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Game Preview

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Game Preview | Eagles vs. Cowboys

Eagles fans wouldn't mind an extra gift this holiday season in the form of a win Sunday over the Dallas Cowboys.

For starters, it would keep the Eagles' NFC East hopes alive. The Eagles need to beat the Cowboys on Sunday at AT&T Stadium and hope that Washington loses to Carolina (this game was flexed into the late-afternoon window). A Washington win eliminates the Eagles from playoff consideration. In Week 17, the Eagles would then need to beat Washington and hope that the Giants lose to either the Ravens in Week 16 or to the Cowboys next Sunday.

Secondly, the Cowboys are out of the NFC East race with a loss to the Eagles.

Here's 13 other observations and takeaways in our Game Preview, presented by Unibet:

• This is just the fifth time since the division realignment in 2002 that all four teams in a division are within two games of first place with just two weeks remaining in the regular season. The last time was the AFC West in 2011.

• Sunday marks Jalen Hurts' first start at quarterback against the division rival. It's also his return to his home state of Texas. And he's no stranger to AT&T Stadium as he led the Oklahoma Sooners to the Big 12 Championship and a College Football Playoff appearance last season.

• Hurts is the first quarterback in NFL history to amass at least 500 passing yards and 150 rushing yards in his first two starts.

• Last week in Arizona, Hurts became the first Eagles quarterback with at least 300 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, and one rushing touchdown since Michael Vick in 2010 against Washington in the historic Monday night rout.

• Wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who played an integral role in that 2010 game against Washington, was activated off Injured Reserve on Saturday. He's also had some big performances in his career against the Cowboys, totaling 1,147 receiving yards on 57 receptions and four touchdowns in 17 regular-season games. His 210 receiving yards against the Cowboys in 2010 was the third-highest single-game performance in franchise history.

• Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton is 2-0 in his career against the Eagles with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 104.0 QB rating. Dalton was out of the first meeting against the Eagles this season with a concussion and Ben DiNucci got the start at quarterback.

• Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is questionable for the Eagles with a neck injury. He is tied for fifth among all NFL defensive tackles with 6.5 sacks.

• Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott missed last Sunday's game against the 49ers with a calf injury and is questionable for Sunday. It was the first game that he missed in his career due to injury. He leads the Cowboys in touches (256) and yards from scrimmage (1,117), according to NFL Media Research. Tony Pollard had 132 yards from scrimmage and two rushing touchdowns against the 49ers in Elliott's absence.

• The Cowboys scored 71 points in their last two games, consecutive wins for the first time since Weeks 1-3 of the 2019 season. The Cowboys were previously 1-6 in the first seven games without quarterback Dak Prescott, averaging 15 points per game.

• The Eagles rank second in the NFL in sacks per game. Can they keep up the pace without defensive ends Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat, and Cox's status uncertain? Pro Bowl defensive end Brandon Graham is one of only three NFL players with at least seven sacks, 12 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles.

• The Cowboys have allowed at least 30 points in eight games this season. Their 30.9 points allowed per game average would be the worst in franchise history.

• The Cowboys' defense is 31st in scoring, last in rushing yards allowed, and 29th in third-down defense. With Hurts and running back Miles Sanders, the Eagles now have a top-10 rushing offense for the season (125.6 yards per game).

• The Eagles' third-down defense (37.2 percent) is sixth best in the NFL. The Cowboys' third-down offense is 29th in the league with a 49.2 percent success rate.

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