Cowboys vs Eagles: Key matchups and X-factors to watch

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys
Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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Key Offensive and Defensive X-Factors

Offensive X-Factor Player: Dak Prescott

Last week we saw Prescott using his legs to hurt a Rams defense that was using a lot of stunts and twists to get Aaron Donald freed up for one-on-one situations. This week against the Eagles the Cowboys X-Factor has to be that same situation with the Eagles using a lot of stunts and twists to create easier paths to the quarterback. Prescott needs to take advantage of those gaps when he sees them and take off when he has the chance. That added dimension to the offense will force the Eagles to lay off their pass rush a bit more or hesitate at times as they start to worry more about Prescott breaking out of the pocket and picking up easy yardage. We've seen how mobile quarterbacks picking up first downs with their legs can be a backbreaker against the Cowboys, it's time they start doing that to opposing teams.

Defensive X-Factor Player: Johnathan Hankins

This x-factor is a strength versus strength situation with Hankins going against Jason Kelce in the running game. The Eagles will be looking to make sure that Odighiazuwa can't hurt them in the run game which means Hankins will need to step up and battle it out with Kelce in an effort to clou up holes Kelce is trying to create. If he can do that it will allow Clark, Parsons, and Bell to wreck havoc in the Eagles backfield. Not many have been able to best Kelce during his career, but Hankins has the ability and strength to do it. It will also help against their now almost automatic "Tush Push" short yardage play. Winning this battle will go a long way in helping the Cowboys win this game.

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