The Dallas Cowboys are on the road for a Week 18 clash with the Philadelphia Eagles. Dallas is sporting an 11-5 record after dropping their game against the Cardinals. The Eagles are 9-7 on the season and have made the playoffs as a wild card.
Our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook currently have the Cowboys as seven-point favorites against the Eagles. The line has grown significantly from earlier in the week. The folks over at FiveThirtyEight have the Cowboys at a 51% chance of winning, while ESPN has them at 56.5%.
As for the Cowboys game, let’s see what people are thinking.
Picking games in Week 17 is basically a drunken crapshoot and if you need proof, just look at this game. I have no idea if the Eagles will be resting their starters and I have no idea if the Cowboys will be resting their starters, which means I have no idea who’s going to win. I also have no idea why the NFL put this game in the prime-time Saturday slot. I don’t want to spend my Saturday night watching a glorified preseason game when I could be playing a drunken game of Boggle.
If the Eagles win, they could move to the sixth seed in the NFC, but there’s no guarantee of that because they’ll only move up if the 49ers also lose. I can’t read Nick Siranni’s mind, which is weird because I took an online mind-reading class once. However, even though I can’t read his mind, I do think the Eagles will end up resting their starters.
As for the Cowboys, they’re currently sitting in the four-spot in the NFC and even if they win, they would only move up if the Buccaneers or Rams end up losing. If the Cowboys win and one of those teams lose, that will push Dallas up to three and if they both lose, that will push the Cowboys up to the two-seed.
Based on some math I just did in my head, I’d say there’s about 50% chance that one team loses and a 5% chance that both of them lose and I think what I’m trying to say here is that I won’t be surprised if the Cowboys rest their starters. That being said, the Cowboys have been in an offensive slump and I think they might end up trying to play their way out of it. With that in mind, I expect the Cowboys to rest all their injured players. To be clear, I think that means we’ll see a lot of starters play, but the Cowboys will rest anyone who’s banged up (Based on last week’s injury report, that would be guys like Ezekiel Elliott, Tyron Smith and Demarcus Lawrence). I could also be completely wrong about all of this and they might let everyone play.
Anyway, I just talked myself in circles trying to figure out who’s going to win this game and after doing that, I’m still not even sure who I want to pick. If this game ends up being Gardner Minshew vs. Cooper Rush, I like the Eagles, but if it’s Dak Prescott vs. Jalen Hurts or Dak vs. Gardner, then I like the Cowboys. I’m taking the Cowboys.
The pick: Cowboys 26-23 over Eagles
A win but no cover.
Saturday’s second game carries more than a few interesting subplots.
The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles have both secured playoff berths, with the former the NFC East champions and the latter a wild card. With both teams locked into the playoffs, there has been talk of resting starters.
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni is considering resting players like nicked-up quarterback Jalen Hurts. However, Dallas team owner Jerry Jones insisted that the Cowboys won’t be giving any of their stars the night off—especially with a chance to move up as far the NFC’s No. 2 seed on the line.
“We plan to play. We plan to play to win,” Jones said on his weekly radio appearance on 105.3 The Fan.
However, despite that uncertainty about who will or won’t be playing, Kenyon is putting his metaphorical moolah on the Eagles and taking the touchdown with the home ‘dog.
“They’ve had a cakewalk schedule over the past month, but the Eagles are 6-1 in their last seven games and enter week 18 as one of the NFL’s hottest teams,” he said. “I’m all-in on the Eagles right now, who have seemed to find their recipe for success with one of the league’s most dynamic rushing attacks. The Cowboys looked lost on offense in a 25-22 loss to the Cardinals at home last week. The Cowboys should rebound and still win this game, but give me the Eagles covering a touchdown at home.”
The majority of our experts either expect Philly to keep it close or don’t believe Jones, because they are siding with Kenyon in taking Philly.
Score Prediction: Cowboys 24, Eagles 20
Win, no cover.
Will Dallas play all their starters? They currently have the No. 4 seed, and the odds of moving up are slim. They just lost Michael Gallup. What is the benefit of risking more injuries?
Even if they win, they’d need the Rams and Cardinals to lose to move up to No. 3. Additionally, they’d need a Bucs defeat to snag the second seed. Realistically, I’m expecting Dallas to play their starters for 1-2 quarters.
Meanwhile, the Eagles will be a No. 6 or No. 7 seed facing the Bucs, Rams, Cowboys, or Cardinals on the road. Pick your poison, right? There’s no optimal situation, win or lose. Perhaps Jalen Hurts and Co. make a good show of it to keep up their confidence heading into the postseason. But let’s not fool ourselves: Gardner Minshew probably will throw for more yards than Hurts.
Cowboys vs. Eagles Prediction: Cowboys 24, Eagles 20
We got another win but not a cover.
Both teams clinched playoff spots, and Dallas missed out on its chance for home-field with the loss to the Cardinals. The Eagles have won the last two in the series at home, which makes this a trouble spot for Big D. Will this be more of a dress rehearsal in the second half?
Pick: Eagles 24, Cowboys 21
Not even a win prediction here for the Cowboys.