The NFC East is still up for grabs at midseason, but the Cowboys (3-5) and Eagles (4-4) both need a win Sunday night to stay close to first-place Washington.
The Cowboys are looking to stop a two-game slide with their first road win of the season. Fresh off a bye week, the Eagles are looking to build on their win over Jacksonville.
Which team wins Sunday night and why? The DallasCowboys.com staff gives their 'gut feelings' for the matchup at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia:
Bryan Broaddus: I have lived my NFL life believing that desperate teams find ways to win games when nobody believed they could. The Dallas Cowboys are a desperate team. Their season is clearly on the line here and their only real hope of making the playoffs will likely come by winning the NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles have had their own issues this season and playing at Lincoln Financial Field for opponents hasn't been as difficult as it has been in previous seasons. Like the Tennessee Titans last week, the Cowboys are going to have to weather the storm because I could see this game having some huge swings in it. Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and DeMarcus Lawrence will step up, the Cowboys won't fold under the pressure and they'll prevail for their first road win of the season, 28-24.
Lindsay Draper: Not sure if I'm confident to pick the Cowboys on the road (0-4 this season) against the defending Super Bowl Champions, but hey – I'm 1-7 in this thing. Yeah, my gut feeling choices are at a ONE AND SEVEN record. Back to the game – we got our glimpse of Golden Tate this season: eight receptions, 132 yards and two touchdowns in Week 4. Give the Eagles a week of prep with Tate, and that's one of a few offensive weapons worry about. Don't forget the one shattering records and leading TE's this season, Zach Ertz. In the trenches, the Cowboys offensive line allowed five sacks against the Titans one week ago, and the Eagles are strong up front (2nd in the league's rushing defense). You need to hope that Dak Prescott gets the passing attack going. Going north will be the key. I don't think this will be their first road win of the season. But hey, if you're a Cowboys fan, you hope I continue my trend of picking!
Mickey Spagnola: So I went with my "feel" last week, and that didn't work out so well. Or maybe it would have if the Cowboys had done what they should have in the first quarter against Tennessee to take a 17-0 lead, instead of just 7-0, which changed the course of the entire game. So then, this week, I'm going to go with my gut. And even though the Cowboys are 6-2 at The Linc since 2010, and even though they are 12-9 against the Eagles since 2008, I've sworn off picking them to win on the road after the game-tying field-goal attempt as time expired bounced off the upright against Washington. Learned this is in college at the University of Missouri: Show Me. Eagles 23, Cowboys 20.
Rob Phillips: Very few people outside the organization thought the Cowboys would beat Jacksonville. Very few thought the Cowboys would lose to Tennessee. That's this league, I guess. It humbles your football gut – mine included. We haven't seen the Cowboys play a complete game on the road this season, and this might be their toughest test yet. But I'll go with the law of averages and pick Dallas for the reasons Bryan stated: This is as close to 'must-win' as it gets in mid-November. There's also this: The Eagles are trying to get their offense on track, too. The 24 points they scored against the Jaguars two weeks ago was their second-highest total of the year and they're only averaging a field goal more per game than the Cowboys (22.3). My gut says Cooper takes another step forward with his new team and Prescott avoids turnovers in a tight road victory.
David Helman: Would it surprise me if the Cowboys went up to Lincoln Financial Field with their backs against the wall and found a way to win this game? Not at all. But if we're going purely based on what we've seen on the field, what reason do I have to believe it will happen? The Cowboys have struggled to get their ground game going, as Ezekiel Elliott has been held below 100 yards in three of his last four games, and the Eagles boast the No. 2 run defense in the league. The Eagles do have a porous secondary, surrendering 269 yards per game, but I don't trust the Cowboys to take advantage of it – especially with Fletcher Cox and Co. rushing the passer. I do think it's going to be a hard-fought game. Cooper is going to make some plays, and maybe the Dallas defense gets another takeaway. At the end of the day, though, I figure Carson Wentz will make one or two extra plays to help the Eagles escape – something like 27-23.
Nick Eatman: On the Cowboys Break, I wasn't exactly ready to make my pick. I guess my "Gut" hadn't given me the guidance just yet. But I did pick the Cowboys to win this 21-20, so I'll stick with it. I really think this is going to be a tough game for the Cowboys, who absolutely have to play their best game. Yes, they have to play better this time around than they did against the Jaguars. What they do best, is what the Eagles stop the most – and that's the run. Somehow, we're going to have to see some passes down the field. You'd think they wouldn't cut their fastest receiver, Deonte Thompson, but they weren't using his speed anyway. The linebackers have to play better than they did Monday night. Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith have to fly around and get these guys on the ground. It's not an impossible game here. The Eagles haven't been that great this year and let's see how they respond coming off their bye. I think it'll be close, but give me the Cowboys by a point.