This years’ home opener is against none other than the Dallas Cowboys, so as you can imagine everyone should be in for a show in this great division rivalry! One of Chip Kelly’s largest off-season additions was sneaking 2014 NFL leading rusher DeMarco Murray away from the Cowboys, this will be the first of two meetings between him and his old teammates. This story line along with the loss of super star wide receiver Dez Bryant due to a broken foot will likely be two of the larger factors in the outcome of this game. For now, we are going to take a deeper look at how the Eagles and Dallas cowboys have matched up in the past and what we can look forward to seeing this Sunday.
Since Chip Kelly took over as head coach in 2013 the Eagles have played the Cowboys 4 times and have split the wins down the middle, 2-2. Of the 4 games played in this time frame the hosting team has never won and both teams have scored a total of 87 points, leaving them in a true deadlock since Kelly joined the league. So the recent past has given us next to no information on what we can expect besides Dallas may have the edge simply because they are the away team. Looking at last weeks number for the offensive side of the ball we know this:
Dallas called rushing plays 33.82% of the time totaling for 80 yards, this was the lowest rushing yards per game since 2013 for their offense. The Eagles managed to have the lowest rushing attempts in the league last week, calling on runners for only 25.53% of plays for a whopping total of 63 yards. However, even with this very low running percentage the Eagles are tied for first in the league for rushing touchdowns so they may have the edge in the running game against the cowboys if they can continue to make their rushes impact the scoreboard.
Eagles tied a league high for passing attempts with 52, equaling to 74.47% of the plays called for 336 yards. The Cowboys were a little under that but not by much calling on Tony Romo 66.18% of the time and accumulating 356 yards on the day. Where the numbers started to pull away from each other in Dallas’ favor is with completion rate and yards per pass. The Cowboys have better numbers in both of these categories with 80% completion rate compared to the Eagles 69.23% and their yards per attempt averaged at 7.9 while the Eagles again trailed with 6.5. With the Cowboys losing their number 1 receive these number will be hard to predict this week but it is fair to say that the Cowboys have the edge in the air assault.
Both teams in week one managed to bring in three touchdowns from the offensive side of the ball. Eagles(75%) had better success converting once in the red-zone then Dallas(60%), but where the Eagles will need to be more successful is converting on 3rd down. Eagles have a low conversion rate 25% while the Cowboy boast a 54.55% conversion rate that is ranked 4th best in the NFL after one week of play.
All in all this seems to be an evenly matched game with a slight edge in Dallas’ favor but we all know that “stats” and “what happened before’s” are thrown out the window when you have a divisional match up. We look forward to seeing if Chip Kelly’s Eagles can progress as the season goes on and hopefully his they can bring the first home team win against Dallas in 2 over years.