Thursday, December 25, 2014

Eagles vs. Cowboys: The picks

LES BOWEN

Dunno how many starters will play. Very much doubt we'll see Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson or Asante Samuel, since all have injuries that could use healing time. But I think a pretty good number of starters will play at least some, for the simple reason this is not the preseason - only 45 players will be active, so it would be hard to avoid playing some starters. For whoever plays, the emphasis must be on sharpening up, showing some crispness and not making what Andy Reid referred to as "beginning of the year" mistakes.

The Cowboys have been playing for nothing (except maybe Jason Garrett) for a while now, and they've done a decent job. This certainly could be an Eagles loss. But I really do think that would damage a young team heading into the playoffs, which is why I have this maybe naïve idea that Kevin Kolb and Riley Cooper and the rest will find a way to win.

Eagles 24, Cowboys 23.

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PAUL DOMOWITCH

This is the third straight Week 17 meeting between the teams. The last 2 years, the game had playoff implications. This year, the 10-5 Eagles are locked in as the NFC's No. 3 seed regardless of how things go down Sunday.

Their plan is to play as few players who matter as possible and get out without any more injuries. Think Game 4 of the preseason, only with a hoodie and parka on. The Cowboys' top priority is to get the game over quickly and go home.

Picking a winner in this one is like trying to pick a winner in a preseason game. Only difference, one team will play all of its starters and the other won't.

While the Eagles have a significant edge at quarterback with Kevin Kolb, they had a significant edge there Tuesday night, and that didn't matter much.

Interim coach Jason Garrett still has hopes of being the head coach in 2011, so he will approach this game as if it means something, even if most of his players don't. That means he will play to win.

Cowboys 24, Eagles 20

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