Cowboys Injuries Opens Door for LB Jabril Cox to Make Debut Vs. Eagles - Sean Martin, Inside the Star
Cox’s time is now.
Vander Esch and Smith will still be needed without Keanu Neal in the lineup, and the Cowboys liked what they saw from Dan Quinn’s “big nickel” package with three safeties on the field last week. This too could help ease the losses in the front seven by keeping throws underneath, forcing Hurts to beat them consistently down the field.
Cox won’t be asked to run with Jalen Reagor or Devonta Smith, but having another tackler at the second level that can also spy on Hurts is valuable.
When Cox was drafted 115th overall, it was considered one of the steals of this class for the Cowboys. Parsons has stolen the show for rookie contributors so far, along with DT Osa Odighizuwa. Jabril Cox can add his name to this list in primetime should the Cowboys need to change their look at linebacker against the Eagles.
Sources: Dallas Cowboys’ La’el Collins attempted to bribe NFL drug-test collector - Adam Schefter, ESPN.com
The Collins chronicles get even deeper.
He believed he had legitimate reasons for missing seven drug tests, one of which was scheduled for the day that Cowboys strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul died in November. Collins missed another drug test the day of his uncle’s funeral.
Collins is not the first NFL player to attempt to circumvent the league’s drug-test policy. In 2013, the NFL suspended Denver Broncos star Von Miller six games after he was caught attempting to corrupt the drug-test program with the help of a urine collector.
If his suspension is not reduced or overturned, Collins will be eligible to return to the roster Oct. 18, the day after the Cowboys play the New England Patriots.
The suspension will cost Collins roughly $2 million and, per the CBA, voids the injury guarantee worth $6.48 million in his 2022 salary.
This is a game with high implications.
Wins will be difficult to come by over this stretch, which includes home dates against last year’s Super Bowl combatants, the Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday, and a Thursday night game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, bookending a road trip to Carolina to meet the Panthers.
That probably makes Monday night’s matchup in Dallas perhaps even bigger for the Eagles than it being against an NFC East rival and team favored by many to win the division.
Both teams are already short-handed just two weeks into a journey that will take them through the middle of January, and longer should one or both make the postseason.
The Eagles will be without three starters – Brandon Graham, Brandon Brooks, and Jordan Mailata.
Terence Steele is going to play a huge role for the Cowboys as he faces tough competition coming up - Terence Watson, Blogging the Boys
Steele will have his work cut out for him going forward.
If Steele can get through these next four games the way he did against Bosa last week, then the Cowboys are going to be in very good shape on offense with a real chance of winning each of those games. As important as Prescott is to this offense they can’t afford to have him under constant pressure and risk injury. Teams won’t be attacking Tyron Smith, he’s a proven top-tier left tackle in this league, which makes Steele the obvious target teams will look to exploit. They now have game film on him from this season and these pass rushers and defensive coordinators will be looking to that Chargers game film to find weaknesses in Steele’s game in order to get to Prescott.
If they are able to find any weaknesses they will be sure to exploit them immediately to gain an advantage. So right now, the Cowboys go as Steele goes, and it will be up to him to make sure that he’s learning from his mistakes and studying game film on himself as well as on the pass rushers he will be facing. Steele will also have to make sure he steps up his game with regards to the running game as well. Collins is known as a mauler in the running game and the Cowboys routinely run behind him and guard Zack Martin.
Some insights on the Eagles.
After putting up 32 points and over 400 yards of total offense in their first game, the Eagles could barely muster 11 in Week 2. Quarterback Jalen Hurts’s quarterback rating dropped nearly 50 points from game one to game two. After combining for 12 catches, 120 yards, and two touchdowns vs. Atlanta, receivers Devonta Smith and Jaelon Reagor only caught four balls for 21 yards together against the 49ers.
Still, the Eagles’ defense showed up in both games, helping preserve a blowout and keeping another game very close. This unit boasts the third-best passing defense and the second-best scoring defense early in 2021. As such, it may be wise for the Cowboys to replicate last week’s game plan and unleash their super-duo at running back in Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.
No matter the year or the record, this matchup is the best this division has as far as rivalries go. It may even be on the shortlist of best in the league. Thankfully, the Cowboys have been on the better end of it lately, winning five of the last seven matchups. In those five victories, it’s been the Dallas defense that has done most of the heavy lifting. The Cowboys have averaged just 14 points allowed to the Eagles.
Jason Garrett figured out the NFC East. Now it’s time for Mike McCarthy’s Cowboys to do the same - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News
Can McCarthy conjure up a winning formula?
“It’s a bit more challenging because of that,” wide receiver Amari Cooper said. “You gotta think it’s not just two times a year, a lot of the same guys on their defense have been around. They played us eight times already, so they’re familiar with some of the signals, the cadence and stuff like that. So you have to have an emphasis on changing things up more when you play a common opponent, a divisional opponent.”
The Eagles have a new coaching staff so the Cowboys must study not only at the first two regular season games but the past of head coach Nick Sirianni, who spent the previous three seasons in Indianapolis as their offensive coordinator.
Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon was the defensive backs coach in Indy with Sirianni, and he’s made some slight changes to the defense. So this NFL world while it’s of constant change, the core principles of winning within the division remain.
The Cowboys can’t afford another poor record in the NFC East.
“It needs to be,” McCarthy said of an improved record in the NFC East. “Clearly in touch with our division record last year. But these division games, with every step, puts more time, you have offseason studies, the players are in tune with who they’re competing against. Week 2 was an uncommon opponent in the Chargers.
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