Sunday, December 21, 2014

Eagles-Cowboys II: Predictions, key matchups

Obviously, two games have impact on the Eagles' fate on this Christmas Eve day of football -- their own against the Cowboys at 4:15 and the Giants-Jets game at 1. Both will be shown locally by Fox29.

Eagles-Cowboys II: Predictions, key matchups

Asante Samuel will be unable to play with a hamstring pull. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Asante Samuel will be unable to play with a hamstring pull. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Obviously, two games have impact on the Eagles' fate on this Christmas Eve day of football -- their own against the Cowboys at 4:15 and the Giants-Jets game at 1. Both will be shown locally by Fox29.

Here is how many of the Daily News staff see the Eagles-Cowboys game:

LES BOWEN

The Eagles ended the short week looking sharp in practice, with good energy. I like this offense, with all its weapons healthy, against the Dallas defense, on any field. Unfortunately for those who might be clinging to Eagles playoff hopes, I don't much like the Jets against the Giants. If the Giants win early, and the Eagles are eliminated from contention before taking the field, that definitely could affect the Birds, but I'm not going to assume that it would make them not want to play.

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Tony Romo, the way he's been playing, against Juan Castillo? That bothers me, I'll admit, and it's always good to have Asante Samuel back there, which might not be the case tomorrow. But with DeMarco Murray gone for the season and Felix Jones limping from a hammy, I think the Eagles ought to be able to make Dallas one-dimensional. Especially if the Eagles' offense lights it up.

First three-game win streak of the season? What the heck, I'm in.

Prediction: Eagles 28-23.

VEGAS VIC

Around the holidays, Vic and all the Little V's like to cover all the bases (placing our Luminarias on the street, lighting the Hanukkah candles, decorating the Christmas tree) and we're gonna have to do same with the Eagles this week. Although it is impossible to fully get inside players' heads, you have to figure on at least a little better effort if there is something for Andy and the guys to play for. They manhandled the Dallases at the Linc so easily earlier, their confidence will be high, even in Big D. If the Jets have won the Battle of New York to keep the Birds alive, we are behind them big time - almost best-bet big time. If the Giants have finally erased the Birds' playoff hopes, we'll go much lighter.

Prediction: Eagles, 27-21

Giants-Jets predictions

Vegas Vic

The NFC New Yorkers fell terribly flat against Washington Sunday, coming off a huge win against Dallas, and an almost vs. Green Bay. There's no flat here with the city rivalry on the line, as well as a playoff spot.

Picking the Giants: Ed Barkowitz, Les Bowen, Paul Domowitch, John Smallwood

Picking the Jets: Bob Cooney, Marcus Hayes

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KEY MATCHUPS

1. Eagles TE Brent Celek vs. Cowboys LB Sean Lee: Lee left the first game early with a wrist injury and Celek caught 7 passes for 94 yards and a TD. Advantage: Eagles

2. Eagles LB Jamar Chaney vs. Cowboys RB Felix Jones: Jones has put together back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances. Chaney and the rest of the undersized LBs still have problems getting off blocks. Jones has missed practice this week, but all indications are that he will play. Advantage: Cowboys

3. Eagles Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie vs. Cowboys WRs Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Laurent Robinson: Austin, Bryant and Robinson all are 6-2 and have combined for 24 touchdown catches. Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie have had up-and-down seasons, and Asante Samuel is out with a hamstring injury. Advantage: Cowboys

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For more Eagles coverage, including this week's episode of "Word on the Birds," click here.

About this blog
Eagletarian is your home for comprehensive coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
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