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Gut Feeling

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Gut Feeling: Predictions For NFC East Matchups


The staff gives their 'gut feeling' for this Week 17 matchup between the Giants and Cowboys and then what it means with a possible playoff berth on the line.

Rob Phillips: If you judge this matchup based on the last three games alone, it's pretty easy to reach a prediction. The Cowboys are averaging 36 points a game during their three-game win streak. The Giants are averaging 8.7 during their three-game losing streak. The Cowboys have a plus-9 turnover differential during that stretch; the Giants are at minus-2. But we all know division battles don't follow the trend line. This will be a competitive game between two teams with a lot at stake. Ultimately I think the Cowboys' talent on offense wins out, but ball security in potentially bad weather is something to watch. As for Washington-Eagles a few hours later, hard to say. It'll probably depend heavily on the injury status of Alex Smith and Terry McLaurin for Washington. The Cowboys can only handle their business and wait. I think they will.

David Helman: I've been doubting them during this entire win streak. To be fair, it's not exactly like the Cowboys have been beating great teams recently. But guess what? The New York Giant aren't a great team. Their offense lacks star power, and their quarterback has a tendency to give the ball away. I think the defense can force another couple turnovers against Daniel Jones, and that'll give the Cowboys' offense some extra juice. Ezekiel Elliott runs for 110 and a touchdown, and the Cowboys take care of business in a 28-17 win. The problem is going to come in the night game, as Washington looks to have Alex Smith back against an Eagles team with nothing to play for. Philly's offensive line is a wreck, and that's going to be the difference. Washington's defensive front is going to dominate that game and help them grind out a 24-10 win. The Cowboys are going to finish the season on a four-game winning streak, but I don't think the playoffs are in the cards this year.

Nick Eatman: Why not? This has been an unbelievable season for every NFL team, but especially the Cowboys. When I think about all of the things that has occurred – from all the injuries, including Dak Prescott, to just dealing with all of the continuous Covid protocols, playing four quarterbacks, having to suffer a tragic loss to the coaching staff, and now here they are with a chance to win and perhaps sneak into the playoffs. That's a great story in itself. But is it possible? Sure, the Cowboys are a better team than the Giants and playing better right now, which is even more important. I think the Cowboys will be in control all game but in only the way they know how, will have to survive late rallies to win. Then, it's a waiting game and I just think the Eagles are going to find a way to win. Don't know how or why, I just feel like this crazy ride isn't done yet. Cowboys 21, Giants 17 ... Eagles 20, Redskins 18 ... My gut feeling says we'll be talking about Tom Brady next week.

Kyle Youmans There's nothing more refreshing than getting to watch meaningful football into the final week of the regular season. Throw all of the longing for a higher draft pick and the losing records out the window, it's time to win a division. With the upcoming draft class looking sparse and the difference in player between picks 5-20 being minimal, there should be no hesitation among Cowboys fans. Keep the winning going, build a culture around McCarthy and staff, see what a good offseason can do. The kicker is, this is the same mindset that New York enters Week 17 with. Anyone considering this an easy win over the Giants, may want to tap the brakes. This will be a battle between two desperate teams that have been going in two different directions lately, but against two vastly different skill sets. Dallas has won three straight against teams with a combined 14 wins while the Giants have lost three against teams with 28. Nonetheless, I believe the momentum and confidence will play a huge role and propel the Cowboys to a tight 31-27 win over New York.

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