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Are Cowboys Changing 'Play Starters to Win' Plan? GAMEDAY Dallas vs. Eagles

A win would help the Cowboys' playoff seeding and sweep the NFC East for the first time since 1998.

The regular season finale - in an unprecedented Week 18 - is finally here.

The Dallas Cowboys visit the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday night with a chance to finish undefeated against the NFC East for the first time since 1998. A win would also potentially help the Cowboys' playoff seeding, while stopping the Eagles four-game winning streak. 

There is question as to whether the Cowboys and Eagles' starters will take the field in Philadelphia, as both teams have clinched playoff spots. For the Eagles, quarterback Jalen Hurts (ankle) is listed as a limited participant on Wednesday. The Cowboys' plan is for starters to play: both quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott have stated they will go.

A late-season surge makes the Eagles one of the hottest teams in the NFL. After falling short to the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, the Cowboys could use some positive momentum heading into the postseason. How hard the Cowboys push for a higher seed versus  rest for key players remains to be seen. 

"We are going play to win the game. That is our approach," coach Mike McCarthy said. "That is the best thing for us. We want to make sure we take care of business on our end. And playing well in the weather in Philadelphia will serve us well.”

Well, at least, that was going to be the approach ...

IMPORTANT INJURY UPDATE: Gigantic news as Dallas’ tremendous rookie linebacker Micah Parsons has been moved off the roster due to COVID and will miss the final regular-season game. Fellow starters Tyron Smith and Anthony Brown were also moved to the COVID list on Thursday.

Oh, and starting corners Trevon Diggs and Anthony Brown are sick. And running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard continue to be listed on the injury report. And ... we suspect the Cowboys are re-thinking their initial "play-to-win'' plan.

FUN FACT: Prescott (21,788) needs 172 passing yards to pass Danny White (21,959) for the fourth-most career passing yards in Cowboys history. 

RECORDS: The Dallas Cowboys (11-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)

ODDS: With the latest COVID news, the Cowboys are 5-point favorites vs. the Eagles. The over/under total is 43 points.

BETTING TRENDS: In Dallas' 16 games this year, it has 12 wins against the spread. Philadelphia's 16 games have gone over the point total nine times (56 percent).

PREDICTION: Cowboys, 24-17.

GAME TIME: Saturday, Jan. 8, 7:10 p.m. CT

LOCATION: Lincoln Financial Field - Philadelphia, PA. 

TV/RADIO: ESPN, 105.3 The Fan

THE FINAL WORD Michael Gallup, who is out for the season with a torn ACL, on the Cowboys season:

"It ain't over 'til it's over,'' Gallup wrote on social media on Monday. "And you best believe it ain't over.''