Good morning Eagles fans!
It’s Dallas week.
After a 38-31 victory over the Washington Commanders last week, the Eagles will play their most important game of the season today against the Cowboys. If the Eagles win they will have a 2 game lead on first place in the NFC East. If the Cowboys win they will be in first place in the NFC East because of the head-to-head tiebreaker. This is a massive swing game in the pursuit of the NFC East crown.
Mistake Free Football
If the Eagles are going to win this game, or any of the tough games coming up on their schedule, they have to take better care of the football. In their win last week against the Commanders, the Eagles turned the ball over 2 times within the 5-yard line. Luckily they were still able to win the game, but the margin for error in these next few games is a lot slimmer.
While it is not just Jalen Hurts who has been turning the ball over, he is the main reason for their turnover problem. Hurts this season has thrown 8 interceptions, and has fumbled the ball 3 times for a total of 11 turnovers in just 8 games. Hurts did a great job of protecting the football last season, but he has regressed in that category so far this season.
The Cowboys defense has forced the 5th most turnovers in the NFL this season with 13. If the Eagles want to win this game, they have to take care of the ball.
Neutralize Micah Parsons
The biggest key to beating the Dallas Cowboys is to neutralize their best player, Micah Parsons. So far this season Parsons has 6 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Parsons has been seeing more and more double teams as the years have gone on, so this production is extremely impressive. He is one of the few players in the NFL who can wreck a game all by themselves.
The Eagles and Jeff Stoutland have put together successful game plans for Parsons since he has come into the league. The biggest key to the Eagles being able to keep Parsons in check is Lane Johnson. Johnson is the Eagles’ best offensive lineman and has done a great job against Parsons in the past. The other thing they have done to Parsons is to have him make decisions. In the Eagles’ victory against the Cowboys last season they ran the RPO plays on Parsons’ side, forcing him to make a split-second decision on what to defend, then did the opposite. The Eagles have not run as many RPOs as they did last year, but I do suspect that they will have plays in place to make Parsons hesitate.
The Eagles will be starting some new faces in today’s game, who could make a big impact. According to reports, the Eagles will be starting rookie guard Tyler Steen today. Steen played well in his limited snaps against Washington and was drafted to be Cam Jurgens‘ replacement when he eventually makes the move to Center.
While he started and played a lot last week, new Safety Kevin Byard will play a big role in today’s game. Dak Prescott has done a great job against the Eagles’ defenses in the past, and the Eagles will need Byard to sew up the back end of the secondary against a tough Cowboys receiving core. Hopefully, after his first full week as an Eagle, they can use Byard in some more complex packages.
Undrafted rookie Eli Ricks is projected to start in the slot corner role with Bradley Roby out for this game. CeeDee Lamb plays most of his snaps from the slot position, so Ricks will have a tough test. The Eagles may move Darius Slay inside, or have him follow Lamb. But if not, Ricks will surely be tested against the Cowboys’ number-one receiver.