NFL Football

Eagles aim to show Cowboys how far they have come

It is less than a month since Philadelphia and the Dallas Cowboys last played each other, but even in that relatively short period the Eagles have become a different team.

After losing to Dallas 27-20 at Lincoln Financial Field on Nov. 11, the Eagles were hammered mercilessly by the New Orleans Saints. Since that 48-7 beatdown, though, the Eagles have turned around their season, and will now play the Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday for first place in the NFC East.

"We've talked about the New Orleans thing before, but listen, the New Orleans deal was, I think for us as a team, it wasn't us, No. 1," Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said. "It wasn't how we expect to play or expect to finish a football game in that game. So we've kind of put ourselves in a position where each game from then on, really matters, and just focusing in on each week.

"The guys have done a great job during the week of practice, preparing themselves and understanding the game plan, and I think what you're seeing, too, is we had a lot of young guys -- we had some injuries in that game and a lot of young guys play in that game. And what you're seeing now is those young guys getting a little more confident each week every time they are out on the field defensively. And then the offense is catching a little bit of rhythm right now. It's been a good last couple of weeks against two quality division opponents."

Since losing to the Saints, the Eagles have beaten the New York Giants 25-22 and the Washington Redskins 28-13 to reach 6-6 and pull within a game of the 7-5 Cowboys.

When the Eagles last played Dallas, they played without running back Darren Sproles and cornerback Sidney Jones. Running back Josh Adams hadn't yet seized control of the position, and receiver Golden Tate was playing his first game as an Eagle since being acquired in a trade with the Detroit Lions.

Against Washington on Monday night, Sproles played in his first game since Sept. 6 and scored on a 14-yard touchdown run. His presence infused the offense with some life.

Adams had just seven carries for 47 yards in the first meeting as the Eagles ran for just 71 yards as a team. During their two-game win streak, he has carried the ball 42 times for 169 yards and a touchdown. Adams began the season on the practice squad but has made great strides recently.

Meanwhile, Tate is becoming more of a force on offense, and the team no longer looks like it is forcing the ball to him to get him involved. He scored his first touchdown as an Eagle, added a two-point conversion catch, and had seven catches for 85 yards on Monday night.

Finally, Jones is healthy again.

For the Cowboys, the goal is to come in each week and prepare, day by day, for the task at hand.

Head coach Jason Garrett stays on message so consistently that many in the Dallas area consider him to be boring to the point of seeming robotic. But his professionalism gets more and more admirable as the Cowboys' second-half winning streak continues.

This week's game appears crucial in the race for the NFC East championship. The Cowboys (7-5) are in first place in the division, a game ahead of the Eagles and Redskins at 6-6. A win over Philadelphia could possibly give Dallas a two-game lead in the NFC East (if the Redskins' current losing streak continues) and the tie-breaker over Philly with three games left in the season.

But that's no reason for Garrett to hit his own personal hype button. He dismissed the notion that there's another level for his team to reach in getting ready for this one.

"My experience in life and in football is that the best players, the best teams, they come to work every day," Garrett said. "They prepare the right way every day."

As the NFL season wears on and other teams fall out of contention -- the Redskins come to mind as they are forced to stay in the race with third-option quarterback Mark Sanchez -- Dallas' unflappability and consistency look pretty good. The Cowboys have a top-notch running game, a healthy quarterback in Dak Prescott, who has proven he can captain a winning ship, and a rapidly improving defense that currently ranks fifth in the NFL.

Just don't expect Garrett to start breaking down playoff scenarios.

"Really the same message we preach every day, a hundred times a day every way that we can," Garrett said. "It's about being our best. It's about focusing on us and the task at hand."

Updated December 5, 2018

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Teams Score Time
NCAA FB
Appalachian State   3:30pm
North Carolina  
Ball State   7:00pm
NC State  
NFL
Carolina   Sun 4:05pm
Arizona  
NHL
Carolina   7:00pm
Washington  
Teams Score Time
Boston College 17 00:00 Half
Rutgers 13
California 14 00:00 Half
Ole Miss 13
Elon 7 00:00 Half
Wake Forest 28
LSU 31 04:52 2nd
Vanderbilt 10
Michigan 0 00:57 2nd
Wisconsin 28
Southern Mississippi 7 00:00 Half
Alabama 28
Tennessee 0 00:02 2nd
Florida 10
Western Michigan 13 03:00 2nd
Syracuse 21
Appalachian State   3:30pm
North Carolina  
Auburn   3:30pm
Texas A&M  
Louisville   3:30pm
Florida State  
Miami (OH)   3:30pm
Ohio State  
SMU   3:30pm
TCU  
UCF   3:30pm
Pittsburgh  
Washington   3:30pm
BYU  
Central Michigan   4:00pm
Miami  
Ball State   7:00pm
NC State  
Old Dominion   7:00pm
Virginia  
Oregon   7:00pm
Stanford  
Charlotte   7:30pm
Clemson  
Oklahoma State   7:30pm
Texas  
Notre Dame   8:00pm
Georgia  
Colorado   10:00pm
Arizona State  
UCLA   10:30pm
Washington State  
Teams Score Time
Interleague
Philadelphia   7:10pm
Cleveland  
American League
Toronto 0 2nd
New York 0
Boston   6:10pm
Tampa Bay  
Chicago   6:10pm
Detroit  
Seattle   7:05pm
Baltimore  
Kansas City   7:10pm
Minnesota  
Los Angeles   7:10pm
Houston  
Texas   9:07pm
Oakland  
National League
St. Louis   2:20pm
Chicago  
New York   4:10pm
Cincinnati  
Washington   6:10pm
Miami  
Pittsburgh   7:10pm
Milwaukee  
San Francisco   7:20pm
Atlanta  
Arizona   8:40pm
San Diego  
Colorado   9:10pm
Los Angeles  
Teams Score Time
Atlanta   Sun 1:00pm
Indianapolis  
Baltimore   Sun 1:00pm
Kansas City  
Cincinnati   Sun 1:00pm
Buffalo  
Denver   Sun 1:00pm
Green Bay  
Detroit   Sun 1:00pm
Philadelphia  
Miami   Sun 1:00pm
Dallas  
New York   Sun 1:00pm
New England  
Oakland   Sun 1:00pm
Minnesota  
Carolina   Sun 4:05pm
Arizona  
New York   Sun 4:05pm
Tampa Bay  
Houston   Sun 4:25pm
Los Angeles  
New Orleans   Sun 4:25pm
Seattle  
Pittsburgh   Sun 4:25pm
San Francisco  
Los Angeles   Sun 8:20pm
Cleveland  
Chicago   Mon 8:15pm
Washington  
Teams Score Time
Pittsburgh   2:00pm
Columbus  
Colorado   6:00pm
Minnesota  
Carolina   7:00pm
Washington  
Montreal   7:00pm
Ottawa  
New York   7:00pm
New Jersey  
New York   7:00pm
Philadelphia  
Toronto   7:00pm
Buffalo  
Florida   8:00pm
Dallas  
Tampa Bay   8:00pm
Nashville  
Vegas   8:00pm
San Jose  
Boston   8:30pm
Chicago  
Anaheim   9:00pm
Arizona  
Vancouver   9:00pm
Los Angeles  
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 19 Martin Truex Jr 24
2 4 Kevin Harvick 3
3 2 Brad Keselowski 18
4 9 Chase Elliott 8
5 12 Ryan Blaney 23
6 88 Alex Bowman 19
7 24 William Byron 14
8 42 Kyle Larson 15
9 22 Joey Logano 22
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT RICHMOND
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 20 Christopher Bell 4
2 22 Austin Cindric 1
3 00 Cole Custer 12
4 7 Justin Allgaier 2
5 98 Chase Briscoe 5
6 18 Harrison Burton 6
7 9 Noah Gragson 8
8 8 Zane Smith 15
9 1 Michael Annett 10
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 16 Austin Hill 7
2 45 Ross Chastain 2
3 51 Christian Eckes 1
4 2 Sheldon Creed 6
5 4 Todd Gilliland 3
6 30 Brennan Poole 18
7 24 Brett Moffitt 4
8 99 Ben Rhodes 13
9 18 Harrison Burton 9