Philadelphia (4-2) at Dallas (5-1)
When: Sunday, October 30th 2016
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: NBC
The top two rookie quarterbacks in the league will square off on Sunday Night Football as the Dallas Cowboys host the Philadelphia Eagles. Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott will meet for the first time in what could be the start of a long rivalry between the two (a la Manning/Brady). Wentz, the second overall draft pick, started off his career with three straight wins, but dropped two in a row on the road. He and the Eagles came back strong last week with a 21-10 win over undefeated Minnesota. He had 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. While, the passing game has started to struggle, the defense has been outstanding, ranking fifth overall (307.0 yards a game) and third in scoring (14.7). Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham each lead the team with four sacks, while Rodney McLeod has three interceptions to pace the 5th ranked defense against the pass (204.3). The Eagles started a brutal stretch in their schedule that includes, NY Giants, Green Bay, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Seattle.
Prescott isn’t the only rookie helping Dallas to a 5-1 start. Running back Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL with 703 rushing yards and is the first rookie in history to gain at least 130 yards in four consecutive games. Prescott is expected to keep the starting job even when Tony Romo, who returned to practice in a limited fashion Thursday, comes back. Dallas went into last week’s bye off a pair of impressive 14-point victories over Cincinnati and Green Bay, both playoff teams last season. Prescott is expected to get back his top wide receiver with Dez Bryant ready to suit up Sunday for the first time since suffering a hairline fracture in his knee in Week 2. The Cowboys defense continues to get stronger, holding four straight opponents to 17 points or fewer. They are susceptible to the pass, ranking 21st in the league and 10th against the run. TE Jason Witten has at least six catches in his last three versus the Eagles.
These two teams have split their season matchups the last three years with the road team winning every game. This will be the best defense Prescott has faced thus far and a week off might have cooled him off a bit. The Eagles always seem to play well on the road in prime time games and I expect a big game out of Wentz tonight.
Pick: Eagles +4.5