Eagles-Cowboys best bets: Who claims 1st place in the NFC East?

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When the Eagles and Cowboys meet Monday, the winner will become the first NFC East team to have a record above .500 since Washington was 1-0 last campaign.

It's been a long wait, but there's plenty at stake in this early season clash between rivals, with first place in the division up for grabs.

Here's how we'll be betting Eagles-Cowboys:

Under 51.5

This total is one of the highest of the week, and while both offenses have shown flashes this year, I'm not sure I'm buying it. The Eagles and Cowboys combined for 31 points a week ago, and each held their opponents to 17 points with four combined interceptions and fumbles. Even their peak offensive showings in Week 1 would have combined for 51 points - a half-point short of Monday's total. Does that sound like a safe over pairing to you?

I'm still skeptical of Jalen Hurts, who came back down to earth as a passer last week after his breakout Week 1 performance against a shoddy Falcons defense. Dallas' defense frustrated Justin Herbert in Week 2 and has the athleticism to contain Hurts as a rusher, while the Eagles' secondary has held up through two weeks and has historically played Dak Prescott well. We'll see points Monday, but this total is too high.

- C Jackson Cowart

Cowboys -3.5

This essentially boils down to me trusting the Cowboys' offense a lot more than the Eagles'. Philadelphia beat up a terrible Falcons team in Week 1 but really couldn't capitalize against a 49ers squad who was gashed by the Lions last week. Hurts has had his moments, but I still don't trust this unit as a whole to manage the sort of efficiency it needs to keep pace with Dallas.

The Cowboys put in a strong showing defensively against the Chargers - a win looking even better now than it did a week ago. The defense isn't the most talented, but there's a lot to like about how it's playing right now, and it won't have to be great to cover this number.

Dallas is fully equipped to chip away and move the ball on this zone-heavy Eagles defense, either grinding out drives on the ground or picking apart the soft spots through the air. The Cowboys have averaged 435 yards of offense through two weeks and will do their thing again Monday night, pulling away from an Eagles team who's outperformed their talent so far.

- Alex Moretto

Cowboys -3.5

Gunslinger Andy Dalton. That's not a phrase you read very often. Dalton went off on the Eagles' defense last season to the tune of 377 yards and three touchdowns. His next best victory in 2020? It was 209 yards and two touchdowns against the Nick Mullens edition of the 49ers.

Truthfully, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore shredded the Eagles' defense last season more so than Dalton did. It was particularly surprising given the offensive line injuries the Cowboys accumulated.

Now Dallas' offensive line is considerably more healthy with Tyron Smith back protecting Prescott. Meanwhile, Philadelphia's defense has looked excellent through two weeks under new defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, but Brandon Graham's season-ending injury is thinning out the defensive pass-rush rotation. In a game with a high total, I've got the Cowboys rated as 5.5-point favorites, so I'll lay the -3.5 Monday night.

- Matt Russell

Eagles-Cowboys best bets: Who claims 1st place in the NFC East?
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