The Dallas Cowboys are 13-2. They've already clinched the NFC East, a first-round bye, the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs until the Super Bowl, if they make it that far. Their game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17 doesn't affect their playoff positioning -- or anything about their possible postseason opponents -- in any way whatsoever.
As such, they're reportedly going to rest some of their big guns, for at least part of the game. According to a report from NFL Network, No. 3 quarterback Mark Sanchez is expected to be active for the game -- and take most of the snaps. The same is true of backup running back Darren McFadden, who has taken over the No. 2 gig from Alfred Morris in recent weeks.
Along with #Cowboys Mark Sanchez receiving most of the reps, expect same with Darren McFadden. An inexperienced LT adds to resting starters— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 29, 2016
Star left tackle Tyron Smith was injured late in the third quarter of Week 16's 42-21 win over the Lions, suffering a sprained MCL while blocking for McFadden on a toss sweep. He sat out the remainder of the game, with backup Emmett Cleary taking over for him the rest of the way. His availability for the playoffs is reportedly not in question, but the Cowboys surely want to avoid Dak Prescott and/or Ezekiel Elliott suffering the same fate, so it makes sense that they'll be giving backups the majority of the reps in their regular season finale.