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Gut Feeling

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Gut Feeling: Predictions For Cowboys & Eagles


We all knew the NFC East would come down to this game. Here we are, the Cowboys head to Philly for a chance to win their second division title in two years. That has happened since the franchise won five straight from 1992-96, and the Cowboys haven't even made the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 2006-07.

Both teams are 7-7 but only the Cowboys can clinch the division this weekend. If Dallas wins, it owns the head-to-head tiebreaker so if they both finish 8-8, the Cowboys would win.

If the Eagles win on Sunday, Dallas isn't eliminated. The Cowboys would have to win against Washington next week and Philly must lose at the Giants.

Still, the easiest scenario for the Cowboys, as tough as it might be, is to win Sunday at Philadelphia.

Here's what the staff writers think will happen this weekend.

Rob Phillips: Against the Rams, the Cowboys showed they can be a pick-your-poison offense when at their best. Even if Dak Prescott's shoulder gets 110-percent healthy come game time Sunday, re-establishing the run game will be critical. For years – all the way back to the mid-2000s, the last time an NFC East team repeated as division champs – the strength of Philly's defense has been their front. But it's worth noting that Ezekiel Elliott has averaged 115 rushing yards and nearly 5 yards a carry in five career games against them. When the run game is rolling, it opens up so much for the offense. No better time to do so than Sunday with Prescott planning to work through that shoulder injury. My gut says the Cowboys grind out a tough win on the road against a resilient Eagles team.

Nick Eatman: After the Cowboys lost to the Bears, I really didn't know if I would pick them to win again this year. Of course, all of that changed when we saw the best performance of the season just last weekend. Now we know what they're capable of, the only question is can they duplicate that again. And honestly, I don't know if they need to play that well to beat the Eagles. But either way, you know a really good performance is needed to go on the road and eliminate the Eagles. Since this is truly a "gut feeling," I thought I would give exactly that. My gut tells me the Cowboys will figure out a way to win and beat the Eagles again, making them NFC East champs for the second straight year. I don't see the Eagles driving the ball consistently. They're so banged up right now that Dallas should own a sizable advantage in terms of personnel. As long as the Cowboys don't have too many turnovers, I see them managing the game well enough to win. I've got the Cowboys, 24-16.

David Helman:The story with the Dallas Cowboys in 2019 has been about trust in consistency. They aren't very consistent, and thus it's hard for them to win your trust. Well, if there's one thing this team does under Jason Garrett, it's win against the NFC East, and that's why I trust them to do that this weekend. The Cowboys are 18-4 against the division with Dak Prescott under center, including 4-0 this season. For all the worrying about Dak's shoulder, I think he's going to be just fine on Sunday — so much so that I think he can throw for 300 yards against this secondary. At the same time, I do see Carson Wentz making life miserable for the Dallas defense. He's talented enough to carry the Eagles on his own, which is why I think we've got the makings of a high-scoring game. But at the end of the day, the Cowboys know how to win these games, and Dak Prescott has more talent to work with. The defense stops Wentz when it matters most to preserve a 31-24 Cowboys win.

Mickey Spagnola: For most of the week, my gut was producing acid reflux, trying to figure out just where Dak Prescott would be by Sunday. Well, when the official NFL injury report came out on Friday, and even though Dak is listed as limited in practice all three days, his game status was blank, meaning the Cowboys believe he will 100 percent play with the sprained shoulder he suffered early in the Rams game. So there is that decision. Now, how well will he play? Well enough, because I'm a firm believer if the game was on Friday Dak would be throwing. But there is no sense having him throw with that shoulder until he has to, so will get two more days or rest until he has to. Not worried about this offense, but this defense must play to the level of assuring the Cowboys don't have to score 35 points to win the game. Let's go Cowboys, 24-20.

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