The time has come for the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles to see how they match up in a head-to-head showdown this Sunday afternoon.
The Cowboys come into this game after blowing out a scrappy Los Angeles Rams team while the Eagles come in after squeaking out a victory over the Washington Commanders. Many still see the Eagles as the top team in the NFL while many see the Cowboys as a Jekyll and Hyde team that one week can look like the most dominate team in the NFL and others look like a team pretending to be a contender in the NFC.
With the Cowboys riding their high off last week's victory they will need to focus on stopping this high-powered Eagles offense led by Jalen Hurts and attacking an Eagles defense that has been susceptible to attacks through the air.
In order for them to do that they will need to win some key matchups in order to pull out a win and stake their claim as a top team in the NFL and in the NFC. Here are a few of those key matchups that could mean winning and losing for the Cowboys and also an X-factor player for Dallas on offense and defense that could have a major impact on this game.
3 key Cowboys offensive matchups
Jake Ferguson vs. Eagles Safeties
There have been two areas of the Eagles' defense that have seen a drop off from last year's statistics one just so happens to be their play at the safety position, specifically in their ability to cover receivers and tight ends. Last season, Philly's safety completion percentage was around 70.3%. This year that number currently stands at 62.7% through the first eight games of the season. With the connection of Ferguson and Dak Prescott getting stronger as the season has progressed, the Cowboys have an opportunity to attack these Eagles safeties using Ferguson's size and deceptive speed down the middle of the field to make plays and keep this offense on the field. If McCarthy also keeps using motion to create or find matchups, they can isolate these safeties on Tony Pollard or his receivers for opportunities to come up with big plays.
Tyler Biadasz vs. Jalen Carter
One of the bigger looming matchups is another key offensive matchup for the Cowboys and that's Biadasz going up against Jalen Carter. In his first season, Carter has been a very productive player with four sacks, 20 hurries, and 28 pressures to his name over the first eight games this season. Mainly lining up at the right defensive tackle position Cowboys center Biadasz will be seeing a lot of Carter in this game and to this point his pass-blocking hasn't been the greatest surrendering two sacks and allowing 11 pressures, though last game saw Biadasz register his best pass-blocking performance of the season, according to ProFootballFocus. If the Cowboys want to attack a vulnerable Eagles secondary they will need Biadasz to give Prescott time and space in the pocket to step up and make throws. If Biadasz can keep Carter who is dealing with a bad injury in check then the Cowboys have more chance to push the ball downfield throughout the course of this game.
Dak Prescott vs. Eagles Cornerbacks
The other area of this defensive unit's slide is their cornerbacks' inability to defend the pass at times this season even though Darius Slay and James Bradberry both returned this season. A lot of that has to do with their inability to create the same amount of pressure on quarterbacks as they had last season which has allowed opposing quarterbacks more time to find receivers. Prescott's connection with CeeDee Lamb is at an all-time high right now and if those two can duplicate their performance from last week then this Eagles cornerback group is in trouble. Right now they are allowing quarterbacks to complete 61.7% of their passes and if they allow Prescott to have a game like Sam Howell did against them last weekend putting up 397 yards and four touchdowns it could end up being a disaster for the Eagles and a great day for the Cowboys.