Eagles Titans Football

Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Jason Peters (71) sets to block against the Tennessee Titans during an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

Records: Cowboys 3-5; Eagles 4-4

Line: Eagles by 7½ points

Over/under: 43½ points

TV announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya (NBC)

Forecast (National Weather Service): Mostly clear. Lows in the lower 30s. Southwest winds around 5 mph, becoming light and variable.

My pick (season record: 3-5): Eagles open second half of season with big victory. Eagles 28, Cowboys 10

Last time met: The Eagles rested most of their key players in a 6-0 loss to the Cowboys in last season’s meaningless regular-season finale. The Cowboys played their starters the entire game and scored the only touchdown on Dak Prescott’s 20-yard pass to wide receiver Brice Butler in the fourth quarter.

Eagles’ best-case scenario: They return from their open week with an impressive victory to stay in the thick of the NFC East race. Carson Wentz throws two touchdown passes. New wide receiver Golden Tate catches a TD pass. Prescott throws two interceptions. The Eagles’ defense contains Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Eagles’ worst-case scenario: The rust from the open week hurts. Injuries along the offensive line keep the offense from gaining any rhythm. Wentz has two fumbles. Prescott burns an injury-riddled Eagles secondary for 300 yards. Elliott runs for 100 yards.

Keep an eye on: Wide receiver Amari Cooper (No. 19). The Cowboys acquired Cooper last week in a trade with Oakland. He made his debut with Dallas on Monday and had five receptions for 58 yards and a TD in a 28-14 loss to Tennessee.

Notable numbers

Cowboys lead series 66-52. ... Eagles are 5-3 vs. Cowboys on “Sunday Night Football” since 2010 ... Eagles are 17-5 at home since 2016, second-best in NFL behind New England (21-4), but have lost two straight at the Linc. ... Cowboys are 0-4 in road games this season. ... Cowboys are 2-0 when Prescott has at least 45 rushing yards.

Assessing the offenses

Eagles: They’ve scored more than 24 points just once but should be better in the second half of the season. New wide receiver Golden Tate will make his Eagles debut against Dallas. Running back Darren Sproles is out after re-injuring his hamstring. Wentz has had a good season, but fumbles have been a problem. The offensive line is still dealing with injuries. Tight end Zach Ertz has been outstanding.

Cowboys: They have been struggling to score most of the season. They’ve been held to 17 points or less in five games. Cooper should help. Elliott is their standout. Prescott has been inconsistent. Their offensive line has also had injuries.

EDGE TO EAGLES

Assessing the defenses

Eagles: They had a solid outing against Jacksonville two weeks ago. Rookie end Josh Sweat should get more snaps against Dallas. The secondary is riddled with injuries. Cornerbacks Sidney Jones and Jalen Mills will not play. Newcomer Cre’Von LeBlanc could get some playing time. They have only seven takeaways this season. Only three teams have fewer.

Cowboys: Their defense has been decent most of the year. Linebacker Sean Lee is terrific when healthy, but he’s often injured. End DeMarcus Lawrence leads the team with six and a half sacks. They only have two interceptions, which is tied for next-to-last.

EDGE TO EAGLES

Assessing the coaches

Eagles: Doug Pederson did a lot of self-scouting during the bye.

Cowboys: Jason Garrett will keep his job despite the team’s troubles.

EDGE TO EAGLES

Intangibles

Eagles: Fans should be amped after a full day of tailgating.

Cowboys: Former quarterback Troy Aikman called for a complete overhaul of the team.

EDGE TO EAGLES

Other views

Clarence E. Hill, Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

“Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman called Monday’s 28-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans as bad a loss as he’s seen by the Dallas Cowboys at this point in the season.”

Key matchup

Eagles tackle Lane Johnson (65) vs. Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (90). Johnson suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee against the Jaguars and has also been dealing with a sprained ankle. He’ll be challenged to keep Lawrence out of the Eagles’ backfield.

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Contact: 609-272-7201 DWeinberg@pressofac.com Twitter @PressACWeinberg

Sportswriter/columnist

Member of The Press sports staff since 1986, starting my 25th season as The Press Eagles' beat writer. Also cover boxing, MMA, golf, high school sports and everything else.

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