Free NFL Pick: Dallas at Philadelphia 01-02-2011

January 2, 2011

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Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday December 2nd, 2011 4:15 PM EST

Line: Philadelphia -3

Overview:

The Eagles need to recover in a hurry, after having only a short week to prepare for the Cowboys. They played a Tuesday game, due to weather and were blown out by the Vikings. They travel back home, where they will try to recuperate before heading into the playoffs. They already clinched the NFC East, but nobody wants to head into the playoffs with a couple of lackluster performances.

The Cowboys lost to the Cardinals last week. Prior to Saturday’s game, I thought the Cardinals were the second worst team in football. Being humiliated on Christmas by a team led by John Skelton was certainly not in the Cowboys’ plans prior to this season. Nobody knows who the coach will be next year in Dallas, but a victory over the Eagles would certainly cement interim head coach Jason Garrett at the top of the list heading into the offseason.

Keys to the Game:

  • Michael Vick is out, which makes this a perfect time to shop Kevin Kolb. The Eagles need to show America how valuable of an asset Kevin Kolb could be to their team. He’s young, poised, he can make all of the throws, etc. There is a laundry list of reasons the Eagles chose to part ways with Donovan McNabb and go with Kolb. Unfortunately for Kolb, he was injured and Michael Vick led a season that ultimately led to him being selected the starting quarterback for the NFC in the Pro Bowl. The Eagles will likely hold out for a first round pick for the acquisition of Kolb. They will likely see it, especially if Kolb puts on a dominant display in what will likely be his last start in Philadelphia.
  • Steven McGee will likely make the start for the Cowboys. What a fitting way to end a miserable season. McGee has a number of weapons at his disposal, but whether or not he is going to be able to take advantage is yet to be seen. The Cowboys certainly know McGee is not going to be their quarterback moving forward, but with an aging Jon Kitna, this is a good opportunity for them to see just what sort of value they have in McGee as a backup.

Key Matchup:

The Eagles home run threats Vs. Cowboys vulnerable defense

  • The Cowboys have been subject to big plays all season long. Unfortunately, they are probably going to be victimized by the Eagles this week. Michael Vick is out, but the Eagles still have three legitimate home run threats on the field. One to keep your eye on this week is LeSean McCoy. He is deceptively fast and he becomes lethal in the screen game. DeSean Jackson sees more production under Vick, but look for the big play to be abundant on Sunday.

Wrap Up:

I like the Eagles in this one. The loss to the Cardinals and Steven McGee at quarterback put it over the top. The Eagles might be starting their backup quarterback, but when your backup is Kevin Kolb, you could certainly do worse. The spread is three here but I’m thinking eight.

Free NFL Pick: Philadelphia -3


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