Week 17 Preview: Eagles vs Cowboys

Dec 31 2017 Philadelphia PA USA Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles throws a pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles have a very deep front seven and being the backbone of the defense, should not risk a pointless injury heading into the playoffs. That game, was, in essence, a meaningless game and the Eagles beat Dallas, as many of their starters did not play much of the game. The outcome of the game means nothing to either team, and yet it might be one of the most important games the Eagles play all year.

The Cowboys are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six road games and 4-1 ATS in their last five against the NFC East while the Eagles are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games and 7-2 ATS in their last nine against the NFC. The Cowboys were in this spot against the Eagles previous year and Dak Prescott and the rest of the offense played a series before things were eventually turned over to Mark Sanchez.

At least coach Doug Pederson kept open the possibility of both seeing action when asked about them at his Friday news conference.

Theres always a fine line for coaches of teams that have top playoff spots locked up this time of year. After a strong performance against the New York Giants in his first start of the season, Nick Foles looked terrible against the Oakland Raiders.

"We're seeing guys come back at a higher rate and equaling performance at a much more consistent pattern than what at least historically has been talked about, and kind of been the black cloud around this injury in the past", said Dr. Kirk McCullough, who along with Anderson released a study in 2014 on the results of their mini-open repairs on National Football League athletes. Brandon Graham seemed to hurt his ankle Monday and is already out for Sunday's game.

In the secondary, Jalen Mills is questionable for Sunday and Ronald Darby already missed a big portion of the season with a non-contact injury.

Dec 31 2017 Philadelphia PA USA Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles throws an interception during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

He said he wants the starters to "stay within the moment", with a bye week coming up before the divisional round of the playoffs.

The injury bug has gotten the Eagles pretty good this year, with star players such as Jordan Hicks out for the year with an Achilles injury and Darren Sproles, Jason Peters, and Carson Went done for the year with ACL injuries. Although the Eagles won the game Foles did nothing to help. Winning the first Super Bowl in team history is the main goal, but 14 wins would be another milestone in a surprising season.

"We just have to evaluate everything and make sure we're doing the best for the team and for going into the postseason", Pederson said.

On offense, expect to see the Eagles go very pass heavy early on to try to get Foles into a rhythm. That said, there is still one game remaining for the 2017 regular season, playing in the opposite, but similar situation from a year ago when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles should start fast in the first half, as their starters are more talented than what Dallas has to offer.

If Jones is activated, the Eagles would need to make a corresponding roster move and release a player now on the 53-man roster.

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