Cowboys vs Eagles, the game that will tell if Dallas is up for great things

After his performance in week 1 against Tampa Bay, many gave up on the Cowboys’ 2022 season. And it was not for less: the fracture of the right thumb of Dak Prescott, an inoperative attack, CeeDee Lamb failing as first receiver, an irregular offensive line, the problem of penalties attacking again … Without a doubt, it seemed an extension of the debacle of the team in the playoffs last season.

However, after week 5, the situation is completely different. With Cooper Rush leading the offense in place of Prescott, and with the defense emulating the Doomsday Defense of the 1970s, the Cowboys are 4-1 right now. In fact, they are one of only six teams with four or more wins at this point in the season.

Now, in week 6, a very important duel for the cowboy team arrives: Sunday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles. A meeting that, seeing how the season is going so far, some would consider an “early” final of the NFC.

Philadelphia, looking to maintain a historic undefeated

Let’s remember that the Eagles are the only team that is still undefeated after five weeks. Those led by Nick Sirianni are showing an offensive solidity that many did not expect with Jalen Hurts at quarterback. This is evidenced by the rankings in attack: 2nd place in total yards (419.8 per game), 7th in passing yards (259.8 per game), 4th in rushing yards (160 per game) and 5th in points scored ( average of 27 per game).

Meanwhile, the defense is not far behind. Although he hasn’t limited opposing scoring the way Dallas has, this Eagles unit is in the top 10 in several defensive stretches: 4th in fewest total yards allowed (294.4 per game), 5th in fewest passing yards ( 189.4 per game) and 7th in points allowed (17.6 per game). Meanwhile, his rushing defense is 10th in the NFL with an average of 105 yards allowed per game.

With these numbers, Philadelphia seems to be reaping the good work that its leadership did during the Draft and free agency. In fact, this is the third time in franchise history that the team has started the season with a 5-0 record. Now, Sirianni’s team will have to prove their worth against a Cowboys team whose defense is also making history.

Dallas, in search of confirming its good defensive moment

Despite being without star quarterback Dak Prescott, the Cowboys have stayed afloat thanks to a pragmatic, ball-caring offense. Their attacking numbers are outside the top 10 in the league, but they’re getting the job done. Many haven’t been dazzling games on offense, but Cooper Rush and company are doing what it takes to pick up victories.

Of course, the credits for the Cowboys’ current streak go to the Dan Quinn-led defense. A unit that is emulating historical records of the cowboy franchise.

After week 5, the Cowboys’ defense has achieved 20 sacks for the first time since 1987. Likewise, they limited their first five rivals of the season to 20 points or less, matching what was done in 1972 by the famous “Doomsday Defense”. ” of Dallas. In this last section, it is worth noting that Dallas is one of only two teams (along with the 49ers) that have not allowed more than 20 points to their rivals so far.

Likewise, Dan Quinn’s unit ranks in the top 10 in several defensive stats: He leads the NFL in rushing TDs allowed (1), 2nd in total sacks (20) and 3rd in points allowed (14.4 per game). Meanwhile, the Cowboy defense is 7th in total yards allowed (311.4 per game) and passing yards allowed (193.8 per game). However, despite only allowing one rushing TD so far, his rushing defense needs to improve (117.6 yards per game, 19th in the NFL).

What implications does this game have?

It is true that the 2022 NFL season is just beginning. We’ve seen for years how teams that started out on a hot streak end up fizzing out at the end of the regular season, or even in the playoffs. However, Sunday night’s game has many implications for both teams. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that this is a very important game for Dallas and Philadelphia.

Let’s go first with the obvious: the divisional duel. Eagles and Cowboys would be playing for the leadership of the NFC East, and even the National Conference. But let us limit ourselves to the division. If the Eagles win, they would be the lone leaders with a 6-0 record. Meanwhile, a Dallas win would cause a double tie for first place at 5-1, even a triple if the Giants beat the Ravens on Sunday. Of course, Dallas would be the leader after winning the direct duels.

On the other hand, the winning team would be a strong candidate for the NFC championship. After the irregular starts of the Rams, Packers and Buccaneers, both the Eagles and the Cowboys look like two of the best teams in the NFC right now. They could even face each other a third time this season: in the playoffs.

To do this, both teams must show that what has been done so far has not been the product of luck or the level of their rivals. In that section, the Cowboys have much more to prove. For years, it’s been said (and with good reason) that Dallas only beats teams with losing records and gets stuck against winners. Without going too far, the 2021 season was a clear example of this, despite the fact that the team finished with a 12-5 record.

As we can see, Sunday’s game will be key to determining if the Cowboys are up for big things this year. If the defense repeats its previous performances and the Cooper Rush-led offense gets the job done, Dallas could end the week with an unexpected 5-1 record. And this, automatically, would further raise long-term expectations for this season.

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Cowboys vs Eagles, the game that will tell if Dallas is up for great things