Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Eagles -7. O/U: 43
ABOUT THE COWBOYS (3-5): While Philadelphia relies on a bevy of backs, Ezekiel Elliott is the unquestioned star in Dallas’ backfield and the 2016 NFL rushing leader provided bulletin-board material by understating the importance of Sunday’s game. “One hundred percent, yeah. It’s a must-win. Being a division game, that makes it that much more important,” said the 23-year-old, who will be facing the league’s second-ranked rushing defense. Dak Prescott received a vote of confidence for his future from owner Jerry Jones this week, but the quarterback will need to make plays with his arm should the Eagles elect to stack the box against Elliott. Prescott has seven touchdowns (five passing, two rushing) in his last three games overall, although he totaled just 324 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions in a pair of games versus Philadelphia last season.
ABOUT THE EAGLES (4-4): Golden Tate is no stranger to both the Cowboys and the intense rivalry between the teams, as the 30-year-old decimated Dallas with eight receptions for 132 yards and two scores in the Lions’ 26-24 setback on Sept. 30. “I’ve heard about (the rivalry) on social media,” Tate said. “Our fans have expressed their passionate dislike for the Cowboys. It’s going to be a great game. I’m happy that my first game gets to be at home against such an intense opponent.” Fellow wideout Alshon Jeffery has recorded 14 touchdowns in his last 17 games, although he was held in check by outspoken cornerback Jalen Ramsey during Philadelphia’s 24-18 win over Jacksonville in London on Oct. 18. Zach Ertz found the end zone versus the Jaguars and has an NFL-best 61 receptions among tight ends.
1. Dallas rookie Leighton Vander Esch (63 tackles) will need to step up in the absence of fellow LB Sean Lee, who reportedly could be sidelined four to six weeks with a strained hamstring.
2. Philadelphia RT Lane Johnson is expected to play on Sunday despite sustaining a Grade 2 MCL sprain in Week 8.
3. Cowboys WR Cole Beasley (team-leading 36 catches) had just two receptions for seven yards in a 37-9 loss to the Eagles last season.