Sometimes, there’s no need to rely on the hype machine. The NFL doesn’t need to air one commercial to advertise a Philadelphia Eagles versus Dallas Cowboys game. Everyone knows the date of the game and when kickoff is scheduled. We promise you that people will find time and tune in. As always, this rivalry is surrounded by subplots.
Before Week 15’s NFL slate of games, Micah Parsons made a statement that included Jalen Hurts‘ name. Parsons eventually offered an explanation, but it was too late. The football world had gone bananas.
The Birds beat the Chicago Bears. Dallas lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Then, news came on Monday that Hurts is injured. In Week 16, their respective schedules have led them to one another. Gardner Minshew will make his first start of the campaign in Jalen’s absence.
Technically, the Eagles don’t have to win this one. Three games remain in the regular season for both sides. To achieve home-field advantage throughout the postseason, the Birds need one of two things to occur.
Dallas must lose one of their final three games, or the Birds have to win one of their final three contests. From where we’re sitting, it makes perfect sense for Philadelphia to, as they say, kill two Cowboys with one stone.
If you think Jalen Hurts’ injury ensures a Cowboys win, we’re here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. FanDuel favors Dallas, but Christmas is about surprises.
Here are four reasons the Gardner Minshew-led Eagles can still beat the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16.
Get the kids to bed early on Christmas Eve. Tell them a fat guy will bring them presents if they cooperate. There’s work to be done. There’s a game to be played. Here are three of about 20 reasons why Philly can get the job done.
1. Gardner Minshew is no slouch.
The win-loss total isn’t impressive. He’s 8-14 as s starter, but we know Gardner can win games. He’s been given the keys to a Lamborghini. He’s simply been asked to keep the car from crashing.
This is the most talented supporting cast that he’s ever had. If he trusts his reads and gets the ball into the hands of his playmakers, he’ll be fine. He’s fully capable of winning this game and the next two if need be.
2. The Cowboys aren’t nearly as good as their record indicates.
We’ll never understand the constant hype that surrounds a team that hasn’t been able to close the deal for almost three decades. Year after year, what can go wrong will when pressure begins to mount.
Even without Jalen Hurts, the Eagles are better than the Detroit Lions, the Houston Texans, and the Chicago Bears. It took everything Dallas had to put those teams away. They were oh-so close to losing all three games.
This past Sunday, the Cowboys had their measure taken by the Jags in Duval County. We’ll say it again
3. Mike McCarthy
If we’re being honest about what we’re seeing which, frankly, is a skill that no Cowboys fan possesses, we all should be able to agree on one thing. Mike McCarthy is awful.
He won a Super Bowl because he had Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, and Charles Woodson among others. He’s been decent as a Cowboys coach because he has a few playmakers and competent assistants.
Let’s be honest. Nick Sirianni, who is barely over 31 games into his NFL tenure as a head coach is much better at his job. If the Eagles don’t get in their own way, they can outcoach Mike McCarthy’s staff on any day of the week, even Saturday. If you think Hurts’ absence ensures a Cowboys win, we’re here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.
One more thing to consider: You remember Week 18 of last season, don’t you?
Gardner Minshew’s last regular-season start came in Week 18 of last season. That one was against Dallas no less. You know how that ended. The Cowboys celebrated while running up the score on Philly’s junior varsity.
If there’s one thing that we both love and despise about Nick Sirianni, it’s this. He’s petty, almost to a fault, but if he turns the tables and exacts some revenge versus the Cowboys on Christmas Eve, no Eagles fan will complain. Heck, as a matter of fact. we’ll all go to bed smiling.