Should the Philadelphia Eagles rest their starters in week 17?

Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

By activating Jones, the Eagles ensure the rookie will be able to practice with the team throughout their playoff run and add depth at cornerback.

That is, of course, a very fine line Pederson is walking.

Jones, whom most experts rated as a first-round prospect before his injury, earned praise from coaches and teammates this season for his study habits during a long rehab process. "I don't want to not play them and then it's three weeks later that they're playing again (in the divisional round of the playoffs)".

The last time these two NFC East rivals met was back in Week 11 when the Eagles exploded in the second half en route to a 37-9 victory to move to 9-1, a game in which they were fueled by another MVP like performance from quarterback Carson Wentz. After a strong performance against the New York Giants in his first start of the season, Nick Foles looked very bad against the Oakland Raiders.

The exception though this year is that we may see the Eagles starters play a bit more than we saw the Cowboys starters play in last year's Week 17 matchup. Star running back Ezekiel Elliott returned from a six-game suspension and ran for 97 yards, but quarterback Dak Prescott threw two interceptions - one a pick-six - in the game.

Second-round draft pick Sidney Jones was making his National Football League debut and back-up quarterback Nate Sudfeld was making his National Football League debut, too. The game had the feel of a frigid pre-season game where winning and losing didn't matter. Some will think the team rushed him back because the Eagles want to go all out for the Super Bowl this season.

Foles' showing, coupled with how decent Sudfeld looked, will no doubt stir talk of Sudfeld getting a chance to run the offense in the playoffs. Going against the Eagles backups for most of the game should make their day easier, but don't sleep on the Eagles backups on defense.

While there is something to be said for the bye teams losing momentum and rhythm with the week off between the final regular season game and the first playoff game, the Eagles aren't quite in that boat. The Eagles are 8-1 in their last nine ATS on grass and are 1-4 ATS in their last five against the Cowboys and with this being a meaningless game that trend could continue in Dallas' favour.

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