The Dallas Cowboys are set to host the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Eve which is this Saturday. Any time that these two division rivals meet one another it is usually an intense affair, but the Cowboys loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday took some of the wind out of the game’s sails.
Why is that? Sunday’s results set things up to where the Eagles now only need a single win to clinch the NFC East as well as the number one seed in the NFC (to be clear, any Cowboys loss clinches them the division and any Minnesota Vikings loss puts them in the clear position to be the top seed). With Dallas clinching a playoff spot themselves on Sunday afternoon, both teams are mostly playing for playoff momentum.
Things took a different turn on Monday afternoon though when odds around Saturday’s game began to shift. Dallas initially opened as a 1-point favorite over Philly, but that line grew to 1.5 and then to 3 and then to as large as 5. Additionally Jalen Hurts’ odds to win MVP began to shift and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes became the favorite.
Inquiring minds assumed that something must have been up and confirmation shortly followed. Hurts reportedly has a sprained shoulder that he suffered in Philadelphia’s win against the Chicago Bears and he is doubtful to play on Saturday afternoon.
Eagles QB and MVP candidate Jalen Hurts is uncertain to play Saturday vs. the Cowboys due to a sprained shoulder that he suffered during Sunday's win over the Bears, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 19, 2022
Hurts was hurt late in the third quarter, when Bears' DE Trevis Gipson drove him into ground. pic.twitter.com/KsWbMkCszW
Jalen Hurts is an MVP candidate and the team's primary goal is for him to be fully healthy when he returns to play.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 19, 2022
For now, it could be Gardner Minshew time. https://t.co/primbsoQsL
Reports noted that the injury is not considered season-ending. Jalen Hurts is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and has been playing at an MVP level this season. We want all players to remain healthy. Additionally we want to see the Eagles and beat them at their best, and Hurts is a part of that equation.
Time will tell what the rest of the regular season and playoffs have in store for the Eagles. Again, even if the Cowboys wind up winning on Saturday afternoon, the Eagles have two opportunities to clinch everything themselves and both of those games are at home against the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants. Additionally the Cowboys have games against the Tennessee Titans and Washington Commanders that they have to win.
Update: 5:45pm ET
It is Hurts’ throwing shoulder, per reports.
CORRECTION: It’s Jalen Hurts’ right, throwing shoulder. My bad. https://t.co/woPGUKHs0v— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) December 19, 2022
Additionally the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Hurts could miss the rest of the regular season.
Jalen Hurts could miss next two games with sprained shoulder, NFL sources told The Inquirer.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) December 19, 2022
It’s possible the #Eagles QB doesn’t play the rest of the regular season and for another month in the divisional round of the postseason.
My story: https://t.co/vxm1j5bv0o
If that were to be the case then (assuming the Eagles win the division and take the one seed which is very likely) Hurts would go five weeks between playing in Week 15 and the Divisional Round of the playoffs. He might even be playing the Cowboys in the Divisional Round if things fall a certain way.