There are more than one ways to attack the Eagles, but will the Cowboys scheme it up the right way?
I know there is plenty of doubt out there about whether this coaching staff will get Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard on the field together -- but I believe this is the week it changes. With injuries to Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb, this staff has had to come up with more creative ways to move the ball. That means that during Wednesday and Thursday’s practices, without Cooper and Cobb on the field, they took the opportunity to see how that would look as part of the game plan.
The secondary needs to be aware of the number of pick and rub routes that Doug Pederson likes to run -- especially on short yardage and down in the red zone. The Eagles have some large, athletic bodies with Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert and Alshon Jeffery. They know how to get in the way of defenders in order to create space for others. This defense also needs to keep an eye on Miles Sanders and how they like to use him out of the backfield. If the Eagles think they’re going to get man coverage or lots of blitzing, then watch for Sanders to be involved in the passing game.
Eagles left tackle Andre Dillard to make first NFL start against Dallas on Sunday night - David Weinberg, Press of Atlantic City
The Cowboys will face a rookie left tackle on Sunday night, but a talented one.
“It pretty much feels the same because I’ve been preparing the whole year like I’m going to play, so I wouldn’t be surprised,” Dillard told the Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call on Friday.
Dillard, who was the 22nd overall pick out of Washington State University, got some reps in five of the previous six games in relief of Peters.
The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder saw his most extensive action in last week’s 31-20 loss at Minnesota. He played 47 of the Eagles’ 65 offensive snaps with mixed results.
”He had some good plays and he had some bad plays, quite honestly,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday. “He was going against a great defensive end in Griffen. There were times where Andre looked really good, and then there were times when he got a little off balance. But I thought overall, he did some really good things.”
Cowboys’ DeMarcus Lawrence fires back at Eagles’ Doug Pederson: ‘He might want to shut his a-- up’ - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports
DeMarcus Lawrence fires back at Eagles head coach. Interesting comments from the defensive leader, whose defense has struggled so far this season. Will it pay off?
Cowboys’ receiver Michael Gallup opted to pass on fueling the fire set by Pederson, as did head coach Jason Garrett and others as the team opted to focus on their own issues that needed correcting, and not what they viewed as outside noise. That changed on Friday thanks to All-Pro pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, though, whose frustration from the three-game losing streak combined with his usually visceral tone to force a break in PR rank. Lawrence heard what Pederson said and isn’t accepting any veiled apologies or supposed clarifications.
He took the gloves completely off, and warned Pederson he isn’t the one who has to suit up.
”[Pederson’s] gotta come here,” Lawrence said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “Tell him to come on. We ready. Can he play the game?
”He might want to shut his ass up and stay on the sidelines. He can’t play the game for them.”
Well this is pretty significant.
Amari Cooper has been dealing with foot issues since training camp and then went out on the first offensive series against the New York Jets with a thigh contusion. His absence was definitely felt as the offense struggled to find any rhythm in the first half of their week six loss.
Though he hasn’t practiced this week there is some optimism that Cooper could potentially practice on Friday and play in this pivotal week seven matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. A contusion is basically a bone bruise, which is painful and can inhibit movement and flexibility. The most important thing to judge when determining if Cooper will be able to play or not is the level of inflammation that still persists in this leg. If the inflammation is better and he has better movement and flexibility in the leg, then he should be able to go.
The Eagles will be getting a starting cornerback back for Sunday Night Football, but will it be enough to slow down the Cowboys passing attack?
The Philadelphia Eagles don’t need 21 days to figure out if Jalen Mills is ready to go, and the cornerback just confirmed that he’ll make his season debut, against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, as a starter.
Mills had been the team’s starting corner before he got hurt last season, returned to practice Wednesday and will play a vital role on Sunday night.
“I’m in for Sunday,’’ Mills declared to The Inquirer. “At the end of the day, it’s coach’s call as far as if I’m playing and how much I’m playing. But my mindset is I’m going to play.’’
Mills wasn’t on the injury report since he’s still technically on the team’s Physically Unable To Perform list, But he is expected to be today.
Ideal time to lose three? Cowboys QB Dak Prescott’s ‘weird way of looking at things’ - Jori Epstein, USA Today
Dak Prescott has an interesting spin on the Cowboys three game losing streak, and it’s kind of hard to disagree with it.
The 2016 fourth-round pick playing on the last year of his contract does not believe it’s good to lose two.
And the Cowboys captain certainly doesn’t believe there’s ever a good time to lose three straight football games.
And yet, Prescott said from his locker Thursday, he thinks there is no better time than now for his team’s three-game losing streak.
“I have a weird way of looking at things,” Prescott said ahead of the Cowboys hosting the Eagles. “I’d rather right now than any time ever. And simply from the fact we started 3-0, felt good about ourselves, know the team that we have and then basically lose three to three different types of teams really by getting in your own way.
“I’ll take that.”
The Saints defense troubled Prescott, but the offense was hurt less in that contest by its quarterback than by uncharacteristic fumbles from Jason Witten and Ezekiel Elliott. Against the Packers, Prescott threw three costly interceptions and failed to play to his standards. Still, he went all in trying to rally from a 31-3 deficit, finishing the contest with a career high 463 passing yards in the 34-24 loss. And against the Jets? Prescott didn’t throw for a touchdown, but the 4-yarder he rushed for with 47 seconds to play gave the Cowboys a chance to tie the game in its final minute. He weathered eight hits from the Jets’ explosive pass rush but kept playing.
Rob Phillips gives his answer to a questions we’ve all been wanting to ask since week three.
Rob: Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore was asked about this on Thursday, because the play-action percentage has dropped. He said part of it is the way defenses play them, but they’ve also been behind at least two scores in the second half the last two games. I agree with you that good things seem to happen when they use play-action, but they’ve got to be in better circumstances for it to really be effective. I did like how they stuck more to the run in the second half against the Jets to maintain some level of balance.