Week 3 of the 2021 NFL regular season will be punctuated by an exciting matchup between bitter NFC East rivals, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. The two are tied atop the division standings with identical 1-1 records, so on the line Monday night in this game is an early solo lead for the NFC East’s No. 1 spot. Take a look at how these two teams match up and see our Eagles-Cowboys prediction plus the odds of the contest in this preview.
Here’s how the bookmakers have set the lines for the Eagles-Cowboys game in Week 3.
NFL Odds: Eagles-Cowboys Odds
Philadelphia Eagles +3.5 (-110)
Dallas Cowboys -3.5 (-110)
Over 51.5 (-110)
Under 51.5 (-110)
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Why the Eagles Could Win
The Eagles turned lots of heads right in the first week of the 2021 NFL season when Jalen Hurts led his team to a 32-6 road win over the Atlanta Falcons. But they came crashing back to the ground the following week, during a 17-11 home loss to the San Francisco 49ers. But even with that loss to the Niners, the Eagles excited their fans with the potential of the team’s offense with Hurts under center.
Against that tough 49ers’ stop unit, Hurts passed for just 190 yards on 12-of-23 completions, but gashed San Francisco with 82 rushing yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Hurts’ mobility is something Dallas has not seen in an opposing quarterback over the first two weeks. The Cowboys dealt with Tom Brady in Week 1 then Jimmy Garoppolo the week after that.
This time, Dallas will have its hands full in trying to contain Hurts, who leads the Eagles through two games with 144 rushing yards and a touchdown. He also has nine rushing first downs, which is especially noteworthy when considering the fact that the Cowboys are just 22nd in the league with a 43.48% defensive third-down conversion rate.
Why the Cowboys Could Win
The Cowboys made sure that they won’t fall to a 0-2 hole to start the season by defeating the Los Angeles Chargers, 20-17, on the road in Week 2. That was a gutsy win for Dallas, as the team had to pull it off with star wide receiver Amari Cooper playing hurt (ribs) against the Bolts. The good news for the Cowboys is that Cooper has the green light to play against the Eagles. With Cooper ready, Philly’s defense will be absolutely challenged.
The Eagles’ stop unit will operate minus Pro Bowl defensive end Brandon Graham, who is now done for the season due to a torn Achilles, and that must sound like sweet music for Dallas, particularly to the backfield duo of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. The Cowboys’ run game appears to be no longer strictly Elliott’s business to handle alone with Pollard showing up. Pollard even led the Cowboys in Week 2 with 109 rushing yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
That’s important to know because Eagles opponents love running the ball. In fact, the Falcons and the 49ers have called for a rush play 48.48 percent of the time — fourth-highest this season. Zeke and Pollard could eat a lot in this game.
Final Eagles-Cowboys Prediction & Pick
Dak Prescott has the Cowboys’ offense going again, but the Eagles are capable of slowing down elite offenses. San Francisco isn’t exactly a top-tier offense, but holding that squad down to only 11 points says a lot about the Eagles’ bend-but-not-break nature. Jalen Hurts will ball out in this game along with the 1-2 combo of DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor. The Cowboys will have success on the ground with their solid tandem of Elliott and Pollard, but it’s the Eagles’ defense that will spell the difference in this contest. Take the Eagles to win and cover as a road underdog.
FINAL PICK: Eagles +3.5 (-110)