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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 2:00 PM

The Dallas Cowboys played their worst game of the season on Thanksgiving Day at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. With first place at stake in front of a huge TV audience, the Cowboys were crushed!

But, they had a huge excuse, at least in their own minds. They had just played Sunday Night on the road against the New York Giants, and then had to come back to play Thursday against the Eagles. “UNFAIR!” they shouted, even though the Eagles only had a few hours head start with a day game at home.

Now the Cowboys can make their case. Did the league hose them with an unfair schedule sequence? Or, is their soft defense no match for the fast-paced spread out attack that Chip Kelly and the Eagles unleash on opponents? Let’s check out JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats for more insight. They just might help you pick a winner!

 

Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)

Dallas: 9-4 (#31 schedule in USA Today)

Philadelphia: 9-4 (#20 schedule in USA Today)

Both teams have the same record, but Philadelphia has played the slightly tougher schedule. And, the fact that the Eagles won on the ROAD against this team can’t be discounted. Funny how the Cowboys are complaining about the schedule when they’ve had one of the easiest schedules in the whole NFL according to Jeff Sagarin’s computer rankings.

 

Yards-Per-Play

Dallas: 6.0 on offense, 5.9 on defense

Philadelphia: 5.6 on offense, 5.3 on defense

The first thing you need to know here is that your impression of the Eagles is polluted because the media doesn’t understand what PACE does to statistics. Philly goes really fast, and runs a lot of plays. That artificially inflates their own offensive volume, while also hurting their raw defensive stats because their games have so many more plays. Once you adjust for that and look only a per-play stuff…the Eagles are just middle-of-the-road on offense, and are actually decent on defense. Dallas has the better per-play offense. Philadelphia is better on defense. In differential, the Eagles are up +0.6 to +0.1 while facing the slightly tougher schedule.

 

Turnover Differential

Dallas: -1

Philadelphia: -6

The Eagles lead the NFL with 30 giveaways because they’ve started to have trouble handling their own pace. NFL defenses have adjusted, after letting Nick Foles off the hook last year. Both Foles and replacement Mark Sanchez have made poorly timed miscues that the rest of the team has had to overcome. This is a potential strike against them managing to beat Dallas twice in a row (can they play that clean again?). And, it’s a huge strike come playoff time when the Eagles may be facing top defenses in potentially questionable weather. Dallas is also minus, which is also an issue.

 

Market Performance

Dallas: 7-6 ATS

Philadelphia: 8-5 ATS

Both teams have been moneymakers so far. Both teams are 7-5 ATS when not playing each other. The Eagles, to this point, have managed to overcome their turnover issues in the standings and against pointspread expectations. Good stuff from both teams because neither was likely to get any breaks in the line this season.

 

Current Line: Philadelphia by 3.5, total of 55.5

Have the Eagles earned the hook? Home field advantage is usually worth 2.5 to 3 points in NFL divisional games. The market is telling you that the Eagles are the slightly better team with that price. The raw stats would concur…until you get to turnovers. It will be up to the soft Dallas defense to make plays and force mistakes this time around. And, because they played last Thursday in Chicago, they actually have a big rest advantage this time around. NO EXCUSES!

JIM HURLEY knows everyone wants to win the Sunday Night game. It’s the most important Sunday matchup because of what it means to your bankroll. He’ll be working with his full team of experts to find the right side or total in Cowboys/Eagles. NETWORK’S on-site sources in particular will be very helpful gauging the mindset of both teams entering this critical rematch. You’ll be able to purchase the final word for all Sunday action right here at the website in the morning before the games kick off. If you have any questions, call the office at 1-888-777-4155.

We’ll cover the Monday Night game when we get together next. Then, a bowl barrage begins with early looks for this weekend’s college football action. Here’s the schedule for the next few days…

Monday: NFL TV Preview…New Orleans at Chicago on ESPN

Tuesday: Early Look…Nevada vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in New Orleans Bowl

Wednesday: Early Look…Utah State vs. UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl

Thursday: NFL TV Preview…Tennessee at Jacksonville on the NFL Network

Friday: Early Look…Utah vs. Colorado State in the Las Vegas Bowl

Saturday: NFL TV Preview…San Diego at San Francisco on CBS

We’ll have stat analysis for you day-by-day through the college bowls and the stretch run of the NFL season. It’s a great time to be a football fan. Which means it’s a great time to hook up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

 

Be sure to follow:

Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley

Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters

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