The two top teams in the NFC East battle in Big D on Thanksgiving. Whatever happens in the intervening week 12, the winner of this game will sit atop the division (either with a one or two game lead, or by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker). The loser will almost surely need to win the second meeting in week 15 in order to capture the division title. The teams have split their last eight matchups, but the Eagles have edged Dallas in three of the last four meetings in Arlington.
Last year, with Tony Romo injured, the Eagles won in Dallas 24-22 in week 17 to earn a playoff birth and end the Cowboys’ season. Dallas committed three turnovers in the game, including two interceptions from Kyle Orton and failed on a two-point conversion early in the fourth quarter that would have evened the game. The Eagles turned the ball over just once. LeSean McCoy, last year’s leading rusher, ran for 131 yards in the game, while DeMarco Murray was limited to just 48. But the two backs have switched places this year, with Murray sitting atop the NFL’s rushing leaderboard.
The Eagles have not been a great road team this year sitting at 2-3, both straight up and against the spread. The Eagles won at Indianapolis 30-27 in week 2, and got by the Texans in Houston 31-21 in week 9. They were edged in San Francisco 26-21 in week 4, and by the Cardinals 24-20 in week 8. In their last road game, the Packers dominated Philadelphia 53-20 in week 11. Four of the Eagles’ final five contests are divisional games, and their only respite from NFC East action is a week 14 meeting with the Super Bowl champion Seahawks.
This is the only home game for the Cowboys during a six week stretch. After this game, they play three of four on the road to close the season. Dallas is 3-3 at home and 2-4 against the spread. They’ve played poorly in front of their fans lately, though some of that can be attributed to Romo’s recent injury. After losing 28-17 at home to the Niners in week 1, Dallas reeled off three straight home wins (over the Saints, Texans, and Giants). However, the Redskins beat them 20-17 in overtime in week 8, and the Cardinals got by Dallas 28-17 in week 9 (with Brandon Weeden under center for Dallas). In addition to the rematch with the Eagles, the Cowboys play Chicago, Indianapolis, and Washington to conclude the season. Dallas last reached the playoffs in 2009, and coach Jason Garrett may need to qualify for the postseason this year to keep his job.
(Photo credit: Archbridge (Wikipedia:Contact us/Photo submission) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)