Depending on who you ask, Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys is very important, or of very little importance. It doesn’t mean anything in terms of overall standings, as the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC runs through Philadelphia.
But, of course, there’s pride to play for if you’re a Dallas Cowboy. No matter how sorry a season they’ve had, an Eagles vs. Cowboys matchup still gets some juices flowing. A good way to end the 2017 regular season, especially with the Eagles as the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
To the predictions:
Candis McLean (14-1, @CandisRMcLean):
Did you hear? They’ve added another bowl game to the weekend schedule. It’s taking place this Sunday at 1 when the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Dallas Cowboys in The Meaningless Bowl. I don’t know how much the starters are playing or when Nate Sudfeld will get his turn to control the aux port. This will be merely of matchup of hoping we don’t sustain injuries and look effective. I’m going to pick against the Eagles this week for the soul purpose that at some point Jaylen Watkins might be covering Dez and Steven Means will be rushing Zack Martin. If you want a prediction here it is: if Sidney Jones knocks down a pass, sports radio will dub him the new Revis.
Dave Uram (14-1, @MrUram):
Doug Pederson is playing his starters, but he doesn’t know how long. This is different than preseason Doug who was very cautious with starters like Alshon Jeffery. Pederson sounds like he wants to treat this as a regular game. He knows a bye week is coming up. Eagles will set a franchise record in regular season wins.
Caleb Weiler (3-1, @TheBitter_Caleb):
In a game where nothing matters for either team, “Dallas Week” for the Eagles just doesn’t have the build that it normally does. With the Birds as the No. 1 seed in the NFC and the Cowboys not sniffing the playoffs, I think the home team will want to put on a show for their fans before the playoffs roll around. Eagles win, but they won’t roll.
Anthony Mazziotti (9-1, @AntMazziotti):
The Eagles will roll over the Cowboys on New Year’s Eve. I think the offense will have a bounce back game and Nick Foles will throw for two touchdowns. Jay Ajayi will build off of last week’s game, minus the fumble. Jim Schwartz’s defensive unit should have another good outing against an offense that has looked lifeless in the past couple weeks.
All of this is assuming the starters play a good portion of the game. If the backups mostly, then in it’s a different story.
Tony Cutillo (12-3, @TCutillo23):
This wasn’t supposed to play out this way. We were supposed to be planning our Super Bowl parties while the Eagles could rest quietly in week 17. Unfortunately, our savior is now on crutches and his replacement has given us an uneasy feeling usually brought on by a roller coaster that travels lightning speeds. It all comes down to another battle against the boys from Dallas in a game that looks meaningless from the outset, but internally could be a big eye-opener.
Will Nick Foles by the accurate passer we seen in the infamous 27/2 run or the Jeff Fisher downer we witnessed last week? Can the defense gear up a better pass rush and reclaim their run stopping ability? Will the secondary stop getting burnt on double moves or finally gain back a blanket cover identity? These are all concerns that the Eagles will need to ease in Week 17 and the results will go a long way into determining the pulse of this city which will be felt for the next three weeks. It will be a tight game that will include a game-winning Jake Elliott field goal that smacks off the left upright!
Adrian Fedkiw (14-1, @AdrianFedkiw):
Nick Foles is preparing to start Sunday’s game for the Eagles and following his struggles on Christmas Day, he could use all of the reps he can get. In the season finale between two teams with nothing on the line, I’ll take the Birds at home.
Sean Brace (12-2, @Sean_Brace):
It’s the end of the road for the Cowboys! I love the sound of that. The game means absolutely nothing so I hope we see a good running game for Jay Ajayi & the O-line & nobody gets hurt.
Nick Piccone (14-1, @nickpiccone):
I tend to lean towards this game having very little meaning. Sure, it’d be nice for the team to go out there, balls to the wall, and dominate the sorry Dallas Cowboys. But what will they get out of dominating a very bad team? If it’s to see Nick Foles get his timing down – which he did very well during crunch time in each of his three games – that’s something that, to me, will have very little effect given there’s another bye week before the playoffs.
Timing can be improved during practice, so I’m not too worried about any wins or losses here. Whether the starters play a long portion of the game or not doesn’t make a difference. Did they look poor against the Raiders? Yes. And if we think this Eagles team should be above that, let’s look at some terrible losses the Patriots and Steelers have had over in the AFC. Every good team has a bad game or two every season. If they’re the cream of the crop in this league, I feel pretty good about our chances having the playoffs roll through Philly. Come playoff time, there’s no chance this team won’t be ready.
At the risk of losing two weeks this season, I’ll choose the Cowboys just because I’d win either way. And it’ll be interesting seeing the meltdown if the Eagles lose this one.
You can follow Nick Piccone on Twitter (@nickpiccone) and e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to his podcast on iTunes here and listen live on WildfireRadio.com every Friday at 2pm. Click here to read his pro wrestling articles on PhillyVoice. Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.