It’s Eagles Week. Anticipation and anxiety all in one. Will the Cowboys beat their dreaded rival, or will fans have to hear it from the Eagles crowd until, at least, Dec. 10th and the rematch? It’s one of the hottest rivalries going in the NFL at the moment, as hot as the now-cold Dallas and Washington rivalry used to be.
In addition, this year, we get a Dak Prescott versus Jalen Hurts feature, something that was missed in 2022 because of injury. The Cowboys are looking up at the Eagles, but could grab the first half of the always important tiebreaker in the division with a win.
DraftKings Sportsbook has the Cowboys as three-point underdogs to the Eagles. With the Cowboys on the road, that’s pretty much saying it’s an even odds game. Let’s take look at some facts and figure of the game, players and the rivalry.
The Eagles are currently 7-1 and lead the NFC East. The Cowboys are 5-2 and are in second place in the division. The two teams have met 128 times, with four of those coming in the playoffs. The Cowboys lead the series 73-55, including winning three of the playoff contests. Dallas won the last game 40-34 on Christmas Eve of last year. That was a Dak Prescott/Gardner Minshew battle. In October of 2022, Cooper Rush was defeated by Jalen Hurts, 26-17.
Even though we talk a lot about Prescott and Hurts, the Dallas defense may end up being the real difference in this game. They lead the NFL with four defensive touchdowns, that is the most through seven games in the Cowboys entire history. The Cowboys have nine interceptions on the year, that is tied for third in the NFL. The defense has helped the team to a +6 turnover margin, tied for fourth in the league. The Dallas defense is likely the top unit of all them on the field Sunday.
But this is a quarterback league, so let’s talk quarterback. Dak Prescott has had so much success against the NFC East. He is 28-7 overall in his career, and is 8-3 specifically versus the Eagles. Since 2016, when the Cowboys drafted Prescott, only Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes have more wins against their division foes.
Prescott also feasts on blitzes. He is 39 for 54 against the blitz in 2023, a 76.1% completion percentage. That leads the NFL. He also has the second-highest completion percentage out of the pocket at 68.8%, and is fifth in QB rating (103.3) in the same situation. Prescott has completed a remarkable 80% of his passes in three different games this year. Only Troy Aikman has done better with four in a season in franchise history.
And now it appears the Cowboys offense has figured out that their best shot at points is Prescott throwing to CeeDee Lamb. Prescott has a 131.6 passer rating when throwing to Lamb, third in the NFL. That has helped Lamb reach 300 receptions the quickest ever for a Cowboys player (52 games). Also helping that number is the insane catch rate for Lamb this year. He has caught 46 of his 56 targets, and 82.1% reception rate that leads the NFL. He had 10 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown in the last game.
- Mike McCarthy has 35 regular-season wins in his 3+ years as the head coach. Only Barry Switzer has more in his first four seasons as the head man in Dallas (40).
- McCarthy needs a win to tie Mike Holmgren for 18th in all-time wins (161).
- Brandon Aubrey needs to make his first field goal in the game to pass Travis Coons for most field goals made consecutively to start a career (18) in NFL history.
- DaRon Bland’s three pick-sixes lead the NFL. One more would tie the NFL record for one season of four.
Team comparison stats:
Scoring Avg. (NFL rank) Cowboys 28.1 (2) - Eagles 28.0 (3)
Opp. Scoring Avg. (NFL rank) Cowboys 17.1 (4) - Eagles 21.5 (19)
Total Off. (NFL rank) Cowboys 338.0 (15) - Eagles 387.4 (3)
Total Def. (NFL rank) Cowboys 287.4 (3) - Eagles 313.0 (7)