Who will Eagles face to kick off 2018 NFL season?

They'll be cleaning up the party in Philadelphia for weeks following Sunday's Super Bowl LII victory over the New England Patriots, but it's never too soon to look ahead to the 2018 season.

As is normal tradition, the Super Bowl winner will host the NFL's annual Thursday Night Kickoff in 2018 with much pomp and circumstance.

The Eagles' home slate provides some very enticing matchups for the first game of the season: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings.

The storylines could run deep for any of these matchups. The Redskins will debut new quarterback Alex Smith. The Falcons would provide a playoff rematch. The Panthers will have Cam Newton in a new offense. Texans quarterback wunderkind Deshaun Watson should be returning from an ACL tear. The Colts will have new coach Josh McDaniels, with Andrew Luck returning.

Each of those matchups would be great, but three options stand above the rest.

1. Dallas Cowboys


The NFL rarely misses an opportunity to put America's Team on a prime-time stage. With Cowboys fans seething after watching the Eagles win a Lombardi Trophy -- something they haven't done since the 1995 season -- the hype for the NFC East matchup would be through the roof.

Add a presumed Carson Wentz return to the mix and we have a cacophony of storylines to choose from. Would the Eagles' defense keep Dak Prescott in Strugglesville or will the third-year pro announce his leap on a national stage? What will Ezekiel Elliott look like with a full offseason and with his legal troubles behind him?

If the NFL wants a ratings bonanza to open the 2018 season, pitting the Cowboys and Eagles makes too much sense.

2. Minnesota Vikings


Would it be uber-mean to subject Vikings fans to endless offseason reminders that their team crumbled in Philly and lost out on a chance to host a home Super Bowl game? Yes. It's also a phenomenal matchup.

The two teams are each division winners (the NFL loves putting division winners on opening night) with 13-3 records in 2017. Yes, the playoff matchup became a blowout, but that storyline would only add more intrigue leading up to kickoff. Does Doug Pederson have Mike Zimmer's number? Can a very good Vikings defense bounce back from a disastrous playoff performance?

Even without knowing how the Vikings' quarterback situation will shake out, the NFL could do worse than giving us a rematch of the NFC Championship Game on opening night.

3. New York Giants


We all know the NFL loves putting the NFC East in prime time. If the league eschews the Cowboys, the Giants would be the next rivalry matchup in line.

New York is breaking in a new coach, Pat Shurmur, whose Vikings struggled against the Eagles in the playoff loss. There is the added underlying storyline about the possibility of the end of the Eli Manning era with Big Blue. If the Giants select a QB high in the draft, would that escalate Manning's exit from New York? You know Eagles fans would savor the chance to start Manning's potential end run in misery.

If you're looking for marketable stars, none is bigger than Odell Beckham Jr. The NFL would love to plaster OBJ's likeness on a poster to sell the 2018 kickoff.