IRVING, Texas –The Cowboys are back to .500 and look to take the division lead in the NFC East. Both the Cowboys and Eagles are 3-3 and have lost to the same three AFC opponents. Both are 2-0 in the division. While it's still early in the race, Sunday's game will be a big boost for one team.
Here are the gut feelings for staff writers Nick Eatman, Bryan Broaddus, David Helman and Rowan Kavner.
I keep predicting the Cowboys are going to take advantage of bad secondaries. I said it before the Chargers game, I said it before the Redskins game, and neither prediction came to fruition. But I don't think they're going to have a choice this week. We haven't seen the Cowboys get behind the eight ball too much this season – they've had the lead at halftime in five of their six games. But similar to the Denver game, I don't see Dallas having a lot of success stopping LeSean McCoy and the Philly offense. I think the Eagles take a four-point lead into the break, and I think whoever has the ball last will win a high-scoring second half. My head tells me Dallas is the better team, but my gut feeling is that the Eagles find a way to win.
Gut Feeling: So here we are, back at .500, against an Eagles team that hasn't won at home this year or in their last eight home contests. These are actually two very evenly matched teams. Philadelphia boasts the best running back in the league this year, a guy that will give the Cowboys problems on the ground and through the air. The latter area is where he will be really dangerous. I think this is more of a shootout than last week. Dez Bryant's had some words exchanged before with Cary Williams, and I think this is going to be a huge week for the Cowboys' top wide out. I also think the Cowboys' Williams, Terrance, makes it three straight games with a touchdown, and Joseph Randle finds the end zone again. In the end, Dan Bailey comes up huge late to put the Cowboys in first place.
Like most of these games, I go back and forth on this one because I see scenarios where the Cowboys will get out to a nice lead because the Eagles will have a hard time stopping this offense. I also think the Cowboys will have a very hard time with LeSean McCoy and Philly's attack, especially if DeMarcus Ware doesn't play. I know it's been a full calendar year since Philly won at home, but something about playing up there is still scary for this Cowboys team, even though they've proven they can win there. I don't see it happening this time. I see Philly outscoring the Cowboys in a game where 31 points won't be enough to win. For the Cowboys, I see a big game for Miles Austin – over 100 yards with a touchdown. But I see Riley Cooper continuing his hot streak against the Cowboys, too.
There were a couple of different ways I wanted to go here because I feel strongly about Joseph Randle playing well, but I will take the path of Kyle Wilber making his first NFL start against Jason Peters. This Cowboys front is going to need a pressure player in this matchup without DeMarcus Ware in the lineup. Jason Hatcher will see his share of double teams so someone will need to win a battle or two one-on-one. My sources told me that Wilber had a nice week of practice and looked very quick off the ball. My gut tells me, he does provide that pressure and at the end of this game, we are talking about how well he played.