The stage is set for Sunday Night Football, a must-see NFC East battle between the Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys. As if a rivalry game doesn’t have high enough stakes, this primetime matchup could determine the No. 1 seed in the NFC and the winner of the conference.
The last Eagles vs Cowboys game was one of the best matchups in the NFL this season. Philadelphia won at home 28-23, but that battle came down to the final seconds. Even more is on the line for Sunday night and there are a few factors that could determine the winner.
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Let’s dive into the stats to know for Sunday’s Eagles vs Cowboys game and some of the top matchups to watch on Sunday Night Football.
Left side of the Dallas Cowboys offensive line is a brick wall
Cowboys’ left tackle Tyron Smith is one of the best offensive linemen of his generation. Incredibly, the 32-year-old blindside protector is still playing at an elite level. Of course, he isn’t alone. Smith’s teammate on the left side, guard Tyler Smith, has emerged as one of the best, young offensive linemen in the NFL.
According to Nick Harris of Cowboys.com, Tyron Smith has allowed just a 6 percent pressure rate this season which his the lowest pressure rate allowed among left tackles with 250-plus snaps played. As for Tyler Smith, he leads all left guards with the lowest QB pressure rate allowed (4.6 percent). In short, you’re not collapsing the left side of this offensive line.
- Dak Prescott stats in clean pocket (Weeks 6-13): 124.8 QB rating, 71.7 percent completion rate, 18-2 TD-INT, 8.4 yards per attempt, 1,538 passing yards, 95.5 PFF grade
That’s dangerous for the Eagles’ defense. Prescott is already playing at an MVP-caliber level right now and he’s dominated better passing defenses than the one he’ll face on Sunday Night Football. If the Eagles can’t collapse the right side of the offensive line and generate consistent pressure on Prescott, the Cowboys win.
Dak Prescott is the best quarterback in football right now
The reactions to Prescott’s turnover woes in 2022 were extreme. Even after that season, he had one of the lowest interception rates in NFL history. Now, he has the third-lowest interception rate in the league among quarterbacks with 400-plus pass attempts. More importantly, he’s excelling in every area with MVP-caliber play since Week 6.
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|QB Rating vs Pressure
|QB Rating vs Blitz
|QB Rating on Deep Throws
|QB Rating on 3rd Down
|Dak Prescott stats
Since Week 6, Prescott ranks second in the NFL in EPA per Play (0.266), easily outperforming Patrick Mahomes (0.191) and Jalen Hurts (0.155). He ranks third in Success rate (52.4 percent) and is sixth in Completion Percentage over Expectation (5.1 percent) during that stretch. Facing an Eagles’ defense that has allowed a 103.9 QB rating and 15-3 TD-INT line since Week 8, Prescott is poised to deliver another MVP performance.
Slow-starting Philadelphia Eagles’ offense under Jalen Hurts
The best NFL offenses are so effective because of their ability to both avoid a lot of third-down attempts and consistently convert them when they happen. Accomplishing that takes success on first down, which is an area where Hurts and the Eagles’ offense have struggled in 2023.
As highlighted by Benjamin Solak of The Ringer, Hurts has the fourth-highest average depth of target (9.4 yards) this season, highlighting just how often Philadelphia has him take chances downfield on first down. Despite the aggressiveness, Hurts has the second-worst Success rate (38 percent) on first downs this season.
The Eagles have the offensive weapons to change their approach on first downs, relying more on the run game and getting either A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith open quickly for a chunk of yards. While cutting down on explosive plays might reduce the highlights, it could also create a more consistent offense against Dallas. It is needed, considering Philadelphia averaged just 6.7 points per first half in the last three games.
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Dallas Cowboys cornerback DaRon Bland is one of the breakout stars of the NFL season and he easily could make a big play on Sunday Night Football. However, since the Trevon Diggs injury, we’ve seen inconsistency from the Cowboys’ defense.
The splits are easy to target. Compare how the Cowboys’ pass defense performed against Daniel Jones, Zach Wilson, Joshua Dobbs, Mac Jones and Tommy DeVito to its issues against Brock Purdy, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts and Geno Smith
|QB Rating Allowed
|TD – INT
|Weeks 1-4, 10-12
|12 – 3
|Weeks 5-9, 13
|5 – 10
While Hurts might’ve only finished with 182 net passing yards and two scores in the last Eagles vs Cowboys meeting, he scored three total touchdowns. Furthermore, Philadelphia converted 50 percent of its third-down attempts in that game and went 3-for-3 in the red zone. Dallas has a top-five defense, but it might not look great on Sunday Night Football.
Dallas Cowboys pass rush vs Philadelphia Eagles offensive line
When these teams last met in Week 9, they struggled in pass protection. Philadelphia allowed 18 pressures, 12 hurries and three sacks while Dallas surrendered 19 pressures, nine hurries and five sacks. Each team had one of its lowest Pass Blocking Efficiency grades in 2023.
After dominating the trenches in 2022, the Eagles’ offensive line hasn’t been quite as effective this season. One of the biggest weaknesses, right guard Cam Jurgens, has a 56.0 pass-blocking grade this season. Meanwhile, Jordan Mailata (2 sacks allowed), struggles against Dallas. If the Eagles can’t turn things around and protect Hurts, with the advantages Dallas boasts offensively, the Cowboys will come out on top.