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Cowboys news: Containing Jalen Hurts is the key to a Dallas victory

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Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Stopping Run Or Pass, Focus Has To Be On Hurts - Bucky Brooks, The Mothership

The Cowboys need to look at one spot to win this game.

Here’s a look at the other side of the ball and who will be the key players for the Eagles in their matchup with the Cowboys.

Who’s the Guy… Jalen Hurts

The Eagles’ QB1 has quietly put up numbers that rival former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson as a dual-threat playmaker. Hurts is 84 yards shy of joining Jackson as the only quarterbacks with 500-plus rushing yards in his first seven career starts. As a passer, the second-year pro has completed 56.5% of his passes with an 8-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio for an 86.6 passer rating. He has picked apart defenses with a myriad of quick passes, screens, and crossers to complement the Eagles’ read-option running game with Hurts as the point man.

Offensive Strategy:

The Eagles have created a modified college offense around Hurts’ talents as a dual-threat playmaker. Hurts has terrorized opponents with his powerful running skills and quick-rhythm passing ability. Nick Sirianni has elevated his young quarterback’s game by stealing pages from the Oklahoma playbook to help the second-year pro getting into a solid rhythm. With Hurts playing with confidence at the position, the Eagles’ supporting cast has flashed some playmaking ability on the perimeter.

Eagles had a chance to make Kellen Moore their head coach, now he has the Cowboys’ offense rolling - David Moore, DMN

Kellen Moore as the Eagles head coach? That would have been awful.

The interview took place in Florida.

The Philadelphia Eagles were searching for a head coach. Kellen Moore sat down with club officials early that January afternoon for a meeting that stretched well into the evening.

Many dismissed the Eagles interest in the Cowboys young offensive coordinator as an exercise in corporate espionage, a chance to pick the brain of a division rival before sending him on his way back to Dallas. Not only was that insulting to Moore, it ran counter to the esteem in which he’s held by coaches and players at The Star.

Philadelphia requested its interview a few weeks after Boise State made a run at Moore, a pursuit that persuaded the Cowboys organization to respond with a three-year extension. One person was in constant contact with Moore throughout this exhilarating process.

Dak Prescott. The quarterback who lobbied for Moore to become the team’s offensive coordinator, the player who developed into one of the NFL’s most prolific passers during their association, was one of the first to learn that Moore wasn’t going anywhere.

Once the Eagles went in a different direction, Prescott shared his expectations and standards. He promised Moore there would be plenty more opportunities for him to become a head coach in the future.

Gut Feeling: Staff Picks For Cowboys-Eagles - Staff, The Mothership

Who ya got?

Rob Phillips: Ever listen to a podcast (hopefully all the shows on this website) and accidentally have it on 1.5 speed? That’s what it’s like watching the Eagles on tape. From quarterback Jalen Hurts to the running backs and receivers, they’ve got guys who can flat run by you. Defensively – I feel like we’ve been saying this for 20 years – Philly’s defensive line is probably the strongest part of the entire team. Those are the two biggest challenges for the Cowboys on Monday night. With so many guys on the defensive line not expected to play, it’ll be interesting to see where Micah Parsons lines up this time. That’s a major factor, too, because defensive coordinator Dan Quinn likes a deep rotation. Ultimately, I like the balance of the Cowboys’ offense and I like their experience edge at quarterback. This is Dak Prescott’s triumphant return to AT&T Stadium, and the place will be rocking, and I think the Cowboys will improve to 2-1.

David Helman: In a sport with a 100% chance of injury, every game is going to come with moving parts. The Eagles’ lines have taken some hits this week, and obviously we’re all aware that the Cowboys are dealing with a ton of losses all over the roster. Even when I take all of that into consideration, I just feel like the Cowboys have the obvious advantage where it matters. When I boil it all down, I just don’t think Philly has the firepower on defense to contain Dak Prescott and all these weapons. Whether by air or by ground, I’ll be shocked if the Cowboys can’t find a way to score three or four touchdowns, plus a field goal or two. On the flip side, I really like Jalen Hurts as a person and as a leader. I think he’s got a ton of potential. I just don’t think he’s currently a good enough quarterback to keep pace with what Dallas is bringing to the table. There will be points in this game, but the Cowboys are going to score enough of them that they won’t be sweating at the final whistle. In his first home game since the injury, against a divisional rival, I think Dak is going to ball out in a 31-20 Dallas win.

Dak Prescott feeling thankful for Cowboys fans ahead of first home game since ankle injury - David Moore, DMN

Dak Prescott gets to play in front of the fans again after 11 months.

Dak Prescott takes a moment before every game to reflect and appreciate the special opportunity in front of him.

Will that reflection be even more meaningful Monday night? It will be the first game he’s played at AT&T Stadium since he was taken from the field on a cart 11 months ago with a fractured ankle.

“I think it will be more special just because the amount of Cowboys fans that will be there,’’ the quarterback said. “Knowing the support they’ve given me going on a year, was important, was something that I felt.

“Knowing that when I run out there, once again whether it’s pre-game or if it’s in a moment within the game, to see up there and with COVID and knowing what we all went through last year, to have them all back, it will be exciting.

“I’ll take that moment, I’ll be thankful for it but then flip my mind right back again to the Eagles defense and what I have to do to win the game.’’

Another box checked in his return? Prescott doesn’t view it that way. He believes all the boxes have been checked.

Dallas Cowboys lose another defender for Philadelphia Eagles game due to COVID-19 - Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram

The Cowboys defense just keeps taking hits.

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Keanu Neal has officially been ruled out Monday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles after testing positive for COVID-19.

Neal was initially placed on the NFL’s COVID-19 list as a close contact, and because Neal was unvaccinated he had to stay away from the team for five days and test daily. As a close contact, If he had been able to test negative through the weekend there was a chance he would have been able to play Monday night.

But on Saturday Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Neal has tested positive and so now he has been ruled out for the Eagles game, however, there’s also a chance he could miss next Sunday’s game against the 3-0 Carolina Panthers.

Jordan Mailata is out for Monday night, but he’s not going on IR - Mike Florio. PFT

The Eagles offensive line is going through some changes of its own.

The Eagles won’t have their starting left tackle for Monday Night Football.

Coach Nick Sirianni told reporters on Saturday that Jordan Mailata will be out for the Week Three game against the Cowboys. Andre Dillard will start.

Sirianni said that Mailata will not be going on injured reserve.

As to Dillard, Sirianni has faith. “I’ve seen him have confidence,” Sirianni said regarding Dillard’s performance in practice following Mailata’s knee injury, which happened this week. “I’ve seen him be able to shut the pass rush down in our practice. We gave him a couple different looks of different scout team players to go against, and I feel really confident in Andre, and he should feel confident in himself.”

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