Some of the hype surrounding Saturday’s game on NFC East between the 10-4 Dallas Cowboys and 13-1 Philadelphia Eagles has subsided because it’s unclear if the Eagles’ star quarterback Jalen Hurts He will play after spraining his right shoulder on Sunday.
But the game is still important.
The Eagles can not only clinch the NFC East with a win but also a home advantage throughout the playoffs. A victory for the Cowboys would keep their fading hopes of a division title alive and potentially reassert themselves as true Super Bowl contenders.
Which team has the best roster going into Saturday’s game (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)? Eagles reporter Tim McManus and Cowboys reporter Todd Archer broke down each position group, while ESPN analyst Matt Bowen picked a winner for each position.
Here is a look:
Cowboys: The Cowboys are 6-2 since then Duck Prescottcomeback, and both losses were in overtime. But he has an annoying interception problem – 11 of 9 starts after throwing all 10 last season. He needs to fix that if the Cowboys are going to make a playoff run.
the Eagles: Jalen HurtsThe rapid growth of the passers-by put opposing defenses at a standstill. Go for the ground game, and he’ll hit you in the air (#1 in the NFL in QB rating at 108.4 and TD/INT ratio at 7.33 entering Week 15). Try to take the lane, and it will chew you to the ground. Hurts is the ultimate first-place player for a reason. The big question now is whether it is him or the backup Gardner Minshaw Saturday will start.
Take Bowen: Hurts him the edge. He may miss this week’s game with a sprained right shoulder, but his progression as a hurler when healthy, as well as being a dual threat as a runner, sets him apart from Prescott. With his lower strength and body frame (6-foot-1, 223 pounds), the Eagles can run the power play with the quarterback, and they can get to the rim, too. In the passing game, his eye level is very good. Always awake, even when dead bodies are around him.
Cowboys: in a Ezekiel Elliott And the Tony PollardThe Cowboys have one of the best backfield duos in the NFL – and possibly the best. Pollard has more touchdowns this season (11) than in his first three seasons combined. Elliott may not reach the 1,000 receiving yards after missing two games with a knee injury, but he’s healthy at the stretch and has scored at least a rushing touchdown in seven straight games.
the Eagles: Miles Sanders He’s enjoying the best season of his career, already hitting career highs in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. In a year contracted and respected, Sanders was a more physical runner. Good health made all the difference. Boston Scott And the Kenneth Ginwell The shots split in Sanders’ relief and were generally productive, but it was Sanders’ show.
Take Bowen: They are cowboys. With Dallas’ split-backfield approach, he can attack you in multiple ways. Elliott is one of the best runners in the red zone and goal line. He can pay with contact and be productive, even with a second-tier drop. Plus he’s a solid asset in the passing game. Pollard can be deployed in a number of ways in the passing game, as a result of formation. Elliott is a downhill hammer with a high uptrend, and Pollard is a home turf threat.
Cowboys: Sir Lamb Show he can be a top receiver, but the production of the rest of the group needs to be ramped up. Michael Gallup Recently, as he recovers most of his left anterior cruciate ligament. Noah Brown Exceeding expectations. James Washington I only played two matches. TY Hilton Signed last week, free agent Odell Beckham Jr. remains. an option, so he says the Cowboys know they need more of their receivers.
the Eagles: This is arguably the best receiver combination the Eagles have ever had. AJ Brown She only needed 13 plays to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark and 10 touchdowns. Devonta SmithHe, meanwhile, was neck and neck with the Browns all season to lead the team in receptions. fast broad Quiz Watkins It also increased its production in the absence of a tight end Dallas Goedert.
Take Bowen: the Eagles. At Smith, they have a receiver with dynamic attributes, heading ability, and track running skill. Brown can play through contact on all three levels of the court. He can work downfield, is great after the catch and strong on the offensive point. He can separate. And you have to mention Watkins. He has great juice.
Cowboys: This group may be the key to the crime. Cowboys love to run many tight looks Dalton SchultzAnd the Jake FergusonAnd the Peyton Hendershot And the Sean McCune. After a slow start, Schultz became Prescott’s safety cover. Ferguson, who has returned from a concussion, is a sophisticated blocker and can make plays wide.
the Eagles: Goedert was playing like a top-three tight end before a shoulder injury struck him against the Washington Chiefs in Week 10 on IR. led group Grant Calcaterra And the Jack Stoll He filled in adequately in his absence, but there is no replacement for Godert. This offense is more dynamic when he’s in the mix.
Take Bowen: Go with Schultz. He is a very good tight end. If you’re arranging them in layers, it’s probably in the middle of the #1 narrow ends. It’s a sewing stretcher. It can be rugged when fishing, and slippery after fishing. It can give you multiple ways to miss in the open field. It’s a big body and creates a high percentage of throws.
Cowboys: With the questions submitted to start the season, this group exceeded expectations, despite missing the correct treatment Terrence Steele is a hit. Having a Pro Bowler Tyrone Smith Coming back from injured reserve is a bonus no other team gets, and he can slip into right tackle full time this week. rookie Tyler Smith He settled well at left tackle. Immobilization was excellent. Pass protection will be tested under the extension.
the Eagles: This is arguably the best offensive front in football, led by the centre Jason Kelsey The right tackle Lynn Johnsonwho has allowed one sacks this season, tied it for Tristan Wervs Fewest tackle allowed by an offensive tackle in 2022 (minimum 10 starts), according to ESPN Stats & Information Research. As a group, they are second in running block win rate (75%) and ninth in passing block win rate (64%). The Eagles entered Week 15 averaging 162.2 rushing yards per game, tied for second in the NFL.
Take Bowen: I have to go with Philly. Its offensive line is the best in the NFL with big, powerful drives up front. The highlight is Kelsey and Johnson. What Kelsey can do is unparalleled. He is extremely talented in terms of movement, lower body control and foot speed, and his ball intelligence is off the charts. Johnson, another lineman with such speed on the foot, is very impressive with his passing, as well as with the ability to climb and move.
Cowboys: This is their deepest position, especially since then Micah Parsons He’s been a leading player for most of the past month. Eight defensive linemen have recorded at least one sack. DeMarcus Lawrence Still an overall superior MVP. Dorrance Armstrong He is second only to Parsons (13) in sacks with eight. Her inner depth was hit when Jonathan Hankins I had chest pain. The Jacksonville run game ate the Dallas team last week, so Philly will be a big test.
the Eagles: This veteran group has added more experience to the mix by signing Ndamkong Suh And the Linval Joseph Back in november. This reduced the workload on Javon Hargrave And the Fletcher CoxAnd they benefit from the freshness of the legs. Hasson RiddickPlaying a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive role, he gave defense coordinator Jonathan Gannon a huge boost since he was signed to free agency during his early years.
Take Bowen: It’s a tie. How do you choose? Versatile Philadelphia is at the forefront in terms of quality players with Reddick and Sweat. They are both dynamic with speed in the first move, but they are two different styles of edge rushers. Hargrave is having a great season in a contract year and he’ll get paid. With Dallas, Parsons is up there with the best players in the league. His first step speed, short zone acceleration, and closing speed may be the best in the league, and his hand use is already developed for a young player.
Cowboys: Leighton Vander Esch He was playing his best football since his rookie season but suffered a neck injury in Jacksonville that would sideline him on Saturday. Anthony Parr He filled a role that became larger as Parsons moved to the line. rookie Damon Clark He went from not being expected to play as a starter due to neck surgery into someone the Cowboys feel comfortable relying on in any situation. Hurts will test this group in a running game, and they will have to get off the blocks.
the Eagles: Keizer White (signed to a one-year deal in free agency during his suspension) and a fourth-year player TJ Edwards Made for a solid full back along. They are the two best steps in the team. rookie I am dean He made the most of his limited opportunities, including six tackles on 15 defensive snaps against the Tennessee Titans in Week 13.
Take Bowen: dallas. When healthy, Vander Esch has made plenty of plays for this defense and can be a downhill hammer. The truck bar was very good. Someone like that has second level scope and covering attributes, and can play in space. You need these guys in your defense if you’re coordinator Dan Quinn. Barr may not be at the same level as he was at Minnesota, but he’s a paste man for this defense.
Cowboys: They’ve lost angles Jordan Lewisin October, and Anthony Brownin December. Trevon Diggs He played at a high level, but without selections. Daron Bland Lewis ably filled in the slot and could play outside. They believe they have made their best safety game since then Darren WoodsonWith Jaron KerseAnd the Hooker owner And the Donovan Wilson.
the Eagles: Philly High School has dealt with its share of injuries. The biggest thing was safety CJ Gardner Johnson, who is still sidelined due to a ruptured kidney. But the unit remained stingy on the passing game. Cornerback duo from Darius slaughtered And the James Bradbury She was the driving force behind the high-class play.
Take Bowen: Philly. Look what defensive coordinator Gannon has done this season. Last year, his system was based on quarters. This year, the multi-system is much more than that. Cornerbacks Bradbury and Slay can match anyone in the NFL, and they both create production on the ball.
Cowboys: Brett Maher He has only missed one kick inside 59 yards this season. Brian Unger He’s been solid, even though he has more touches (six) this season than he did last year. Returning Cavontae Turpin They could turn the field situation around quickly, and the Cowboys’ coverage teams were top notch.
the Eagles: Whether it was swooping in on a fake kick or giving up too much space on kickoff returns, it’s been a few weeks without some sort of mistake going wrong. Now they are dealing with the loss of the gambler Erin Sipos to an ankle injury.
Take Bowen: dallas. Elliott is a good kicker, but losing your punter at this point in the season affects you quite a bit. I’m giving it to Dallas because of Turbine.