The Philadelphia Eagles travel to Arlington, Texas to take on the Dallas Cowboys in week 14. The Cowboys boast a dominant defense and are riding a four-game win streak highlighted by their win against the New Orleans Saints. The Eagles are coming off two straight wins and hope to flip the script from the earlier matchup with the Cowboys this season where they fell 27-20. Both teams will be looking to make a statement with a victory as they fight for playoff contention. Here are five areas to watch for Sunday:
1 – The Run Game: The Eagles were outrushed by 100 yards in the previous meeting 171-71. Ezekiel Elliott feasted on the Eagles defense rushing for 151 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Philadelphia’s defense was unable to slow him down and he proved to be the biggest weapon all game long. The Eagles will need to shut him down and limit his effectiveness to help seal away a victory. On offense, the Eagles need to get Josh Adams the ball early and often. Adams only rushed seven times for 47 yards last meeting and he will need to be a bigger factor. Look for the Eagles to continue to increase his workload as they have the last two games.
2 – Zach Ertz: Ertz was by far the biggest weapon for Carson Wentz during the first meeting and has been all season. Ertz finished with 145 yards and two touchdowns on 14 catches against the Cowboys earlier this season and will need to be just as potent. Wentz has leaned on his tight end when he needs a big play and the combination succeeds more often than not. Ertz will be priority #1 for the Cowboys defense and he will need to have another great game to help the Eagles lock up a much-needed victory.
3 – The Dallas Defense: The Cowboys have a great defense and they are extremely impressive. They have given up the second-fewest points (223) and rank fourth in yards per game (318.2). They held the explosive Saints offense to just 10 points and their defense has solidified into one of the best units in the NFL. The Eagles will need to develop a game plan to best this top defense and be able to move the ball effectively and efficiently. This may come from play action and many screens like we saw last week.
4 – Eagles other weapons: Who besides Ertz will show up in a big way? The Eagles have the talent with Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Golden Tate, Jordan Matthews, and Dallas Goedert, they just simply haven’t utilized them all to their full potential. The Eagles need someone to step up in a major way to handle this talented Cowboys defense. Agholor was the only receiver last game, besides Ertz, to top 50 receiving yards with 83. The Eagles need that catalyst to put them over the top because Ertz simply can’t catch every pass.
5 – What this game means: This game means everything to both teams and it has shown so far this week with all the trash talk which is to be expected from such a historic rivalry. The Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1995 and are looking to knock the reigning champion Eagles off their perch as defending champions. The Cowboys believe in their team and their ability to win games. Could this be the season they finally return to playoff glory? The Eagles are trying to reach the playoffs yet again and this season has been difficult to say the least. With injuries piling up, players coming, going, and retiring in the offseason, and the difficulty of their schedule, the Eagles aren’t exactly in the position they would like to be. The Eagles know, however, what it’s like to be an underdog and simply just how fast hungry dogs run.
Tune in to FOX at 4:25 for America’s game of the Week. You can also follow the action and join the conversation as we live tweet on Twitter: @BirdsInformer during the game.