Chip Kelly said that the Eagles will play all their starters against the Chicago Bears on Sunday night regardless of the result of the Dallas Cowboys game earlier that day.
If the Cowboys lose, the Eagles can clinch the NFC East with a win over Chicago. If the Cowboys win, the Eagles must beat Dallas on Dec. 29 regardless of the outcome of the Bears game.
“We got to play," Kelly said. "We’re not in a situation where we can rest anybody. We have to get back on the winning track.”
Even if the Cowboys win, the Bears game is not meaningless. It could dictate playoff seeding, including the first round matchup and a potential second-round matchup.
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However, Kelly's motivation is more immediate. Coming off of a loss, he said the Eagles need to improve -- not rest.
“Our philosophy is it’s on the line every single time you play," Kelly said.." Really what goes on outside of there is, we need to get better as a football team. Everybody needs to play.”
The Cowboys is game is at 1 p.m., so the result will be known four hours before the Eagles-Bears kickoff. Kelly acknowledged that it's impossible not to know what happens in the Cowboys game, but he does not want it to have an effect on his team.
“We’ll know the score. We all have phones and televisions and all that other stuff," Kelly said. "But am I going to be glued to the set? No. It is what it is. Whatever happens in that game still doesn’t affect us. We still have to go out and play the Chicago Bears. We’re not going to go out and have a victory party and say, we have to go get over the stadium, we have a game now.”