Philadelphia Eagles (13-1) at Dallas Cowboys (10-4)
The Eagles have lost quarterback and likely MVP favorite Jalen Hurts for this game with injury, but all hope is not lost in this critical divisional battle in Dallas, for several reasons. For one, the Eagles are far more than just Jalen Hurts. As well as Hurts has played, this team is 13-1, ranks 1st in point differential (+143), and 3rd in schedule adjusted efficiency (+6.29), and they could not have done that without a strong supporting cast. In fact, in terms of my roster rankings, the Eagles actually have the most non-quarterback talent of any team in the league.
The Eagles’ talented supporting cast is in large part due to the fact that, even with Hurts out, the Eagles are still one of the healthier teams in the league, with 20 of their expected 22 starters on offense and defense playing this week, including talented tight end Dallas Goedert, who is notably making his return from a 5-game absence this week. Given how late in the season it is, that’s remarkably healthy. The Eagles also have one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league in Gardner Minshew, who is a better option than several other regular starters around the league.
Between having a starting caliber backup and a dominant supporting cast, the Eagles should still have more than enough talent to at least compete with the Cowboys in this game, ranking 3rd in the NFL in my roster rankings even with Hurts out, actually ahead of the Cowboys, who rank 7th in my roster rankings, as well as ranking 9th in schedule adjusted efficiency (+3.17). The Eagles are also more likely to play harder in this game than the Cowboys, as good teams tend to do when forced to play with a backup quarterback.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, will have another game four days after this one on Thursday Night Football, a spot in which favorites cover at just a 43.2% rate, and they may relax a little bit against a backup quarterback, which they can’t afford to do, given how talented the rest of the Eagles’ roster is. Despite that, the Cowboys are 4.5-point favorites in this game, a pretty high number, given that about 3 out of 10 games are decided by four points or fewer. My calculated line actually has this as a toss up, so I love the value we’re getting with the Eagles, who still have a great chance to win and pull the upset even with Minshew. The Eagles are my Pick of the Week.
Philadelphia Eagles 24 Dallas Cowboys 23 Upset Pick +180
Pick against the spread: Philadelphia +4.5
Confidence: Pick of the Week