Eagles Cowboys Rivalry Is Bigger Than Ever

Posted on October 15, 2019

Add one more utensil to the Eagles Cowboys week-long emotional feast.

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Legalized wagers. As if the bitter rivalry and the teams’ identical 3-3 marks atop the NFC East haven’t already provided a mouth-watering backdrop, fans can put their money where their heart is at any NJ online sportsbook.

Betting enlivens this historic smorgasbord, with early odds reflecting the parity of the teams.  The Eagles opened at +2 in DraftKings and +3 at William Hill for their Sunday night road spectacle.

  • The over-under stood at 48.5 or 49.5 at both books and here is a tantalizing betting angle.
  • The first-half projected total of a tie is +850 on the William Hill app. 

That’s an astounding number for a game considered so tight the line projects it at less than a field goal. Never mind moving the line, that wager is a tease onto itself and a good early-week bet if you believe in it. Draws pay big (in boxing, often more than 25-1. Who thinks about a TIE?).Eagles Cowboys Rivalry

What the prop indicates is that the books believe Dallas will assert itself slightly better in the first half at -3. The line moved while this story was being written, it may move again while you read it.

  • The Eagles are moving between +130 and +140 as a money-line pick.
  • Total first-half touchdowns of two is +270 and three is +290.

Think the teams will light up the stadium? Four first-half touchdowns or more stands at +1100. Early sentiment predicts the Cowboys being slightly ahead at halftime of a relatively low-scoring affair.


The historic, enjoyable segment of this feast is the rivalry. This has been a rich, bitter feud. What a table-setter, given the two Bounty Bowls, the first labeled because Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson accused the Eagles of targeting star players like Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman before a game in Dallas.

A couple weeks later in Philadelphia, Bounty Bowl 2 featured more than 100 spectators ejected for throwing snow and ice balls, banners proclaiming “Bounty Hunter for Hire” and a situation so precarious one security guard deemed it “Beirut.”

That was 1989, and remembered like yesterday.

That’s the Eagles-Cowboys. Let’s not forget the pre-game brawl in 2018, the Blue Jersey game in which the Eagles forced the Cowboys to wear uniforms presumed to give them bad luck and the crème-de-la-crème, Philly entering the Super Bowl for the first time with a 20-7 championship win at home against the Cowboys in 1981.

This rivalry showcased Brian Westbrook’s famous kneel down at the one-yard line with Dallas out of timeouts in 2007.   By not padding a 10-6 Eagles lead, he ensured that Dallas would never get the ball back.  It was considered one of the best heads-up-plays in modern history and became a clock-management template for the rest of the NFL.

Never mind Dallas’ 68-52 lead in the series.

Eagles fans circle their calendars for both Dallas dates when the schedule is released.

This one and the Dec. 22 rematch, just-in-time-for-Christmas rematch, are highly anticipated.


Eagles Cowboys Rivalry

Sentiment aside, both teams badly need a victory here.

“They are reeling, just like we are,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said of the struggling teams.

The Eagles come off a 38-20 loss to the Vikings and play their second of three straight road games. The Cowboys have fallen to 3-3 from a 3-0 start, including a 24-22 road setback against the Jets.

Although the Cowboys were faulted for stalling as a 7.5-point pick, they faced an emotional Jets team getting quarterback Sam Darnold back. The Jets delivered perhaps the best game they will play this year.

By Monday afternoon, Pederson was already forced into a verbal toe-tap to stay “inbounds” with his pre-game comments.

After saying his team would “go down there and win that game Sunday night” and become 1-0, it was determined he’d guaranteed a victory. Monday afternoon, he said he merely wished to fire up his troops because saying “we’re going to go down there and hope to get a win” conveys a lack of confidence.

He has a point about over-reaction to pre-game comments. The power of a phrase, multiplied by numerous media outlets, can paint a coach into a verbal corner. Had Pederson played it straight, saying the Eagles were going to give a good effort, he would have been criticized for not having faith in his team.

Welcome to Eagles-Cowboys. The sky is falling. The odds are moving. The words are changing.

And we’re just getting started.


Game back on. The Cowboys were a 3-1 choice to win the division before the season started. A bettor at the William Hill book at Ocean Casino used the $50 match-bet bonus (open the account, bet $50 and get a $50 free bet) to select the Cowboys as division winners before game one. Throughout the industry of course, many larger wagers on this play exist.

That bet looked to be in his pocket three weeks ago. The Cowboys were once flying high at 3-0 while the Eagles were 1-2. Sunday’s game was looked at as a chance to put the nail in the coffin of the NFC East.

No more.

The ‘Boys have a damaged offensive line and three straight losses.

Dave Bontempo Avatar
Written by
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a national multi-award-winning writer, and broadcaster, writes extensively on the evolving legalized sports-wagering world. Over the past four decades, he has called fights for all major networks, authored columns for the Associated Press, Atlantic City Press, and iGaming Player. He is in the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and a Sam Taub Award for broadcast excellence, given by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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