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Cowboys news: Taking advantage of a weakened Eagles secondary should be a key

Cowboys will need to find advantages in the Eagles secondary to exploit.

Flip Side: Taking Advantage Of Philly’s CBs- Eatman, Broaddus, & Cash-Draper- Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys know what to expect from a tough Philly run defense but there are advantages to be had with the Eagles secondary.

If Linehan does go this route, I like the matchup of Amari Cooper against any of these Eagles cornerbacks, but I’ll focus on Sidney Jones. Last week the Saints tried to take Cooper out of the game by travelling Marshon Lattimore with him. Lattimore is one of the best cornerbacks in the league and Cooper was perfect against him on targets and receptions.

The closest thing the Eagles have to Lattimore is Sidney Jones. When you study Jones’ game, there are some traits that he does share with Lattimore when it comes to size and movement, but the biggest difference is that Lattimore does a better job of denying the receiver the ball. Jones tends to play a little loose in coverage and this is where Cooper can take advantage of him. Cooper can put Jones in some situations that make him uncomfortable.

To pluck Eagles in rematch, Cowboys must test Eagles back end- Patrik Walker- 247Sports
These two teams met a month ago but things have changed since then. One thing that hasn't changed is that the Eagles secondary is still reeling.

They allow just under 265 passing yards per game, and the Cowboys should take advantage of this by flipping their usual run-first script. It’s a rare chance to use the pass to set up the run, and then use the run to set up the play action pass, in a game of chess that could result in another monster yards-from-scrimmage game for running back Ezekiel Elliott. He’s now being utilized as a receiver out of the backfield, and that’s something the Eagles are ill-equipped to handle, also knowing they’ll have their hands full keeping coverage on Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Cole Beasley.

That’s a lot of weapons being thrown at a secondary that can hardly stop cough with a Halls drop, and the Cowboys can’t be afraid to take advantage. It’s not been the best passing season for quarterback Dak Prescott, but that could change on Sunday, and in a big way.

‘Cowboys always choke’, 'we'll make them choke' Eagles LB says ahead of NFC East matchup -Daniel Gallen-
Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill vows to make the Cowboys 'choke' on Sunday.

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill had some pointed comments about the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday ahead of the teams’ matchup this weekend. And it continues in the vein of these two teams not liking each other very much.

“I mean, look at Dallas’ history,” Grugier-Hill told NBC Sports Philadelphia. “They always choke. So we’ll go down and there make them choke.”

Dak Prescott’s response to Eagles linebacker talking trash: Who? -RJ Ochoa- Blogging The Boys
Eagles LB Kamu Grugier-Hill got the trash talk started by calling the Cowboys "chokers" and vowing to "make them choke". Dak Prescott retorted.

Dak Prescott was asked for his thoughts on Kamu’s words and responded like many people when they first heard what was said. Who?

This is likely going to upset a few Eagles fans, but this is the way rivalries work. People talk, people chirp, and then the football game itself gives one team the right to brag. Football is awesome like that.

Eagles trash-talking doesn't faze Dak Prescott as Jason Garrett's words ring true- Todd Archer- ESPN
The Eagles are known for slinging trash talk ahead of 'Dallas Week' as they call it. Dak Prescott shared a nice lesson about those concerned with talk.

“Coach [Jason] Garrett has a great saying, and I don’t know where he got it from, but, ‘Winners worry about winning and losers worry about winners,’” Prescott said. “We’re focused on ourselves in this locker room about what we need to do to get better in each and every phase of this game to be ready for this week. We’re not worried about he say, she say.”

Given what is at stake Sunday, the comment doesn’t matter.

”When you play a team like this, a game like this that means what it means, what somebody says doesn’t add any motivation,” Prescott said.

'Why not?': The answers to that question are slowly diminishing for the surging Cowboys as reinforcements arrive -David Moore- SportsDay
The Cowboys have gone from 3-5 to 7-5 rather quickly as they continue to put the questions about their postseason possibilities to rest.

“Not only in the NFL, I’ve been on a lot of good teams, and they all gel at different times,” quarterback Dak Prescott said. “So if you’re gelling at the right time as you’re moving forward and the season is coming to an end, we’re getting some players back, we’re getting some people we can benefit from and help us, and we’re doing it at a time that we’re playing good.

”It’s just important for us to continue this momentum and carry it forward in this last stretch.”

Four worries for the Dallas Cowboys as they meet the Eagles -Tom Ryle- Blogging The Boys
Yes, they made a statement against the Saints. But it’s a new week, and nothing can be taken for granted.

They gotta have points.

The Cowboys out-gained the Saints rather impressively and certainly controlled the clock with several time-eating drives - but once again, left far too many points on the field. While they were once again quite good at converting third downs, managing a 50% rate, their red zone efficiency, to put it in technical terms, sucked big time. One for five on touchdowns, a paltry 20%. Sacks and a Dak Prescott fumble killed three of the drives, although the kneel-downs to win the game at the end also counts as a failed red zone drive. But even throwing that out, they would only be at 25%, which just doesn’t cut it.

They were moving the ball well despite the Saints slowing Zeke down. And Prescott was doing very well when he was not going to the ground. The most exciting thing to see was that Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup combined for 151 yards receiving - but even though Dak only missed four throws all game, one would have been a touchdown for Gallup if only the ball had been better placed.

Settling for field goals is not good enough. Coming away with nothing due to a turnover is worse. And speaking of that . . .

Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott nominated for NFL honor -Stefan Stevenson- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is the team’s nominee for the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

Prescott does extensive work helping raise awareness of cancer issues and support people and communities experience adversity with his Faith Fight Finish Foundation, which focuses on fighting cancer and “offering assistance to those facing life-challenging hardships,” according to a press release. He also works with StandUp2Cancer to raise money and awareness for colon cancer and supports research with his SU2C-Peggy Prescott Fellowship for Colorectal Cancer Research Early Career Investigator Award, which honors a rising star in the medical field “whose research will produce cutting -edge and innovative science in the field.”

Writer's Blog: Limiting sacks on Prescott is a collective effort- Rob Phillips- Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have to protect Dak Prescott much better than they have been in recent weeks. The Eagles have a ferocious bunch of pass rushers.

Yet, through 12 games, Dallas also ranks atop the league with 45 sacks allowed. With a month left in the season, that’s already a career-high total for quarterback Dak Prescott, who was sacked a season-high seven times in last Thursday’s win over the Saints.

“Everybody’s got a piece of that, and we’re working hard to improve that,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. “It’s not the (offensive) line protection or Dak holding the ball or any of that stuff. All of those at times are a part of that, but everybody’s got to be on the same page.

“We missed a couple opportunities where we were thinking a guy was going to be somewhere and it surprised the quarterback. So we all have a piece of that, me No. 1, and we’re just working hard to improve that area, especially these last four games.”

Eagles: TE Zach Ertz is on a historic pace, Cowboys must make him a priority-Tyler Dragon- SportsDay
Zach Ertz is on pace to break Jason Witten's record for most catches in a single season by a tight end. Dallas must find a way to defend the Eagles' "Go-To" guy.

Zach Ertz is having the greatest pass catching season in franchise history. The tight end set the single-season team record for receptions (93) in Week 13, passing Eagles great RB Brian Westbrook who caught 90 footballs in 2007.

To date, over 30 percent of quarterback Carson Wentz’s completed 292 passes have gone to Ertz. He is on pace to break Jason Witten’s NFL record 110 receptions by a tight end in a season.

Coincidentally, Ertz looked up to Witten.

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