form of the Eagles defensive line stacked with talent. The young offensive linemen are going up against a team with the ability to rush from the defensive tackle position as well as the defensive ends. This defensive front is hands down the strength of this football team and the Cowboys have no shot at winning this game if they are unable to give rookie starting quarterback Ben DiNucci time in the pocket. Look for offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to use DiNucci’s legs to move the pocket and Ezekiel Elliott to make things easier for the young quarterback.

While this defensive line is great at getting to the quarterback their linebacking corps struggles in the running game. Teams this season have been able to use their running game to keep the Eagles offense off the field and wear down the defense. The Cowboys will also be able to attack this group using the running backs and tight ends in the passing game to keep moving the chains. Once again, the Cowboys are in a situation where they have a running back that can beat this defense down but we will have to see if they are able to get the job done. They will win or lose this game depending on how the Cowboys young offensive line plays.

X-Factors

On offense, the biggest x-factor that will determine the Eagles success will be their ability to protect Wentz in the pocket against the Cowboys pass rush.

On defense, it will be stopping Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard in the running game and passing game.

Prediction

Eagles 27, Cowboys 13