The Dallas Cowboys have turned things around since their humiliating 42-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5. Since that time, Dallas has gone 6-1 and is currently tied for the second-best record in the NFL at 9-3. The only defeat for the Cowboys during that span was to the Philadelphia Eagles who survived 28-23 in Week 9, a game many felt Dallas should have won, especially with Dak Prescott being the best player on the field.
This Sunday, the rematch will occur at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and the Cowboys are a 3.5-point favorite. Here are three reasons the Cowboys need to take care of business against their heated NFC East rival.
Keep their hot streak going
Dallas is on a four-game winning streak, but they're also going through the toughest part of their 2023 schedule, and it started with their 41-35 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. After the Cowboys play the Eagles, they have matchups with the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and Detroit Lions to follow, all games that they could easily lose (two of those teams are currently holding playoff positions along with the Eagles) if they don't keep their focus.
At this time of year, every team wants to be playing their best football, especially a team like the Cowboys who have a possible division title in their sights, and of course, they want to put themselves in the best playoff position in case that doesn't happen. A win against Philadelphia could springboard a strong finish to this gauntlet, and it just might put them in a situation where they could challenge for the top seed in the NFC.
Put major pressure on the Eagles for the NFC East crown
As things currently stand, the Cowboys are one game behind the 10-2 Eagles for the top spot in the division. Dallas getting a win this Sunday would not only even the records of both teams, but the Cowboys would take over first place in the NFC East, at least temporarily, due to a better record in division play. However, the Eagles would still control their dynasty to win the division and the top spot in the conference if they won out to finish the season because they would only have two losses in the NFC, as opposed to three by the Cowboys, which would give them the tie-breaker if both teams finish with the same record.
Unfortunately for the Cowboys, the Eagles have two games against the 4-8 New York Giants, one versus the 3-10 Arizona Cardinals, and one against the Seahawks who sit at 6-6. So, the Eagles don't exactly have the toughest remaining road after Sunday, but a loss to the Cowboys could make some palms sweaty into the City of Brotherly Love, and pressure can burst pipes as the saying goes. A win for the Eagles would put them up two games in the standings, and essentially three seeing as they would have swept the season series with the Cowboys, and that would likely end any hopes that Dallas has of winning the division.
Prove they can beat the top teams in the NFL
Despite how well the Cowboys have played this season, the major knock is that they have only beaten up on bad teams. Every opponent the Cowboys have beaten this season has a losing record besides the Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams, who both sit at 6-6. This reputation goes back a few seasons, though, as the Cowboys have suffered back-to-back losses in the playoffs to the 49ers, and of course, their loss to the Eagles earlier this season.
The Cowboys are one of the best teams in the NFL, but at some point, doubt could creep in when it comes to measuring up against the league's other top contenders, and a loss to the Eagles may provide that type of thinking, possibly causing a domino effect with the other tough games they have to end the month of December. So, from a confidence standpoint, the Cowboys need to be laser-focused on winning against the Eagles on Sunday.
Dallas is in a position to make life very hard for Philadelphia going forward with a victory in Week 13 and open the door for them to steal the division title at the finish line.