Gut Feeling: Writers' Final Preview Of Cowboys-Eagles

For the first time since 2014, the Cowboys (13-2) know they'll continue playing in January with the No. 1 seed in the upcoming NFC playoffs.

Next up, though, is Sunday's regular-season finale at Philadelphia (6-9) and the opportunity to finish with the best record in franchise history. In the NFC East rivals' first meeting back in October, the Cowboys rallied in overtime to beat the Eagles 29-23.

How will Sunday's rematch unfold? The staff gives their gut feelings for the Cowboys' road trip to Philly:

Bryan Broaddus: A game that doesn't have much on the line as far as the standings go still has interest to me because of the young players that are going to play. I am especially looking forward to watching these young linebackers Damien Wilson and Mark Nzeocha play. This will be a great opportunity for them to play the majority of the snaps and just cut it loose without worrying about mistakes. It will be a great challenge for them to have to deal with a player like Darren Sproles and work to control him. I don't see the Cowboys winning this game (24-13) but my gut feeling is that we come away from the game impressed with how these linebackers played. Both will end up on the stat sheet in the top five of tackles for the game.

Rob Phillips: The Cowboys clearly have a balancing act here. They've got a lot of injuries – seven starters/rotation players officially have been ruled out of the game Sunday – and they want to be as healthy for the playoffs as possible. On the other hand, I do think it would be meaningful to finish 14-2 with the best record in team history. We might not see a full game's work from Dak Prescott and other starters, but we always see Jason Garrett's team give a maximum effort, no matter who's on the field. The Eagles are a better team than their record – six of their losses have been by a touchdown or less – and they have a chance to carry some momentum into the offseason. Ultimately I think the Cowboys' depth issues on defense, particularly on the defensive line, will show up over four quarters in this game and the Eagles win a close one.

Nick Eatman: This one seems like a hard game to pick, but it's really not. The Cowboys don't seem to be playing for the win first and foremost. That's what we've heard them say publicly, but privately, it appears the team is ready to use some backups. That being said, the Eagles will be chomping at the bit to beat Dallas and prevent a 14-2 season. I don't see Dak playing more than a series or two and that's when I think Romo comes in and finishes the first half. Sanchez should take the second half for himself. I think the Cowboys will try to win the game but not at the expense of risking more injuries. At some point, the defensive line setbacks will add up and it'll probably happen this week. I've got Romo throwing a touchdown pass to Terrance Williams and an interception by Brandon Carr. Other than that, the Eagles will probably win this game something like 27-20.

David Helman: Every Friday during the season, Terrell McClain has danced during team stretch at practice. With an ankle injury holding him out, though, McClain wasn't on hand to dance for his teammates this week. The coaching staff paid tribute to him by showing a video of last week's dance on the Ford Center jumbotron – but it just wasn't the same. McClain's moves have been a hallmark of Friday practices this season, and it's just another example of how this team keeps things loose and fun. Without the "Dancing Bear" to get the Cowboys in the right frame of mind, I have a hard time picking them this week. It also doesn't help that they'll be without six starters, and they'll almost certainly sit down some of their other starters – such as Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott – during the course of the game. It's not a meaningful contest, but it will still be hard-fought. Mark Sanchez is going to throw a touchdown and a pick, and Darren McFadden will finish with about 90 yards. It won't be enough, though, as Carson Wentz will run in the game-winning score to end the Eagles' season on a high note with a 24-17 win. The Cowboys will simply have to take solace in their division championship, No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs and well-earned week off.

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