Zach Ertz and the Philadelphia Eagles have once last chance to build momentum going into the offseason, as they host the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys for the final contest of the year.
Just 10 days after defeating a playoff-bound New York Giants team, the Eagles will look to add another big NFC East victory. Philly hopes to play spoiler once more against a divisional rival and add to its confidence going into the offseason.
“That’s huge for us, especially in the NFC East, two rivalry games like that,” quarterback Carson Wentz said of Philly’s opportunity. “I think that would give us a lot of confidence going forward. We know we’re a good football team. We know we’ve been in all of these games, but that would kind of give us that extra boost to carry over into the offseason.”
Zach’s rapport with his rookie QB has strengthened in recent weeks, resulting in a major uptick for the former Stanford tight end. No. 86 has accumulated 65 catches and 677 receiving yards—a mark that places him sixth among NFL tight ends. Only four tight ends in the league—Ertz, Kansas City’s Travis Kelce, Minnesota Vikings’ Kyle Rudolph and Carolina Panthers’ Greg Olsen—are in the top six in both categories.
Dallas enters the final week of the season boasting the top rush defense in the league. With a pass defense currently ranked 27th, it could signal a big opportunity for Zach, Carson and the Philly passing attack. The Eagles will try to avenge a close 29-23 overtime loss at the hands of the Cowboys earlier this season and secure their second divisional victory in as many weeks—one that sticks out in the Eagles’ minds as one of their more painful defeats of this season.
“Definitely that one in Dallas,” Wentz said. “Against an NFC East rival, the point of the year we were in there. It kind of was a turning point. That one was tough, having a chance to win on the road there, that’s hard to do in this league.”
The Cowboys may rest any number of their starters in preparation for a playoff run, a decision that the Eagles would like to take advantage of. The Philly defense must be prepared to defend all three Dallas QBs: starter Dak Prescott, and capable backups Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez.
Despite an overall 6-9 record, the Eagles have posted an impressive 5-2 mark in front of their home fans, and will hope to end their season and ring in the new year with a bang against the top-seeded Cowboys.
The game kicks off on Sunday from Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field at 1 p.m. ET.