Had Nick Foles followed up his five-touchdown performance in Week 15 with another strong performance last Monday against the Oakland Raiders, he and the Eagles offense may have rested in this afternoon's Week 17 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. Philadelphia clinched their division, a first-round bye and, put a cherry on top with home-field advantage in the postseason. "I don't want to not play them and then it's three weeks later that they're playing again (in the divisional round of the playoffs)". The Cowboys are slight road favourites in this spot as the odds makers are anticipating most of the Philly starters to be taking most of the game off, but either way the Cowboys might be a smart play regardless. The Eagles' title chances suffered a huge blow when quarterback Carson Wentz went down for the year.
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The exception though this year is that we may see the Eagles starters play a bit more than we saw the Cowboys starters play in last year's Week 17 matchup. After a strong performance against the New York Giants in his first start of the season, Nick Foles looked bad against the Oakland Raiders.
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This time around though, the Cowboys will have All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott, who missed the team's last matchup as he was serving his six-game suspension. Nate was drafted out of IN in 2016, but has never played IN an National Football League game. If that's not a marvelous regular season, then I don't know what is. Wouldn't it be a good idea to play the offensive starters and get the offense in the best shape possible heading into the playoffs? Foles finished 4-of-11 for 39 yards (3.5 yards per attempt) with an interception as the Eagles were shut out 6-0 by the Cowboys. Some will think the team rushed him back because the Eagles want to go all out for the Super Bowl this season.
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The Eagles should start fast in the first half, as their starters are more talented than what Dallas has to offer. The Eagles have an extra twist now that Foles, the backup quarterback all year, is the guy the Eagles are going to have to rely on in the playoffs. The outcome of this game is meaningless, but coming away with no major injuries will be the real victory on Sunday.
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