Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys vs. Eagles preview: Rookies, records spice up NFC East clash

Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has complete control of the Dallas Cowboys offense.
Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has complete control of the Dallas Cowboys offense. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Not a lot was expected out of the Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles this season.

Sure, every team and their fans hope for the best, but the preseason predictions for both teams did not equate to a late October showdown in the NFC East.

But that’s the case on Sunday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

The Cowboys and Eagles are first and second in the NFC East.

They got there in attention-getting fashion.

The Cowboys (5-1), who are coming off a bye week, have won five consecutive games. The Eagles (4-2) knocked off previously unbeaten Minnesota on Sunday.

Both are led by rookie quarterbacks in Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz. At one time, the pair were dueling over the record for most passes attempted without an interception to start an NFL career. Wentz’s streak ended at 134. Prescott’s record-setting effort was stopped at 176.

It fits the description of a big game: NBC Sunday Night Football, soldout stadium, rivalry, and superstars aplenty. Wide receiver Dez Bryant is expected to return to the Cowboys lineup.

“I know they've got a good team, know they've got a good defense,” Prescott said. “It will be a great game Sunday night.”

Here are some other notables:

▪  Dallas has an 18-9 record in games after a bye. This is the first time since 2010 that Dallas has played at home after a bye and are 7-2 in those games.

▪  Dallas leads the all-time series 64-50.

▪  Dallas and Philadelphia have combined to win 25 of a possible 45 NFC East titles.

▪  Dallas is making its second appearance on NBC’s Sunday Night Football this season. They beat Chicago 31-17 on Sept. 25.

▪  Philadelphia has 12 takeaways this season, including seven fumble recoveries.

▪  Philadelphia has 20 sacks, tied for third most in the NFL. They have 10 sacks on first down. Fifteen of their sacks have come in the second half.

▪  Philadelphia has a kickoff return for a touchdown in back-to-back games for the first time in franchise history. Wendell Smallwood had an 86-yard touchdown return against Washington and Josh Huff had a 98-yard touchdown return against Minnesota.

Statistical comparisons

 

Cowboys

Eagles

Record

5-1

4-2

Scoring average

26.5

26.0

Opp. Scoring average

17.8

14.7

Total offense

401.5

322.2

Rushing

161.2

111.5

Passing

240.3

210.7

Total defense

358.3

307.0

Turnover margin

+4

+6

Penalties/yards

36-284

56-457

Dallas Cowboys regular-season schedule

Sept. 11

Giants 20, Cowboys 19

Sept. 18

Cowboys 27, Redskins 23

Sept. 25

Cowboys 31, Bears 17

Oct. 2

Cowboys 24, 49ers 17

Oct. 9

Cowboys 28, Bengals 14

Oct. 16

Cowboys 30, Packers 16

Oct. 23

Bye

Oct. 30

vs. Philadelphia

7:30 p.m.

KXAS/5

Nov. 6

at Cleveland

Noon

KDFW/4

Nov. 13

at Pittsburgh

3:25 p.m.

KDFW/4

Nov. 20

vs. Baltimore

Noon

KTVT/11

Nov. 24

vs. Washington

3:30 p.m.

KDFW/4

Dec. 1

at Minnesota

7:25 p.m.

KXAS/5, NFL Net.

and Twitter

Dec. 11

at NY Giants

7:30 p.m.

KXAS/5

Dec. 18

vs. Tampa Bay

Noon

KDFW/4

Dec. 26

vs. Detroit

7:30 p.m.

ESPN

Jan. 1

at Philadelphia

Noon

KDFW/4

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