Eagles-Cowboys 5 things
1 p.m. on FOX
The Eagles try to match last season's record and start 2017 on a high note on Sunday against the rival Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field.
Having already secured the top seed in the NFC, the Cowboys are expected to rest many of their starters during the game - optimal conditions for the Eagles to pick up win number seven.
Sunday could be the final time many Eagles players wear midnight green, including six unrestricted free agents in 2017. And while some of those are reserves, at least two starters will be able to test the open market this offseason.
Defensive tackle Bennie Logan and cornerback Nolan Carroll join Stefan Wisniewski, Bryan Braman, Najee Goode and Stephen Tulloch as Eagles whose contracts are coming to an end. Rumor has it negotiations are already underway with Carroll, but no word on Logan, and regardless, bargaining now is no guarantee the deals get gone.
In addition to the list of impending free agents, several other Eagles stars could be playing their final game for a combination of financial and performance reasons. Anything can happen in the offseason to highly paid players such as Connor Barwin, Jason Kelce or Ryan Mathews, for example. Enjoy their company while they're still around.
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Since Dak Prescott is unlikely to play on Sunday, or at least only very sparingly, the Eagles are expecting to face a pair of familiar faces under center. According to reports, long-time Cowboys starter Tony Romo will enter the game for at least a series or two before giving way to former teammate Mark Sanchez.
Romo last appeared in an NFL game in 2015, and coincidentally, the 14-year veteran's rash of injuries began with a broken collarbone at the hands of Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks. Sanchez also last played extensively a year ago, making two of his 10 career starts in midnight green a season ago.
The familiarity with the two signal-callers expected to take the majority of the snaps should work to the Eagles' advantage, as could the fact that both have played only sparingly in the last two years.
The 53rd man
The season may be coming to a close, but the Eagles couldn't cross the finish line without making one more move. This week, the team promoted Terrell Watson from the practice squad, and the first-year running back may just have the opportunity to put something on tape this week.
Originally an undrafted free agent by the Bengals in 2015, Watson could be active for the first time in his career after stints with the Browns and Broncos as well. The 6-foot-1, 240-pound back played his college ball at Division II Azusa Pacific and is described as a bruiser.
And Watson should get to play seeing as both Ryan Mathews and Wendell Smallwood are out, leaving the Eagles with only Darren Sproles and Byron Maxwell in their backfield. If he shows something, the Cowboys game could be more than just a tryout.
Occupy the Linc
The Eagles have done well for themselves at home so far this season, winning five of seven games at Lincoln Financial Field with a chance to get to six. That being said, the Cowboys have been making themselves quite comfortable in South Philly of late.
In fact, the Cowboys have won each of their last four trips to the Linc, with every game decided by at least 10 points. In other words, the Eagles have fared very well in their own building when Dallas comes to town over the past four years, nor have the outcomes been particularly close.
Of course, the Cowboys are usually playing to win a pivotal NFC East rivalry game when they're in town. This time around, the result isn't important at all.
Up in smoke again
While the Eagles would certainly like to end their season on a high note and carry some momentum into 2017, it won't erase the fact that this is yet another year that will end without a playoff victory.
The Eagles last appeared in the postseason in 2013, and haven't advanced past the first round in the tournament in 2008. In other words, the franchise is closing in on a decade since its most recent win in the playoffs.
Obviously, there's more hope than ever since the Eagles are confident they've found their quarterback of the future in Carson Wentz, and many of the core players are in their primes and under contract. Still, after a promising 3-0 start, this feels like yet another disappointing and ultimately inconsequential finish.