Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles - 12/31/17 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Marie Harrington
January 1, 2018

The Eagles (13-2) kicked the go-ahead field goal late with 22 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter before posting a 19-10 win over a scrappy Oakland Raiders squad. After a strong performance against the New York Giants in his first start of the season, Nick Foles looked very bad against the Oakland Raiders.

Jones, whom most experts rated as a first-round prospect before his injury, earned praise from coaches and teammates this season for his study habits during a long rehab process. The Eagles' title chances suffered a huge blow when quarterback Carson Wentz went down for the year. With Joe Walker heading to injured reserve, there are whispers that Sidney Jones might be ready to go on Sunday. Brandon Graham has already been ruled out with an ankle injury, but should be fine in two weeks. They have a first-round bye and get to rest and scheme while their next opponent toils in the wild-card round.

The Eagles should start fast in the first half, as their starters are more talented than what Dallas has to offer. Him and his receivers need to create some chemistry together while at the same time avoiding a big injury. If Foles can put together some positive drives and score some points early on, then the Eagles can pull the starters, not risk injury, and turn their attention to the next important part of this game, which would be getting Nate Sudfeld reps. Foles' elbow may still be bothering him.

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That is, of course, a very fine line Pederson is walking. They want to keep their players fresh and ready for the playoffs while at the same time avoiding injury. It's discouraging to think that such a target was so misused in any game much less one in which the Eagles are still trying to figure out timing and comfortable routes in advance of the playoffs. He needs to regain some experience and build chemistry with his receivers, but at the same time you don't want Foles or any of the receivers missing the playoffs with an avoidable injury. The Cowboys were in this spot against the Eagles a year ago and Dak Prescott and the rest of the offense played a series before things were eventually turned over to Mark Sanchez.

With one week left in 2017 NFL season, numerous league's elite team's have already made a decision to rest their starters for the playoffs.

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