Two of the NFL’s most bitter rivals will square off with first place in the NFC East at stake when the Philadelphia Eagles visit the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz was all the rage after leading Philadelphia to a 3-0 start, but fellow rookie Dak Prescott has guided the Cowboys to five consecutive wins.
Prescott sought to deflect the hype of the rookie quarterback matchup, telling reporters: “I really don’t measure myself to anybody. … I’m not into the whole comparing myself to somebody else. That’s where you get lost.” Tony Romo was back at practice in limited fashion Thursday for Dallas, which went into last week’s bye off a pair of impressive 14-point victories over Cincinnati and Green Bay, both playoff teams last season. Philadelphia suffered back-to-back losses — both on the road — following its bye week before bouncing back with a 21-10 win over previously unbeaten Minnesota last week. To show how tightly the Cowboys-Eagles rivalry has been contested, they have split the season series over the past three years, with the away team winning each meeting.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC.
LINE: Dallas opened -4.5 and action on the road team has trimmed half a point from that spread. The total opened 43.5 and is down to 43. View complete line history here.
INJURIES: Eagles – WR J. Matthews (probable), DT T. Hart (questionable), LB K. Grugier-Hill (questionable), LB M. Kendricks (questionable), T J. Peters (questionable), DT B. Logan (out). Cowboys – TE J. Witten (probable), CB O. Scandrick (probable), WR D. Bryant (probable), DE D. Lawrence (probable), DE R. Davis (questionable), DL D. Irving (questionable), T T. Smith (questionable), LB K. Wilber (questionable), CB M. Claiborne (questionable)
WHAT SHARPS SAY: “This line opened at 4.5 and it remains at 4.5. The total hasn’t moved either since the books released the lines last Sunday night. That means that both the sharps and the public are split on this one. Likely the reason is because, so far, both have been profitable for bettors, with Dallas going 5-1 ATS and the Eagles at 4-2 ATS. A Prescott/Wentz division rivalry? All early signs point to these two rookies battling it out for the next decade.” – Covers Experts AAA Sports.
ABOUT THE EAGLES (4-2, 4-2 ATS): Wentz has cooled off considerably since his torrid start — he has five touchdown passes and zero interceptions in his first three games, but has three scoring passes and three picks while throwing for a total of 555 yards in the last three outings. With the passing game struggling, Philadelphia has been linked to trades involving wide receivers Torrey Smith (San Francisco) and Alshon Jeffery (Chicago), but coach Doug Pederson shot down such talk, telling reporters there’s “no legitimacy” to the rumors. Philadelphia has limited four of its six opponents to 14 points or fewer.
ABOUT THE COWBOYS (5-1, 5-1 ATS): The surprising success of Prescott notwithstanding, Dallas invested the No. 4 overall pick in running back Ezekiel Elliott and is receiving plenty of bang for its bucks. Elliott leads the NFL with 703 rushing yards and is the first rookie in history to grind out at least 130 yards in four consecutive games. Prescott is expected to get back his top wide receiver with Dez Bryant poised to suit up Sunday for the first time since suffering a hairline fracture in his knee in Week 2. The Cowboys rank No. 17 in total defense but have held four straight opponents to 17 points or fewer.
* Road team is 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Underdog is 6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings.
* Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings in Dallas.
* Cowboys are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a bye week.
* Over is 7-0 in Eagles’ last seven road games.
* Under is 8-3 in Cowboys’ last 11 games overall.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Side bets are split 50/50 while 67 percent of total bets are on the Over.