The Philadelphia Eagles travel to the Lone Star State to take on the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday. After a tremendous effort against the Arizona Cardinals, the Eagles look to gather their 5th win of the season against a longtime divisional foe. In his 3rd start, Jalen Hurts looks to continue to fuel a tattered offense and obtain his second career win. The Cowboys, like the Eagles, have been a very disappointing team this season. With both teams facing significant injuries on both sides of the ball, this division rivalry shapes to be more of a laughing stock than usual. Like most Eagles games, regardless of the opponent, this game will be a struggle. Here is what the birds must do to secure the win.
Eagles Offensive Role
As tough as it’s been to determine a single point to blame for a weak offense this season, it’s easy to admit that Jalen Hurts has been a welcomed kickstart. Hurts in 2 games has looked electric. Both by air and ground, the former Sooner has propelled this offense into a force to reckon with. However, Hurts is still a newcomer to the NFL. Like many young players, he has his mistakes, which must be minimized to win this game. Luckily for the Eagles offense, they are going up against yet another historically bad Dallas defense. The birds can easily win this one if the offense plays with the same energy as their last two games.
The playcalling has still been iffy, so Doug Pederson needs to call effective plays on early downs. Even with a change at QB, the Eagles still struggle on 3rd and long situations. More considerable gains on early downs will help this team extend drives and maintain possession. Getting Miles Sanders involved in the run game early and often will also boost the team’s chances of winning. Dallas is giving up a whopping 161 yards a game to rushers. By letting Hurts “get freaky” in the open field and running rock with sophomore Sanders, the Eagles can easily control the pace of the game and come out with a win.
The Eagles defense has been on and off all season. In some games this season, they have held firm, but they have faltered against easy foes in others. The defense is already wildly banged up, losing key secondary members like Avonte Maddox and Rodney McLeod. Luckily, without star QB Dak Prescott, the Dallas offense has been relatively stale. Despite the incredible talent in young WRs Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, Andy Dalton has struggled to impact the passing game. Superstar Ezekiel Elliott has his struggles this year and has looked no better than decent. He’s averaging a career-low 3.9 yards per carry. Zeke has also fumbled six times, tying his career-high with two games to go.
Rushing against an Eagles defense that has allowed 125 yards a game offers a favorable matchup, but the Birds D line has started to shut down running backs in the last few games. This game should be easy enough on offense where the Eagles defense can afford to make mistakes. Winning in the trenches and getting in the backfield will result in the Eagles’ defense keeping Dallas’ offense in check. However, with a significant loss in the secondary, failing to get to the QB could result in a big game for Dallas receivers. The Eagles must play fast and aggressive upfront to seal this game on defense.
Despite your stance on the QB situation, the Eagles have been rolling with Hurts. In his few games, the young athlete has looked very promising. With plenty still to work on, Hurts can continue to gain confidence against two easier opponents to end out the season. He will benefit from the Dallas defense’s poor play and carry the offense to its 5th victory of the year. I believe this will be an offensive battle, with many scores in an old fashion rivalry game. I can easily see both defenses getting torched by the talent on both sides. This game will come down to who makes more mistakes. In the end, the Eagles will likely force a few key turnovers and keep the ball in the offense’s hand long enough to outlast the Cowboys. In a slightly ugly, slightly exciting game, I’m taking the Eagles to win this 31-24.