The Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles are in a position to show who’s the team to beat in the NFC East. The Washington Football Team may be the reigning division champions and are in the mix as well, but these two teams have really been the big dogs in this division and feel the East goes through them. The Cowboys are going through the week’s business as usual, while the Eagles are adding fuel to the fire with their head coach Nick Sirianni debuting his “Beat Dallas” shirt to get his team riled up. We’ll have to see if it helps his team get motivated.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at this Eagles team and see what the Cowboys will be facing on Monday night.
2020 Record: 4-11-1
Last Meeting: 12/27/2020 Cowboys 37, Eagles 17
Head Coach: Nick Sirianni
Key Additions: WR DeVonta Smith (Rookie), S Anthony Harris, DE Ryan Kerrigan, CB Steven Nelson
Key Losses: S Jalen Mills, OT Jason Peters, WR DeSean Jackson, DT Malik Jackson
Biggest offensive strengths and weaknesses
The Eagles offense is somewhat tough to gauge at the moment because in week one they faced possibly the worst team in the NFL in the Atlanta Falcons and looked pretty dominant, but when they faced the San Francisco 49ers last week the offense couldn’t get anything going. With that being said, the Cowboys have to be careful against this team as they are very aggressive and like to take deep shots downfield based on their Week 2 gameplan, and we know how much trouble the Cowboys had last season stopping the deep ball. The Eagles will look to get their running game started early in order to set up their deep ball, so the Cowboys will need to keep quarterback Jalen Hurts and running back Miles Sanders to small gains. If not. Hurts will be able to freeze the defense long enough to have his speedy receivers in DeVonte Smith, Jalen Reagor and tight ends Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz if he’s able to play.
If there is a weakness to this offense it’s Hurts holding on to the ball in the pocket. and his spotty accuracy. He still doesn’t move off of his primary read quickly enough and that has allowed teams to affect the Eagles passing game. Hurts has only been sacked three times but making him uncomfortable in the pocket in the past has caused him to take chances and make poor throws. Perfect for a resurgent Cowboys ball-hawking secondary. He also seems to forgo the middle of the field so the Cowboys can skew their coverage to the outside of the hash.
Biggest defensive strengths and weaknesses
The strength of this defense has always been their defensive line, with an effective pass rush and run-stuffing defenders in the middle they’ve been able to have their way with opposing offensive lines in the past. This season is no different, in three games they’ve been able to collect three sacks, nine tackles for loss, and 11 quarterback hits. They are going to need that defensive line to really step up against a very good Cowboys offense, but if this defensive line can control the line of scrimmage then the Cowboys are going to have a rough day.
While the Eagles defensive line is their biggest strength they’ve lost their best pass rusher in Brandon Graham (Achilles) for the season which will put pressure on Josh Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan, and Derrek Barnett to make plays. They will also have to deal with their two big bodies inside in Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave. Cox showed up on the injury report this week with illness but will probably play. Look for the Cowboys to attack the edged of this defense in the running game and with screen passes to take advantage of the overzealous pass rushers looking to make up for the loss of Graham this week.
This is a big week for the Dallas Cowboys and an opponent who they obviously know well. We discussed the most important matchups on Monday night, broke down which specific Eagles might be an issue, and went behind enemy lines with our friends at Bleeding Green Nation in our official preview show on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel.
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