The Dallas Cowboys face its toughest challenge of the season this week on primetime against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles are a perfect 5-0 on the season and lead the NFC East. But if the Cowboys can leave Lincoln Financial Field with a win on Sunday night, the power balance will shift in favor of Big D.
Here’s the info on how to watch and stream the game, as well as three big things the Cowboys must do to take down its divisional rival:
Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles
- Kickoff time: Sunday, October 16th at 7:20 p.m.
- How to watch: NBC
- How to stream: nbc.com
- Spread: Cowboys +6.5
- Over/under total: 42
Limit the Eagles rushing attack
The strength of Philadelphia’s offense is its rushing attack. The Eagles run for 160 yards per game, ranking fifth in the NFL.
Leading the way is RB Miles Sanders with 414 yards and three touchdowns. But the bigger threat in this game will be QB Jalen Hurts, who has rushed for 266 yards and six touchdowns. Hurts is in a two-way tie for the second-most rushing scores in the league.
This isn’t a favorable matchup for the Cowboys, who have been below average at stopping the run this year. Big D showed much improvement last week against the Los Angeles Rams, allowing only 38 yards on the ground. But the Rams have rushed for the fewest yards in the NFL, so it’s hard to say the Cowboys fixed its biggest defensive flaw.
Dallas will need to provide extra attention to Hurts in the run game. The former Oklahoma Sooner is far and away the best rushing QB the Cowboys have faced this season.
In the Cowboys Week 3 win over the New York Giants, QB Daniel Jones ran for 79 yards. Jones took advantage of Dallas’ aggressive pass rush to get chunk yardage on the ground.
The Cowboys need to improve on that against Philadelphia, or the game could get out of hand.
No missed tackles
Hurts ranks seventh with 1,359 passing yards on the season. But the QB tends to throw short yardage passes that go for big gains rather than air out deep passes. The Eagles’ 761 yards after catch is the third-most in the NFL.
So it will be imperative for Dallas’ defense to avoid missed tackles in this game. Every defense in the NFL has that same game plan each week, but it should be especially emphasized against the Eagles.
Luckily, missing tackles hasn’t been an issue for the Cowboys. As long as Dallas stays the course and continues playing like it has been, Hurts should be forced to push the ball down field with deep throws. That will create a winning formula for the Cowboys.
The offense needs to step up
Cooper Rush has played exactly how you’d hope a backup would. Rush doesn’t light up the box score with monster passing yards or touchdowns, but he takes care of the ball and avoids costly mistakes.
Rush and Co. will need to get on the scoreboard more this week if Dallas hopes to win. Last week against the Rams, the defense scored a touchdown and blocked a punt that set up a Cowboys field goal.
So nine of the Cowboys’ 22 points in Week 5 were thanks to the defense (Dallas missed the PAT on the defensive score). The Cowboys offense can’t put up another 13-point performance this week in Philadelphia.
It won’t be easy. The Eagles allow just 17 points per game, ranking seventh in the NFL. But it will be a necessity if the Cowboys hope to win and take sole possession of first place in the NFC East.