The NFC East is shaping up to be one of the more entertaining divisions in football this year. Its top two teams face off on Thanksgiving in Arlington.
The Philadelphia Eagles have been one of the league's hottest teams this season. Outside of a 53-20 shellacking in Green Bay two weeks ago, Philly hasn't lost a game by more than five points. Head coach Chip Kelly has the offense booming despite starting quarterback Nick Foles missing time with a broken collarbone and star running back LeSean McCoy struggling all year. The defense has played just as big a role in the team's success, with Bill Davis' balanced approach producing 38 sacks and frustrating opposing quarterbacks.
In his four games replacing Foles, Mark Sanchez has managed to complete a fair amount of downfield passes but has struggled with interceptions. Chip Kelly's offense is predicated on tempo and ball control, and Sanchez simply must improve upon his current 7:6 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Helping him out is receiver Jeremy Maclin, who is in the midst of a career season. His 980 receiving yards are the third-most in the NFC behind only Golden Tate (1,047) and Jordy Nelson (1,066), and tied for seventh in the entire NFL.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys continue to win despite many injuries on defense and a broken back for Tony Romo. They've been able to overcome these issues primarily due to the play of the offensive line and running back DeMarco Murray, who leads the NFL in rushing yards by a margin of over 400. Murray's career has been short-circuited at times by his own injuries, but he's managed to stay healthy through 11 games. If he stays on the field, Dallas can compete with any team in the NFL, especially at home.
Murray had slowed down somewhat in the weeks leading up to the Cowboys' Week 11 bye, but since then he's returned to his typical level of productivity. Against the Giants last Sunday, he rushed for 121 yards on just 24 carries. He still needs to improve his pace if he wants to reach the celebrated 2,000-yard milestone, but that mark appears to be within reach. At receiver, Dez Bryant has been a touchdown machine during the team's last four games, catching six scores during that span.
The Eagles enter Thursday with a record of 8-3. The Cowboys come in with the same record, as both teams are tied for the NFC East lead.
How to watch
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington
When: 4:30 p.m. ET
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
Online streaming: Verizon NFL Mobile
The Cowboys are 3-point favorites according to OddsShark, with an over/under of 56 points.