NFL Football: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Sept. 27, 2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 8:15 p.m. ET, Sept. 27, 2021
Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Where to watch: ESPN

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Cowboys -3.5; O/U 52; Cowboys -200, Eagles +170
BetMGM: Cowboys -4; O/U 51.5; Cowboys -189, Eagles +160
Caesars: Cowboys -4; O/U 51.5; Cowboys -210, Eagles +175

Season record
Eagles: 1-1
Cowboys: 1-1

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Eagles - Cowboys preview and analysis


Recent form
Eagles: lost 17-11 vs. 49ers in Week 2
Cowboys: won 20-17 at Chargers in Week 2

In front of what we can only expect to be a fired-up crowd for Monday Night Football, this seems like a prime opportunity for the Dallas Cowboys to silence some critics.

Then again, it feels like Dallas has to do that every game. But the Cowboys, coming off a much-needed win on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, should be even more motivated for a win against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.

It’s no secret that the NFC East is the worst division in football with no one seemingly wanting to win the thing. But although all four teams are 1-1 heading into Week 3, the reason why the Cowboys should feel confident that they have the inside track of winning the division is because they have the best quarterback out of the four.

Dak Prescott has not shown any sides of rust through two games since coming back from that ankle injury that forced him to miss a large bulk of the 2020 season. Prescott is completing an unreal 76.5 percent of his passes and throwing for 640 yards and three touchdowns, showing last year’s five-game run under coach Mike McCarthy was no fluke.

Although it was a pedestrian day for Prescott on Sunday in SoFI Stadium, the undermanned Cowboys defense rose to the occasion with two sacks and two interceptions on Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. Last year’s offensive rookie of the year got his with 338 yards and a touchdown, but L.A.’s offense never got into a rhythm with the fast, athletic front of the Cowboys making life tough on the signal caller.

This isn’t to say the Cowboys’ defense is on par with the San Francisco 49ers unit, but that strong defense gave Philly quarterback Jalen Hurts problems for most of Sunday afternoon in the six-point loss. Hurts, while running for 82 yards and a touchdown, was held to only 190 yards on 12-of-23 passing. While the big plays were there, it was an overall underwhelming performance from the Eagles, as well as for coach Nick Sirianni.

Not many coaches can say they’d go for it on fourth and goal after a 90-yard pass set them up inside the 10-yard line. It was just an abysmal week at Lincoln Financial Field for everyone involved.

While the Eagles defense has been great in allowing 11.5 points per game, consider the opponents; the Atlanta Falcons, who don’t know what they’re doing half the time; and the 49ers, always a weird anomaly on offense. The Cowboys, no matter who suits up on offense, is going to make plays. Michael Gallup is out for the next couple of games with a calf injury, and Amari Cooper is dealing with a rib injury that could impact his presence on Monday.

But that’s why they drafted CeeDee Lamb last year, and it’s why he leads Dallas in receiving yards thus far. Plus, lest we forget the Cowboys can still run the ball, no matter if it’s Tony Pollard or Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield.

Prediction


Given it’s a rivalry game with important early-season implications, and that it’s at home, I think we’re going to see the version of the Cowboys that torched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense in Week 1 than the one that only put up 20 points against the Chargers. Ben DiNucci isn’t playing quarterback this year for the Cowboys. It won’t be an easy time for the underdog Eagles in Jerry World. Cowboys by 7

Betting trends


The Eagles are 16-6 against the spread in their last 22 road games on Monday night.

The Cowboys are 40-19 ATS in their last 59 games after giving up 300 passing yards the previous week.

The over is 10-2 in Dallas’ last 12 home games against NFC teams.

Philadelphia is 1-5 ATS following a home loss.

Players to watch


Eagles: This will be the first time Cowboys fans will get a look at reigning Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith, and get comfortable. The former Alabama receiver has eight catches for 87 yards and a touchdown already. Former Crimson Tide teammate Trevon Diggs will be on him all night.

Cowboys: The experiment of putting 2021 first-round pick Micah Parsons at defensive end paid off last week. Parsons, put there due to the heavy absences at end for the Cowboys, recorded his first NFL sack last week.

Key injuries


Eagles: G Brandon Brooks (pectoral, out), DE Brandon Graham (Achilles, out), TE Zach Ertz (COVID, out)

Cowboys: WR Amari Cooper (rib, questionable), DE DeMarcus Lawrence (foot, out), DE Randy Gregory (COVID, questionable), OT La’el Collins (suspension)

Statistical leaders


Eagles:
Passing: Jalen Hurts -- 454 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Jalen Hurts -- 144 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Quez Watkins -- 140 yards
Defense: Javon Hargrave -- 2 sacks

Cowboys:
Passing: Dak Prescott -- 640 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Tony Pollard -- 123 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: CeeDee Lamb -- 185 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Trevon Diggs -- 2 INT

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All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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