As is customary each week, we speak to the SB Nation blog for the opposing team. This week, with the Dallas Cowboys taking on the Philadelphia Eagles, we discuss the game with Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation.
Blogging The Boys: Against the Falcons, it looked like two different teams during the two halves of the game. Why was Philly so bad in the first half, then really good in the second?
Bleeding Green Nation: The Eagles really couldn’t get anything going offensively in the first half. The run was getting stuffed due to poor blocking and there were miscommunication issues in the passing game. Meanwhile, the usually-strong Eagles run defense was giving up more yards than normal. Philadelphia’s pass defense obviously struggled as well, especially Byron Maxwell.
In the second half, the blocking picked up a little bit. Sam Bradford seemed to have more time to throw and he was able to take what the Falcons were giving him underneath. The up-tempo offense got in a rhythm and he was able to move the chains. Bradford went 20/22 on his passes in the second half prior to the team’s final drive. On defense, the Eagles were able to stop the run and contain the pass a little bit more. The defense seemed to get a boost when the Eagles stopped playing DeMeco Ryans and gave Kiko Alonso most of the linebacker snaps instead.
BTB: The running game was obviously an issue last week. What went wrong and can it get corrected for this week?
BGN: The run game seemed to suffer due to poor blocking, especially from Philadelphia’s guards Andrew Gardner and Allen Barbre. The Eagles were then forced to somewhat abandon the run game due to being down by multiple touchdowns. Philadelphia’s run game is going to make or break this team. I fully expect them to try to get it going early this week. It really comes down to execution. The blocking needs to be better.
BTB: There was a ton of change in Philly over the offseason, how have the fans felt about Chip Kelly's moves?
BGN: I would say most fans are on board with Chip Kelly and his moves, but there are a fair share of skeptics as well. I think the most common sentiment is a "wait and see" approach. Kelly has earned the benefit of the doubt as a coach thus far despite being unproven as a general manager.
BTB: Looking at the upcoming game, where do you see the Cowboys having an advantage?
BGN: Philadelphia’s pass rush wasn’t as good as expected against an unimpressive Falcons offensive line. I think the Eagles’ pass rush will pick up at some point, but until it does it’s a concern. The Eagles are going up against a good Dallas offensive line and if they don’t get pressure on Tony Romo it could be a long day for Philadelphia’s secondary.
BTB: If you were Chip Kelly, what would be your strategy for the game, how would you defeat Dallas?
BGN: It all comes back to the run game. The Eagles have to pound the rock early and often. From there, the run game should open up the passing attack. It’ll also make life easier on Philadelphia’s defense. This is basically the model the Cowboys used to beat team last season. Chip Kelly should look to give the Cowboys a taste of their own medicine.
Thanks for the knowledge, Brandon.