Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles Pick and Prediction for January 8, 2022
The first Week 18 in NFL history will feature a pair of division battles on Saturday. The Dallas Cowboys will play the Philadelphia Eagles in the night game.
Both teams have clinched a playoff spot, with the Cowboys winning the NFC East. However, neither is locked into their respective spot. Dallas can move up to the No. 2 seed, while the Eagles will either be sixth or seventh.
A battle between division foes should give us a playoff preview for each team. Let’s see which team has the upper hand.
Cowboys vs. Eagles Odds
The Philadelphia Eagles might be the home team, but the sportsbooks aren’t giving them too much respect.
This season, the Dallas Cowboys have been among the best teams at covering the spread. They had covered in four straight games before losing to the Arizona Cardinals last week. Their defense has also been on display, with four of their previous five games hitting the under.
Philadelphia has been all over the place with the spread this season. Three of their last four games have gone over the projection, but it was also under 45 points.
Dallas Goedert, Fletcher Cox, and Jason Kelce are among the 12 Eagles players on the COVID list. The new COVID protocol means these players can return in time for Saturday night’s game.
Fans can find the odds for this matchup at BetOnline. Now, let’s check out my preview of the Cowboys and Eagles.
Dallas Cowboys Preview
I’m trying to figure out if the Dallas Cowboys are serious contenders or not. They looked impressive in their six-game win streak early in the season, but they’re only 5-4 since.
Following a loss on Thanksgiving Day, Dallas went on a four-game win streak to clinch the NFC East. However, it’s fair to question their competition in that stretch.
- @ New Orleans Saints
- @ Washington Football Team
- @ New York Giants
- Washington Football Team
The New Orleans Saints might sneak into the playoffs, but none of those three teams are a serious threat. Last week, Dallas suffered a disappointing home loss to the Arizona Cardinals. If the playoffs began today, the two would rematch in the first round.
A big question with any playoff team in Week 18 is will they rest their starters? Both Jerry Jones and Mike McCarthy have said Dallas won’t do that, as they will play to win.
That’s probably a smart move considering there’s a pretty big drop-off from the Cardinals to the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.
Philadelphia has a strong all-around defense. Personally, I want to see if the Cowboys can establish a ground game. In their Week 3 matchup, Dallas ran all over the Eagles defense.
- Ezekiel Elliott: 95 rushing yards
- Tony Pollard: 60 rushing yards
Since then, the Eagles have revitalized their run defense. They’ve allowed the seventh-fewest rushing yards this season.
In the playoffs, it’s imperative to wear down the defense by running the ball. This will be a good test for the Cowboys to see where they are.
Of course, the Cowboys still have their lethal passing game. It’ll be interesting to see how they adjust with Michael Gallup’s ACL tear.
Philadelphia Eagles Preview
I don’t think many people expected the Philadelphia Eagles to win six or seven games this season. Well, they blew that projection out of the water, winning nine games and making the playoffs.
Early in the season, everyone wanted to know why the Eagles wouldn’t run the ball. They overhauled their offense and became the top rushing attack. That’s been key to their playoff push.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Eagles continue to feature that or try some new things with their passing game. It’s essentially a meaningless game for them, so why not try out some things for the playoffs?
The Dallas Cowboys defense is excellent at forcing turnovers and producing sacks. However, they aren’t great in terms of yards allowed.
- Passing Yards Per Game: 242.7 (24th)
- Rushing Yards Per Game: 110.6 (15th)
They make up for it in points, allowing the seventh-fewest per game.
I’d like to see the Eagles pass more in this matchup. There’s a good chance they’ll need to use that in the playoffs.
Part of the reason their ground game has worked so well is because they haven’t played from behind. They haven’t been in that position because they don’t have a victory over a playoff team all season.
Check out their games against potential playoff teams.
- San Francisco 49ers: 17-11
- @Dallas Cowboys: 41-21
- Kansas City Chiefs: 42-30
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 28-22
- Los Angeles Chargers: 27-24
Maybe it’s good they’ll be on the road in the playoffs because they’ve struggled at home. I’d say their best win of the season came in Week 11 against the New Orleans Saints.
Whether their starters play or not, this is a big week to see if they can compete with a playoff team like the Cowboys.
Here is my game pick for Saturday’s night matchup.
Cowboys vs. Eagles Pick
Philadelphia Eagles (+7.5)-120
The Dallas Cowboys are the better team, and I expect them to win. However, I don’t feel great about giving them a touchdown on the road.
As much as I drag the Philadelphia Eagles, they have a strong defense that can limit the Cowboys offense. I think they’ll keep it close, with maybe a 24-20 final score.
This will be a good indication for both teams’ Super Bowl hopes. Fans can watch the game Saturday at 8:15 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN.
Make sure you check out our NFL picks for more advice and predictions.