THE Dallas Cowboys will look to take control of the NFC East when they welcome division rivals Philadelphia Eagles to AT&T Stadium.
The Cowboys recorded their first win of the new season last time out as they upset the LA Chargers on the road in a game that was a far cry from what the final score might imply.
Dallas didn’t force a punt from LA for the entire contest, yet escaped with a 20-17 win. That outcome has certainly had its impact on the market, and it might have an impact on how this game is played out as well.
Jason Garrett had tremendous success running the football against the Chargers and that success could ultimately be what hurts the home team this week should they stray from their strongest offensive assets.
Injuries that matter
Ultimately, this one could come down to which team can get the best out of their replacements.
Philadelphia have been dealt some big blows on either side of the ball. Losing DE Brandon Graham is big and the Eagles will need to hope that they’re collectively able to fill that void in order to prevent Dallas from getting that ground game going again.
They’ll also be without Jordan Mailata but given the strength they have across the board I still feel as though they can dominate the line of scrimmage in possession to give Jaylen Hurts the time he needs in the pocket.
Dallas are also dealing with some injury concerns of their own; Amari Cooper is listed as questionable and while he’ll likely play it will certainly be interesting to monitor how he’s moving. A couple DE injuries keeps them thin on the defensive line, which again could be concerning given how well Philadelphia stack up at the line of scrimmage offensively.
This line has bounced around a bit since opening.
Market support was strong on Dallas at the opener of 3.5, but was quickly bought back by Philly punters who snapped up the 4.0 lines almost as soon as they became available.
That support has continued on the road team though, which has arguably presented value on the home team at a flat 3.0 – albeit it a juiced price.
The Cowboys have the talent advantage and their home opener should make for a tough environment for a young QB and rookie head coach.
That said, it will always be said that Dallas’s biggest weakness will be the men with the headsets. Neither Garrett or Mike McCarthy offer consistent production from the sidelines and their questionable decision-making will continue to hurt this team in close games.
If Dallas can play from in front and sit on the ball to grind away at Philly’s defensive line they should be able to keep the visitors at arm’s length down the stretch.
If you like Philly, wait until closer to kick off and see if you can catch the hook should this move back to 3.5 as expected. Meanwhile, Dallas backers might want to grab that flat 3.0 while it’s being hung.
Our best bet: Dallas Cowboys -3.0