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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys Point Spread - Pick

Philadelphia Eagles (8-1 SU, 7-2 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS)
Week 11 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday Night Football, November 19, 2017 at 8:30PM EST
Where: AT&T Stadium, Dallas, Texas
TV: NBC

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: PHI -3.5/DAL +3.5
Over/Under Total: 48

The Philadelphia Eagles come to AT&T Stadium to meet the Dallas Cowboys in a big NFC East battle on Sunday Night Football. The Eagles enter this spot nice and rested after the bye-week, which followed a great 8-1 start to the season. They've almost been as good from a betting standpoint, covering 7 of 9 spreads so far this season. They look to keep it going against their division rivals this week. Dallas saw their three-game winning streak come to an end on Sunday in a 27-7 road loss to the Falcons. The defeat dropped them to 5-4 and raised questions on how the Cowboys will fare without Ezekiel Elliott, whose suspension is again on. This is the first meeting of the season between these divisional teams.

The Eagles have a lot of things to like about them so far this season. The growth of Carson Wentz in his second season at quarterback has been a big key, as he has gone from promising young quarterback to a guy on the verge of elite status. With a powerful arm, nimble legs, and a flair for the dramatic, he is putting together a nice season. Wentz is getting good play around him on the ground and through the air, with just a better offense overall, And on the other side of the ball, they are getting standout play in certain areas. They are not invulnerable, but just a very good team. And unlike a lot of supposed good teams in the league, the Eagles bring it every week, as their consistency is also a major team strength through nine games this season.

Wentz has gotten better and with an improved cast of playmakers, it has really come together. Even if the line falters and the pass-rush is heavy, Wentz uses his pocket presence and live feet to avoid trouble a lot of the time. On the ground, Wentz also chips in with a lot of big runs. With LeGarrette Blount, they already have a bruising back and they acquired Jay Ajayi who showed good signs in his first game as an Eagle. That's three different ways they can get you on the ground. The aerial game has also stepped up. Tight end Zach Ertz (questionable) has been big, with Alshon Jeffery starting to look like the number-one receiver he was in Chicago. Those guys were expected to produce, but more of a surprise has been former first-rounder Nelson Agholor, who was starting to look like a bust until recently and he is now a major weapon on this offense. They are averaging over 31 points per game and there is room for a lot of different guys to shine on this offense.

The Philly defense has also been pretty good, giving up less than 20 points per game on average. They are tops in the league against the rush, with an active and fired-up defensive line. So far this season, Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, Tim Jernigan, and Brandon Graham have been stout against the rush, while also getting after quarterbacks. Mychal Kendricks and Nigel Bradham are forces in the middle, though losing LB Jordan Hicks to season-ending injury was a tough break. The one outstanding element on this team is the secondary. Different guys have been banged-up, but as a whole, they haven't been very stout. Patrick Robinson and Jalen Mills each have three picks and have helped the Eagles secure a plus-six in turnover ratio. But being leaky against the pass is something that could haunt them moving forward.

Against a desperate Atlanta team on the road on Sunday, the Cowboys came up short by quite a margin. It was an understandable loss on certain levels. The Cowboys had done well to right the ship with three straight wins and are still in it at 5-4, but the loss was concerning on different levels. We'll see how close the tie is in coming weeks with Ezekiel Elliott being out of action and the Cowboys suddenly coming up with just 7 points. But after Dak Prescott ran in a score midway through the first quarter, the offense wasn't able to get on the board for the rest of the game. The offensive line didn't perform well and the offense will need to get better with Elliott missing extended time.

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It might be too convenient to assume Elliott being out was the only cause for the Cowboys' anemic offensive output against Atlanta. First of all, teams can just be off in given weeks. And the Dallas run-game wasn't all that bad, averaging over 5 yards a run with Alfred Morris and Prescott making some nice runs. Sure, Elliott's absence hurts. But they have options aerially, which didn't manifest on Sunday. Prescott had only 176 yards through the air with TE Jason Witten leading receivers with 59 yards. Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, and others were quiet. And with eight sacks allowed, the line was deficient in protecting Prescott. They would really like to get Tyron Smith back, as his replacement Chaz Green seemed out of his element, with Atlanta's DE Adrian Clayborn recording an obscene 6 sacks.

All told, the Dallas defense wasn't that bad, considering how powerful the Atlanta offense can be at home, in addition to the Cowboys' offense going dead over the final 3-and-a-half quarters of the game. Matt Ryan had 215 yards, with Xavier Woods picking him off. Demarcus Lawrence had another sack, but the pass-rush was quiet for much of the game. Sean Lee is a difference-maker on this "D" but left the game with a hamstring issue and we'll see how he looks in practice this week. One shouldn't be so quick to condemn a Dallas defense for giving up 27 to the Falcons. It wasn't a great game, but in the three-game win streak that preceded it, they looked to be a group that was getting its act together.

You'd like to see the Cowboys in this tough spot with their best weapon on offense in Elliott. But even without him, they seem to be a dangerous matchup for the Eagles coming off the bye week. The Eagles aren't the kind of team to take off-weeks mentally, but the game does mean more to the Cowboys. A loss this week puts them even further off the NFC East pace and affords them almost no margin for error in the final 6 games of the season. I see some of that urgency resonating and Dallas giving the Eagles a good go this week.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Dallas Cowboys plus 3.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet on Sunday Night Football by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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