Every week we ask all of The Landry Hat writers and contributors to submit their picks and predictions for the upcoming game. This week, we asked our experts for their prediction on the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Philadelphia Eagles game this Saturday.
Steven Mullenax, Editor & Head Writer: On paper, the Eagles are a better team than the Cowboys. The Eagles are 3rd in the NFL in offense. And their defense ranks 10th. (Dallas ranks 6th and 13th respectively) But when these two teams match-up, throw these numbers out of the ole’ prediction pot because emotion is what seems to rule these games. I think this is a classic “trap” game for the Eagles. They are riding high off two straight wins (against the Dolphins and Jets) and they might just be starting to buy into the “dream team” hype. But Philly hasn’t won more than two games in a row all season and they have losses to the lowly Cardinals, Seahawks and Bills under their belts. The Cowboys will be looking for revenge after being humiliated by Philly in Week 8 and the Boys are coming off a stellar win against the Buccaneers. In a game determined by emotion, the home team has the crowd…and the edge. Cowboys win, 34-24.
View more picks and predictions, after the break:
Robert Diton, Staff Writer: Many people are making a huge deal out of Jerry’s “scared” comment. I can guarantee you the players haven’t given it a second thought. You know they are incredibly focused on the task at hand, which is beating the Eagles and trying to get into the playoffs. This team is saying all the right things about learning from their mistakes during Week 8-now it’s just up to them to prove that in front of their home fans. Rob Ryan better think of something to stop Vick. How confident do you feel about that? I see a shootout, with Romo leading us to a late win. Cowboys 34, Eagles 31
Seth Jones, Staff Writer: The Eagles are looking dangerous now days! That simply means that they are prime for a let down. What better team to burst a bubble than the bubble burstiest team in the NFL? Yes, yes, we typically burst our OWN bubble, here in Dallas. However, this is the time of the year that craziness ensues, and what is Dallas, if not crazy? Jerry Jones, Most Eligible Dallas, JFK, other things that are crazy. And what not and so forth. What I’m trying to say is that Dallas will beat Philly. Michael Vick will probably get hurt. He will play through the pain, but he will leave the stadium with a “What the Hell just happened?” thought bubble hovering over his head. And as I state earlier, we shall burst that bubble. The Philly bubbles will be burst to the tune of 40-20. Dallas wins. Aww yeah, gangsta, what’s up guys? Wade Philips will be 10 pancakes in the first half. (Not pancake blocks, he’ll just eat 10 pancakes at his house)
Mark Contreras, Video Contributor & Staff Writer: I don’t know what Coach Garrett will do if the Giants win at noon. I would HOPE that the score of that game does not matter. I would THINK that this “one day at a time” approach means that the Cowboys don’t think about those kinds of things and that they think about how to best do their job ALL the time… especially against the f***in’ Eagles. Assuming my way of thinking correlates to the Cowboys’ approach, I would EXPECT Garrett to run the ball…. a lot. The defense let him down big time in the first match-up but he could have stopped the bleeding a little bit by running the ball. The argument is that he was trying to get back in it but I believe that passing the ball on every down to get back in a game is something you do in the 4th quarter, not the 1st quarter. The Cowboys had a major advantage in that game (and this one) given that the Eagles rush defense (read: ILBs) has been so poor this season and the Eagles have the advantage in pass defense with their corners and their pass rush (Babin, especially). It’s pretty obvious how Dallas needs to approach this game. Expose their defense weakness and keep the ball out of their vaunted offense’s hands by running the ball instead of exploring their strengths by turning this into a shootout. Let’s hope Coach sees it that way and that the Cowboys defense can contain the weapons of Philadelphia’s offense. Something tells me, at home, they will. Cowboys 30 Eagles 25.
Todd Toombs, Staff Writer: This is it. This is a chance for the Cowboys to grab hold of the NFC East and start a drive deep into the playoffs. I expect them to rise to the occasion this time and play much better than the 34-7 humiliation the Eagles laid on them week 8. Our defense will do a better job but is still going to have trouble keeping them out of the end zone. The good news is I think we can score on their defense as well despite gradually improving play on that side of the ball. The key will be giving Romo time against their pass rush and game planning some quick passes, hot reads, and plays designed to take advantage of the aggressiveness like draws and screens. This will be a great game to watch but will be an all out war. I think it comes down to another last second kick by Dan Bailey but this time he will make both of them – the one that doesn’t count because of a last second time out (ours or theirs) and the one that does count (hopefully, they’ve practiced making 2 quick attempts one after the other by now). COWBOYS 38 EAGLES 35.
Jonathan Barger, Staff Writer: The Eagles have had a reputation in the past as the Grinches that stole Christmas. In 2007, Brian Westbrook slid down at the 2 yard line and McNabb ran out the clock. In 2008, it was a win or go home game at Lincoln Financial field that left the Cowboys obliterated. But in 2009, the Cowboys beat the Eagles in the regular season finale, and beat them 1 week later in the 1st round of the playoffs. In 2010, Stephen McGee lead the Cowboys to a victory (albeit over mostly backups) and in 2011 Felix Jones and Rob Ryan will show us why this team is “all-hype”. A heavy dose of the running game will leave this Eagles defense depleted. Rob Ryan is going to play tough football. The Eagles receivers have not had as much down field success as they have enjoyed in previous years, and Rob Ryan isn’t going to play it safe, because that allowed Vick to pick apart our underneath coverage. Time of possession will be key in this game, and I expect the Cowboys to win that battle 40:00 to 20:00. Cowboys 31, Eagles 24.
C. Joseph Wright, Asst Editor & Staff Writer: I think the Cowboys can win this game. They will have to find a way to stop McCoy while at the same time preventing big plays from the WR’s. I think Rob Ryan has spent more time and effort on his plan this week than he ever has before in his life. He desperately wants to redeem himself from that last time these two teams met. He will have a good plan; the players will need to execute. I expect the defense to play angry. Tony Romo is playing like an MVP; that will continue. Look for the Boys to pound the run early and then make some big plays off the play-action pass. Cowboys win by 7.
Marney Robinson, Staff Writer: Well, my prediction for last week was almost spot on…maybe I’m starting a trend. This week, the Cowboys can potentially clinch their division with a win over the Eagles and a Giants loss. I don’t put much stock in what happened in the first meeting between these two teams. Sometimes you have games like that. Happened to the ’92 Cowboys as well, losing 31-7 to the Eagles. They responded several weeks later in the rematch, winning 20-10. That team went on to win the first of 3 Super Bowls in the 90′s. Not comparing these Cowboys with those in ’92, but I expect them to respond the same way that team did. They need to take care of business and hopefully wrap up this division title. If they are legitimate contenders at all, they will handle their business. Cowboys 27, Eagles 20.
Artie Cappello, Staff Writer: The Dallas Cowboys are hard to figure and even harder to trust, but I digress (they frustrate me and I sometimes lash out at them, but I’d continue to watch them even if Babe Laufenberg was their QB). So, it is with much trepidation, I continue to prognosticate: Tony Romo has the look and feel of a seasoned veteran. Tony seems to also be playing like he realizes this team’s window is closing on the chance for a Superbowl run. If enough of his teammates start playing the same way, the Dallas Cowboys will beat the Philadelphia Eagles. I don’t like the Eagles, I don’t respect the organization and their fans are terrible. It’s payback time and time to make a run! – Dallas 21 – Philly 17