2013 Free Week 17 Sunday NFL Picks: Eagles at Cowboys

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2013 Free Week 17 Sunday NFL Picks: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Date and Time: Sunday, December 29th, 2013, 8:30 pm on NBC
Game Line: Philadelphia -6.5 (from JustBet)
Sunday NFL analysis: The Philadelphia Eagles travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in a winner-take-all scenario with the winner claiming the NFC East division title.Cowboys-Eagles

The Dallas Cowboys come into Sunday night’s matchup coming off a 24-23 win over Washington. Tony Romo tossed a 12 yard touchdown pass to Demarco Murray in the final minutes to give the Cowboys the win. Dallas might have won the game, but it came with a big price. It was reported earlier this week that Tony Romo was out for the season with a back injury. It was confirmed on Friday that Romo has back surgery and is indeed out for the season. This leaves the Cowboys with Kyle Orton to serve as the starting quarterback. Orton is an experienced veteran, with a 35-34 record as a starter. Orton certainly has plenty of weapons. Demarco Murray leads the way in the rushing department with 1073 yards and 9 touchdowns, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Dez Bryant leads the receiving corps, with 1134 yards 12 touchdowns. You can’t forget about Jason Witten either, with his 716 yards and 8 touchdowns. The defense remains the primary concern, as the Cowboys rank dead last in total defense allowing 290.7 yards passing and 127.9 yards rushing per game. Sean Lee, one of the defenses best players has been ruled out for the season, So Demarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher, and Bruce Carter will need to step up their efforts if they want to contain the Eagles potent offense.

Philadelphia is sitting atop the NFC East at 9-6, and is coming off an impressive 54-11 victory over Chicago. Quarterback Nick Foles has passed for 2628 yards with 25 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Their quick paced offense has given defenses fits and they aren’t just throwing the ball with success, their running it effectively as well. The Eagles rushing attack ranks first in the league averaging 161.9 yards per game. LeSean McCoy is having an MVP caliber season, with 1476 yards rushing and 9 touchdowns, while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Their defense has improved as the season has gone on, yet they still struggle against the pass, yielding 285.2 yards through the air ranking near the bottom of the league. The run defense is average, ranking near the middle of the pack in the league, allowing 107.5 yards per game. They do however have a +10 turnover ratio; they take care of the ball on offense, and have forced 28 turnovers on defense.

In the first meeting between these two teams, Dallas won 17-3 with Nick Foles going out of the game with a concussion. It was Dallas’ best defensive effort of the season, without Demarcus Ware on the defense and Demarco Murray on offense. Dallas’ defense hasn’t been great this year as the stats are telling, but defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is very familiar with Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense. I like the situation for Dallas, everyone is counting them out and it presents a situation where the public overreacts. They see what Philadelphia did last week, and they see that Dallas has Kyle Orton starting at quarterback. Usually in the first game after the starting quarterback is lost for the season, the rest of the team’s play rises up a notch, and I see that situation here. Dallas may not win this game as I do think they have the better team, but I don’t see them getting blown out in their own building. I think the Philadelphia offense makes enough plays to win the game, but Dallas will definitely be competitive.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys NFL Picks:  Dallas +6.5 Under 52.5
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys Game Prediction: Philadelphia 23 Dallas 21

 

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