The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a bye just in time to take on NFC East rival Philadelphia at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
The Eagles (4-2) upended previously unbeaten Minnesota last week. Now they make a run at the Cowboys (5-1), who have won five consecutive games.
Here are five things to watch:
Eyeballs will again be on quarterback Dak Prescott. He has shined early on in his young career, leading the Cowboys on a five-game winning streak. But veteran Tony Romo returned to practice this week on a limited basis for the first time since sustaining a compression fracture in his lower back in preseason. A quarterback decision is looming for the Cowboys, and Prescott can strengthen his case with continued stellar play.
The running game
The Cowboys have the best rushing attack in the NFL, and rookie Ezekiel Elliott is on pace to break Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record of 1,808 yards set in 1983. Elliott has already grown tired of that talk, but it coincides with the Cowboys establishing the running game each week. They must do so again this week against the Eagles’ stout front seven.
Wide receiver Dez Bryant looked like his former self much of training camp and in the preseason. But he was diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his right knee after the Chicago Bears game, and has missed the past three games. But Bryant is expected to return and has played well against the Eagles in his career, averaging nearly 90 yards and a touchdown per game.
It’s been a storyline all season and the Cowboys must get pressure on Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz has been turnover prone in recent weeks, and the Cowboys must get him under pressure to force more bad throws. The defensive line doesn’t have a ton of sacks, but they believe more are coming around the corner. This would be a good week to break the dam, so to speak.
The Cowboys and Eagles pride themselves on having among the most passionate fan bases in the league. But this rivalry has favored the road team of late. The past six meetings, and eight of the last nine, have been won by the visiting team. The Cowboys’ home struggles were well-documented earlier this season, but they have won the past two games at AT&T Stadium.