NFL Picks for Week 13: Sunday Night Football – Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

Can the woeful Philadelphia Eagles rally in the Jones-Mahal against the 5-6 Dallas Cowboys? Andy Reid is the lamest tof lame duck coaches and seems completley lost while Jason Garrett’s hold on his job is so tenuous that the normally unflappable former QB looks positively grim these days.

Weather:  Partly cloudy and high 60’s or low 70’s. How nice for the ‘Boys fans.


Philadelphia – Both Michael Vick and starting RB LeSean McCoy are still sidelined with concussions and talented WR DeSean Jackson is on I-R.  In Jackson’s absence, Jeremy Maclin will be the main man. It’s also fortunate that both WRs Jason Avant and Riley Cooper are probable. Three O-linemen are dinged up but will probably at least start.

However, DT Fletcher Cox is questionable. And that Philly D needs all the help it can get right now.

Dallas – This is one of those weeks that Jerry Jones may wish he hadn’t dumped WR Laurent Robinson off to the Jags. With Miles Austin onece again questionable, the second receiving spot will be filled by moderately experienced Kevin Ogletree (recovering from a concussion) and Dwayne Harris – who has seven career catches.

The best injury news for Dallas is the expected return of RB DeMarco Murray, who has proven that he can eat up yards—when he is on the field. That would be helpful since Felix Jones, the other rusher, is questionable. Starting tackle Tyron Smith is questionable with an ankle injury. Just what Tony Romo needs on his already shaky O-line.

Defensively, both safety Chrlie Peprah and top-tier NT Jay Ratliff are doubtful. Whether the Eagles can take advantage remains to be seen.

Keys to the Game:

Eagles offense versus Cowboys defense – The only ray of light in Eagles-land these days is the emergence of QB Nick Foles. The team is such a mess and the controversy so swirling that this kid is getting to work out the rookie kinks almost under the radar. He still needs to start coming up with more than 187 passing yards per game, which is what the offense has accomplished in November. Michael who?

Introducing, rookie RB Bryce Brown. The Kansas State product has averaged six yards per carry and scored twice since rising up the depth chart. Unfortunately, he has also fumbled three times and the Dallas D will be going after the ball.

Over the past three weeks the Eagles offense has managed only 17 points per outing. However they choose to attack it, these offensive guys need to throw caution to the winds and head for the end zone.

This may be more difficult than one would imagine against a sub-.500 Cowboys defensive squad. They are ninth against the pass, 13th versus the run and eighth overall in total yards. Ah, but all is not lost, Philly O—Dallas is 20th in points allowed. That explains a lot.


Cowboys offense versus Eagles defense – The latest Philly scapegoat is defensive end Jason Babin—who was cut and is now a Jaguar. Yeah, that’s going to fix everything. The defense has surrendered 33 points on average in each of the last three games. Oh dear. That Babin guy must really have been awful.

Tony Romo may need Witness Protection should Dallas blow it against the lowly ‘iggles. However, the key to this game has nothing to do with the quarterback. Unless either Felix Jones or DeMarco Murray can come up with at least 75 rushing yards, Dallas could struggle. Promise.

Here’s the conundrum:  The Cowboys have been scoring 30 points recent and only giving up 25. So, why are they only 5-6 coming into this game?  Because they have lost to every decent team they have played this year.

Of course, that doesn’t really apply to this game, does it?

Prediction:  Cowboys win by a touchdown.

They are currently favored at between 9.5 and 10.5 points. Philly is 1-9-1 against the spread for their last 11 games so you might want to take that into consideration.

*Statistics from,,,, NFL Gameday Final (NFL Network) and NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

+Injury information from the NFL Network, and 

See my Complete Week 14 NFL Picks on The Huffington Post Sports page on Thursday afternoon.

Complete Analysis for Week 13’s Monday Night Football – the New York Giants travel to the Washington Redskins.

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