Sunday, December 31, 2017, 1 p.m. ET | Lincoln Financial Field
TV: FOX | RADIO: 94.1 WIP
SPREAD: Dallas (-3) | TOTAL: 39.5 (via Bovada)
Game-time temperature will probably be in the 15-20 degrees F. range with a wind factor that could bring the actual chill factor down to about 5 degrees F. Ouch, that’s cold! I guess Jack Frost is the 12th man in this game for both teams.
With Eagles linebacker Joe Walker moved to season-ending IR, room was made for rookie CB Sidney Jones on the active roster. If nothing else, it will be interesting to observe Jones’ NFL debut.
We also get to see DE Steven Means as he gets playing time in relief of Brandon Graham, who’s out while resting a sore ankle. Stefen Wisniewski will return from an extended rest to start at left guard.
QB Nate Sudfeld is expected to get some major playing time too, as he will be called upon to relieve Nick Foles, most likely for at least the entire second half.
From the Cowboys’ perspective, writer Dave Helman sums it up like this:
“My gut feeling is that the Cowboys should win this game if that’s what they’re trying to do. The Eagles, much like the Cowboys a year ago, have a first-round playoff bye and are going to want to avoid further injury and get healthy for the playoffs. If Jason Garrett truly intends to play the majority of his starters in this game, then I think they should be able to get a win. I’d lean on the ground game and Ezekiel Elliott as often as possible – especially if Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan hit the sideline at any point before the final whistle. Selfishly, I’d love to see some young guys get some work in this game, but that’s ultimately up to the coaching staff. My main hope isn’t about whether the Cowboys win or lose, but that they get through this game without any serious injuries. Other than that, I think a 120-yard, two-touchdown day from Elliott would be enough to get the Cowboys home with a win.”
Meh, he’s probably right. The Cowboys (8-7) have every intention of finishing their season on a positive note. I don’t know how much positivity you can take from winning a game where the 13-2 opponent is obviously going to rest most of its starters for much of the day. And if Jason Garrett is smart, how long does he want to keep his own top starters in harm’s way, like Elliott, Sean Lee and Dak Prescott?
On the other hand, given the freezing weather conditions, even the Eagles’ so-called second team has a chance to establish a solid ground game on offense and burn the clock, while on defense keeping everything Dallas may do in front of them. If it’s a close game near the end, anything can happen, including an improbable 14th overall win for the Eagles.
We are once again grateful for having Ryan Lubrich’s alternative live game thread available to us.
Here’s a link to his live in-game talk show if you wish to give it a look:
As Ryan explains, it’s like a chat channel, primarily used by like-gamers who stream on Twitch, but he figured we might be able to use it for gameday chats. I have found it to be very functional and very entertaining. It took me a few minutes to get the hang of some of the whistles and bells, but after a short while I was zooming along with the other EYE guys and Bored members there talking Eagles football.
It even auto-refreshes on every comment!
Happy New Year…the Eagles’ second season is almost here.