NFL – Philadelphia Eagles (+7, 47½) at Dallas Cowboys 5:00 PM EST
The week 16 NFL action wraps up with a pair of Christmas Monday games, highlighted by the battle for the NFC East division title between Dallas and Philadelphia. The host Cowboys are a game up in the standings, but need to win or the Eagles will hold all the tiebreakers. The Cowboys are a T.D. favorite despite the fact that Philly has won three straight games and took the initial 2006 meeting between the clubs 38-24.
Though it was the main attraction last time out, the whole "Terrell Owens vs Former Team" sideshow will take on a lesser role here. A lot of the reason for this being because QB Donovan McNabb is out for the season. However, keep in mind that T.O. also had his own issues with Jeff Garcia, the current Eagles QB as well when they were both with the 49ers. More importantly however, the primary focus for this Christmas gem will be the NFC East title. Philadelphia's playoff hopes were thought to have ended when McNabb went down. Garcia, has instead led them to consecutive wins over Carolina, Washington and the New York Giants.
The three-game winning streak has catapulted Philadelphia into the lead in the wild-card race, one game ahead of Atlanta and the Giants. Even if the Eagles lose at Dallas, they can still seal a playoff berth with a win over Atlanta in the season finale. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have alreadly clinched their second playoff berth in Parcells' four years as coach, but they are still gunning for a 1st round bye.
Most of the best trends for this contest seem to surround the total. For instance, PHILADELPHIA is 12-1 OVER when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons and Parcells is 13-5 OVER when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season as the coach of DALLAS.
The game figures to come down to which QB can best utilize his offense's big play capability. Garcia has been in big games before, Romo is new to the big stage.
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