Eagles to play starters vs Cowboys in regular-season finale
By ROB MAADDI
AP Pro Football Writer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Nick Foles and the other Philadelphia starters will play against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
How long they stay in the game depends on how they perform.
“I have to be smart with it, obviously,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Friday. “I’m not putting anyone on a pitch count or set number of plays. I want to see execution going into the postseason.”
The Eagles (13-2) have already secured the NFC’s No. 1 seed and the Cowboys (8-7) are eliminated from contention, so the game has no playoff implications. The Eagles are 7-0 at home and could go undefeated for the first time since 1992.
Pederson could’ve decided to keep Foles on the sideline, especially since Nate Sudfeld is the only other quarterback on the roster. Foles has played nine quarters since MVP candidate Carson Wentz tore his left ACL. He tossed four touchdown passes against the Giants on Dec. 17 but didn’t look sharp on Christmas night in the win against the Raiders.
Foles and most of the first-team unit may only play briefly in Week 17 if they have a scoring drive or two. Philadelphia’s first playoff game will be Jan. 13 or 14.
“I don’t want to not play them and then three weeks later they’re playing a game. That’s foolish on my part,” Pederson said. “It’s more on feel, have to be smart, have to have a reasonable plan with those guys.”
A victory over the Cowboys would give the Eagles a franchise-record 14 wins. Winning the first Super Bowl in team history is the main goal, but 14 wins would be another milestone in a surprising season. Philadelphia was 7-9 last year and entered this season with low expectations.
“They would go down in the record books as a great team in Eagles’ regular-season history,” Pederson said. “It’s something I’ve mentioned. It’s not the motivating factor but something we’ve talked about.”
Notes: Pederson took the team outside to Lincoln Financial Field for practice because the field is heated. … DE Brandon Graham likely won’t play against the Cowboys because of an ankle injury. … LG Stefen Wisniewski is expected to return after missing two games with an ankle injury. … CB Sidney Jones, a second-round pick who hasn’t played this season following surgery before the draft, could be activated if a roster spot is cleared.