Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sunday, December 14, 2014, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: NBC
Opening Line: Philadelphia -3 1/2
Current line: Philadelphia -3 1/2 (+105)
Opening Total: 55 1/2
Current Total: 55
Opening Money Line: Eagles -180 / Cowboys +155
Current Money Line: Eagles -175 / Cowboys +150
Both the 9-4 Dallas Cowboys and 9-4 Philadelphia Eagles are tied for the lead in the NFC East. The two long time rivals meet for the second time in 3 weeks Sunday night in Philadelphia. The winner will take control of the division with only 2 games left. Both teams are tied with the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions for the two wild card spots as well. Dallas is currently on the outside looking in as they would lose the tiebreaker to all three teams.
Since 2001, Philadelphia leads the series 16-12 against Dallas. The Eagles have won two straight games against the Cowboys including 33-10 two weeks ago on Thanksgiving in Dallas. Philadelphia dominated Dallas on both sides of the ball from start to finish in that game.
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Dallas is coached by Jason Garrett. The Cowboys lost at home to the San Francisco 49ers 28-17, Washington Redskins 20-17 in overtime, Arizona Cardinals 28-17 and Eagles 33-10. The Cowboys have road wins at the Titans 26-10, St. Louis Rams 34-31, Seattle Seahawks 30-23, New York Giants 31-28 and last week against the Chicago Bears 41-28, plus home wins over the New Orleans Saints 38-17, Houston Texans 20-17 in overtime, and against the Giants 31-21. The cowboys are 6-0 on the road this season. Dallas is 7-6 ATS and the total is 7-5-1 this season. The Cowboys were 4 point favorites on the NFL betting lines against the Bears and the total was 50.5.
Philadelphia is coached by Chip Kelly. The Eagles have road losses at the San Francisco 49ers 26-21, Arizona Cardinals 24-20 and the Green Bay Packers 53-20, along with a home loss to the Seahawks last week 24-14. Philadelphia has home wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-17, Washington Redskins 37-34, St. Louis Rams 34-28, New York Giants 27-0, Carolina Panthers 45-21, and Tennessee Titans 43-24, plus road wins at the Indianapolis Colts 30-27, Houston Texans 31-21 and Cowboys. The Eagles are 8-5 ATS and the total is 8-5 this season. Philadelphia was a 1 point underdog against Seattle and the total was 48.
Dallas is outscoring teams 26-23 this season. The Cowboys are #8 in scoring and #17 in points allowed. Dallas is averaging 379 yards per game on offense including 230 passing and 149 rushing yards per game. The Cowboys are #9 in total offense and #3 in rushing. Dallas is allowing 365 yards per game including 252 passing and 113 rushing yards per game. The Cowboys are #22 in total defense and #25 in pass defense. Dallas is 84/172 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 85/185. Dallas has 19 sacks and has allowed 26 this season. The Cowboys are -1 in turnovers. Dallas has two defensive touchdowns and has allowed three this season.
Dallas quarterback Tony Romo is battling small fractures in his back after undergoing offseason back surgery. He has played the last 4 games after missing the Arizona game. Romo has completed 69.1% of his passes for 2,923 yards with 25 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, plus 34 rushing yards.
Running back DeMarco Murray is putting up some MVP like numbers and has 320 carries for 1,606 yards and 9 touchdowns, along with 53 catches for 392 yards. He became the first running back in NFL history to rush for over 100 yards in the first 8 games of the season, but has had some fumbling issues. Joseph Randle has 34 carries for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Receiver Dez Bryant has 73 catches for 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns. Terrance Williams has 30 catches for 482 yards and 6 touchdowns. Tight end Jason Witten has 46 catches for 495 yards and 4 touchdowns. Cole Beasley has 25 catches for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns. Gavin Escobar only has 9 catches but 4 touchdowns. Eleven defensive players are listed on the injury report.
Philadelphia is outscoring teams 30-24 this season. The Eagles are #4 in scoring and #20 in points allowed. Philadelphia is averaging 395 yards per game on offense including 270 passing and 125 rushing yards. The Eagles are #7 or better in all offensive categories. On defense, Philadelphia is allowing 372 yards per game including 258 passing and 114 rushing yards. The Eagles are #18 or worse in all three categories. Philadelphia is 89/205 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 77/204. The Eagles have forced 44 sacks and allowed 21 this season. The Eagles have 10 defensive/special teams touchdowns and have allowed 4 this season. Philadelphia is -6 in turnovers.
Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles broke his collarbone earlier in the season. He is listed as questionable Sunday night. Mark Sanchez will be the starter until Foles returns. Foles threw for 2,163 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and rushed for 68 yards. Sanchez has thrown for 1,500 yards with 10 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, plus he also has a rushing touchdown.
Running back LeSean McCoy has 259 carries for 1,068 yards with 4 touchdowns, along with 23 catches for 111 yards. Darren Sproles has 49 carries for 295 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 29 catches for 313 yards. Sproles even has 2 punt returns for touchdowns. Chris Polk has a rushing touchdown and a kick return for a touchdown. Receiver Jeremy Maclin has 74 catches for 1,109 yards and 10 touchdowns. Jordan Matthews has 56 catches for 709 yards and 7 touchdowns. Tight end Zach Ertz has 36 catches for 499 yards and three touchdowns. Riley Cooper has 46 catches for 470 yards and a touchdown. Four defensive players are out for the season for the Eagles.
Dallas is 4-0 ATS after gaining 350 total yards or more, 6-1 after allowing 350 yards or more, 5-1 road games, 6-14-1 after allowing less than 90 rushing yards, 2-5 in December, 1-4 after rushing for more than 150 yards, and against NFC teams, 0-4 after scoring 30 points or more and after allowing more than 250 passing yards. The underdog has covered the last 4 games in this series. The road team is 5-1 ATS in the series recently. The Cowboys have covered 4 of the last 5 trips to Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is 5-0 ATS after a straight up loss, 4-0 after allowing more than 250 passing yards, 4-1 at home, 7-2 in week 15, and after passing for less than 150 yards, 6-2 after failing to cover, 4-9 after rushing for less than 90 yards, 2-5-1 after scoring less than 15 points, 5-14-1 against teams with winning records, 2-7 in December, 3-13-1 after allowing more than 350 total yards, and 1-6-1 against teams with winning road records. The under is 6-2 ATS in this series recently including 4-1 in Philadelphia.
This is an important game for both teams not only for the division but the loser will be in trouble for even making the playoffs with Detroit and Seattle playing so well. Dallas will have to play much better on defense or this will be another blowout win for the Eagles. Dallas should be able to keep it closer if they can establish the run in what is supposed to be icy and snowy conditions in Philadelphia. I think the Cowboys pull off the upset.