NFL Wire News

Week 15 Preview: Cowboys at Eagles

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Dallas Cowboys (9-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (9-4)

Sunday, 8:25 p.m. ET, at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia – TV: NBC

*TV announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya

*Keys to the game: Eagles coaches believe a healthier Dallas team is coming to town this week than the one they faced on Thanksgiving. The Eagles could be a little worse for wear after a beatdown from the Seahawks that was worse than the 24-14 final indicated.

QB Mark Sanchez won’t mind seeing the Cowboys’ secondary step into his home stadium, not after he roasted that defense inside, outside and all points between in the first matchup. WR Riley Cooper played a big role in that game, and the Cowboys never truly solved RBs LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles on the two-deep zone-busting swing passes.

Coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys weren’t ready for the exhausting tempo in the first meeting. The everlasting essential to road success is RB DeMarco Murray, who had 179 rushing yards at Chicago last week and has 100-plus on the ground in 11 of 13 games this season. Eight in the box for the Eagles limited Murray to 73 yards with a long of nine Thanksgiving Day, when the Eagles tightly checked TE Jason Witten and QB Tony Romo shied away from one-on-one shots downfield. The Eagles are 26th in the NFL in pass defense and have allowed 26 touchdown passes.

*Matchup to watch – McCoy vs. Cowboys MLB Rolando McClain: The Eagles rushed for 256 yards in last month’s game and McCoy showed great speed and quickness in easily separating from McClain in the open field.

*Player spotlight – Cowboys LT Tyron Smith: Eagles pass rusher Connor Barwin, who leads the NFC in sacks with 13.5, will line up over Smith. The Cowboys allowed four sacks in the first meeting and need to keep the pocket clean for Romo to thrive.

*Fast facts: The Eagles have an NFL-worst 30 turnovers. … The past seven Seattle opponents lost the week after playing the Seahawks. … Romo has a 100-plus QB rating in five straight road games.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

In a game that could determine the NFC East winner, Dallas wins for the fifth time in six trips to Philadelphia, better protecting Romo and challenging Sanchez to win the game.

*Our pick: Cowboys 30-24


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