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Cowboys Can Take Control of NFC East With Win Over Disappointing Eagles

The NFC East features the closest race for a division title across the NFL. The 6-6 SU Eagles will travel to Dallas to take on the division-leading Cowboys (7-5 SU) in what will prove to be a pivotal game in deciding who will be crowned champs of the division.

The Cowboys enter the matchup on a four-game win streak, dating back to their Week 10 game against the Eagles when they left Lincoln Financial Field with a 27-20 victory. They should enter this matchup with all the confidence in the world, as their latest win came against the Saints, who many believed was the best team in the league.

The Eagles haven’t lived up to anyone’s expectations this year after winning the Super Bowl last season. But despite only sporting a .500 record with four games to play, they’re still in position to grab a playoff spot and win the division. Beating the Cowboys on Sunday would be a big step in that direction.

The Cowboys opened as 4-point favorites, with the total sitting at 43.

Shark Bites
  • The Eagles are 10-2 SU in their last 12 games vs divisional opponents.
  • The total has gone OVER in five of the Eagles’ last six games on the road (avg. combined score: 56.67).
  • The visiting team is 11-3 ATS in the last 14 games in this matchup.

Eagles vs Cowboys Game Center

My Best Bet: Eagles +10 + OVER 37 on a 6-point teaser

I’m not usually one to dabble in the world of teasers, but this game is too full of question marks to take either team by the normal spread. Instead of taking a risk on a spread bet that could go either way, I think the safest thing to do in this game is to bet on the Eagles to keep the score within reach.

Philadelphia’s average combined score in games so far this season is 43.67, while Dallas sits at 39.17. Both of these are OVER the 37-point total if we tease this game with 6 points, so I can’t see the total being an issue.

Eagles air attack vs Cowboys run attack

The offenses for these two teams are near polar opposites. Philadelphia ranks in the bottom 10 in rushing yards per game but ranks in the top 10 in passing yards per game since Carson Wentz returned to the lineup in Week 3.

The opposite can be said for the Cowboys, who are torching teams on the ground, ranking in the top 10 in rushing yards per game and rushing yards per attempt, but their passing game is subpar, ranking 26th in yards per game.

Carson Wentz has been the superior quarterback this season. He has a QB rating of 100.6 compared to Dak Prescott’s 95.4. A portion of Prescott’s issues could be attributed to the pressure that he has had to deal with. He’s the most sacked QB in the league, being put to the turf a total of 45 times.

Undrafted free agent Josh Adams has been a nice surprise for the Eagles so far this season, so they may rely on him more in this game to try to get their rushing attack back to where it should be. He’s averaging 4.9 yards per attempt, but he has yet to surpass the 100-yard mark in any game to date.

Ezekiel Elliott is still proving to be a star player for the Cowboys. In spite of teams loading up the box to try to slow him down, he still finds success. Zeke has surpassed 1,100 yards on the ground, while already breaking his career high in receiving yards, amassing 423 yards with four games to play.

Who can control the clock?

In close games between division rivals, clock management is one of the biggest difference makers.

Philadelphia leads the entire league in time of possession, which usually correlates with wins. Where the Eagles falter is their tendency to turn the ball over as well as their red-zone efficiency. They have a -8 turnover differential on the season, and Carson Wentz has an ugly 52.63 percent completion rate once he gets the ball inside his opponent’s 20-yard line.

The Cowboys also do a good job possessing the football. They’re seventh in the league in time of possession. Similar to the Eagles, though, they run into issues when they get inside the red zone. They’re 26th in the league in converting red-zone trips to touchdowns, only managing to get six points 48.65 percent of the time.

I believe this game will ultimately be decided by clock management, converting red-zone trips to touchdowns, and preventing turnovers – all of which have conflicting trends between the two teams, which should result in a close game. That is why I am teasing this game with 6 points.