Dak Prescott Wants to Make A Statement Against An Eagles Team Without MVP Candidate Jalen Hurts | Is He Reaching?

(Photo: @_4dak/Instagram)

Saturday’s Christmas Eve matchup between the 13-1 Philadelphia Eagles and 10-4 Dallas Cowboys lost a bit of its luster when Eagles star quarterback and MVP candidate Jalen Hurts was ruled out with a sprained throwing shoulder.

Gardner Minshew Takes Over For Jalen Hurts

That major development hasn’t changed the tune of Dallas Cowboys star quarterback Dak Prescott, who’ll be looking to bounce back from a few shaky weeks, one that saw him throw a pick-six in an overtime road loss to the upstart Jacksonville Jaguars. It will be a very tough division game against a capable backup in Gardner Minshew.

On Wednesday, Prescott told reporters this in his post-practice presser:

“If anything, it’s about making a statement to ourselves. It’s about, as we look at the season, we’ve had some games where we played really well and some games where we bit ourselves in the foot and had some games where we didn’t, and we lost. So, yeah, this is about putting our best foot forward, putting our best effort out there and proving it to ourselves in all three phases that we’re a hell of a team and we can go get it done against one of the best teams in the league, whether they’re in our division or not.”

An Eagles win clinches the NFC East division and puts them one step closer to securing the first-round bye as the conference’s top seed and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. For the Cowboys, a win would give them the confidence that they can beat the Eagles if the two were to face each other in the postseason, which is highly plausible. With just three games left in the season and Philly maintaining a three-game lead they’d have to totally collapse for the Cowboys to win the division.

Who Won First Cowboys-Eagles Matchup Of Season? 

In the team’s first meeting this season the Eagles won 26-17 after jumping out to a 20-3 lead. In that game the Cowboys didn’t have the aforementioned Prescott, just like Philly won’t have the services of their starter Jalen Hurts this time around.

Prescott says “everybody in this locker room is looking forward to the rematch in that sense. When you play a team that’s a division rival, underachieving the long history that comes with these two teams, understanding that they’re playing their asses off.”

Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard Key To Cowboys Success

For Dallas to have any success and possibly win, they’ll need to attack the most vulnerable part of the Eagles defense. That being their run defense, which allows 4.6 yards per carry and ranks statistically as one of the worst in the league. That’s got to be the game plan for Dallas, to use its two-headed monster of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. Elliott has gone over the 1,000-yard mark for the fifth time in his seven-year career.

Pollard has touched paydirt 12 times as a dual threat, with nine rushing scores and three receiving. The former Memphis Tigers star is the team’s most explosive offensive weapon.