- Tyler Steege
Eagles Cowboys Predictions
No, seriously, R-E-L-A-X.
I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong about a few things heading into the season; the Falcons defense being bad, the expectations I had that Bradford could step right in gel with his receivers, thinking the secondary would be flawless in it’s first real game together. Yeah, no. It’s very hard to gauge what a team will do well and not well heading into week 1 of the season. So many changes occur and it’s easy to just focus on last year’s record of a team and assume a bad team will stay bad or a good team will stay good.
I wanted nothing more than to come out opening night and destroy the Falcons. What kills me is seeing people overreact and assume the season is over. Haven’t we learned already to not put too much weight into what we see this early in the season?
Let me take you back to last year; week 1, when the Dallas Cowboys got absolutely dismantled by the 49ers at home and then went on to win 12 of their final 15 games to win the NFC East. How about when the Patriots got embarrassed by the Chiefs in a week 4 matchup and people were ready to write off Tom Brady and some fans were even calling for Jimmy Garoppolo. My point is that teams are still finding their identity. The offseason is a long one and it can take time to gel, especially when you have as many offseason changes as the Eagles did.
It’s Cowboys week, and I don’t know about you, but I am freakin’ excited about it. This is one of the best rivalries in all of sports, so let’s get into the preview.
Eagles Advantages: Dez Bryant being sidelined for this game (and much longer) is huge for the Eagles. The Cowboys are still trying to account for the loss of DeMarco Murray in the run game, now they have to find a way to find success in the passing game without their star receiver. After seeing Julio Jones shred the Eagles, fans, and Byron Maxwell should be relieved Dez is missing this game. The secondary has a chance to gain some confidence and make some plays.
Offensively, the Eagles need to find their running game. Last week against Atlanta, the Eagles threw the ball 52 times. Chip Kelly has a tendency to get away from the running game if it isn’t successful early. I hate that. Especially when the Eagles end up throwing 3 straight times and it results in a 30 second three-and-out and the defense is right back on the field. Look for DeMarco Murray to get revenge against his old team, and you can bet your ass he wants nothing else then to prove to them they made a mistake by letting him walk and sign with their rival.
Cowboys Advantages: The biggest mismatch the Cowboys have is at the most crucial position in the NFL: the quarterback position. Although they will be without all-pro Dex Bryant, the Cowboys still have Tony Romo. Eagles fans give Romo a hard time, but he’s simply one of the best quarterbacks in the entire NFL. If you disagree, you’re lying to yourself. The theme of Tony Romo failing under pressure is so 2008. Seriously, the guy has been balling out for so many years consistently, give credit where it’s due.
The Cowboys defensively don’t have a lot of big names outside of Sean Lee. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is one of the best in the business as getting the most out of his players, even with the lack of talent on that side of the ball. Although they lack talent, the Cowboys defense flies around and makes plays, look for them to make the most of any opportunity they get to take the ball away and create turnovers. Look for Dallas to make the Eagles pass down the field. Sam Bradford took what the defense gave him against the Falcons so I’d expect an aggressive gameplan from Dallas to see if Bradford can beat them throwing the ball deep.
Overview: A loss like that on Monday night is always tough to swallow, but, with the Eagles hosting the Cowboys in their season opener at the Linc, I can’t not pick the Eagles in this game. Tony Romo is awesome, but without Dez and the Cowboys still trying to find their running game, the Cowboys will have a hard time scoring. The Eagles take this one and take the lead in the NFC East.