By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia Eagles faced the Dallas Cowboys tonight looking to wrap up the number one seed in the NFC and the NFC East division with one victory. However, four turnovers and poor defensive situational awareness cost them today as Dallas beat them in a shootout 40-34.
Despite not having Jalen Hurts who missed this game because of a shoulder sprain. The Eagles offense had it working throughout most of this game. They were able to take full advantage of Dallas’ defensive aggressiveness and weak secondary. Devonta Smith carved the Dallas secondary up like Christmas ham. As he was able to catch two touchdown passes and catch pivotal balls to keep the Eagles in the game. With the way he played today he made the argument that it isn’t just AJ Brown that should be paid attention to on the offensive side. If he can continue to make pivotal plays especially as the Eagles head into the postseason. Philly will have the deadliest wide-receiving duo in the league.
The Cowboys were able to withstand the offensive assault from Smith. Thanks to forcing the Eagles into four turnovers which they scored 20-points off of, Dallas was able to have a shortened field to work with and two of those turnovers were capped off by touchdown passes to CeeDee Lamb. This afternoon the Eagles secondary did not have a good day, losing Avonte Maddox to a foot injury played a role, but Philly also did not recover a loose ball off of a Hassan Reddick strip sack, and gave up a 31-yard reception to TY Hilton. When the Eagles look at the tape of this one allowing that third and thirty-yard conversion gave the Cowboys momentum that they rode to beat them today. Philly will need to find a way to put more pressure on mobile quarterbacks. They struggled against Dak Prescott this week and Justin Fields last week. Prescott at times today had all day to throw and was able to take advantage of the middle of the field being open. When the Eagles started double teaming his main option, he would just get the first down with his legs. They need to make adjustments since their last two games will be against mobile quarterbacks. Maybe they need to spy them or find a way to set the edge better, to not give them opportunities to escape a sack. Also, Gannon needs to start moving Darius Slay or James Bradberry around on the opposing team’s best receiver. Tonight, their strength was their weakness as both got the ball thrown over their heads. If Maddox is going to be out for an extended period of time. Philly will need to figure out that nickel position or start shadowing. Gannon did it once this season against the Commanders and will probably have to do it again. The Eagles need to win one more game to clinch the number one seed and the division.
Philly will now prepare to face the New Orleans Saints next Sunday afternoon. It will give them an opportunity to show that they can stop an athletic mobile quarterback. They can expect to see plenty of Taysom Hill next week so putting some pressure on him and limiting turnovers will be pivotal if they want to win this game. The Eagles are one of the most complete teams in the league and if they don’t beat themselves with dumb mistakes, they should be able to get their 14th win of the season and clinch the number one seed in the NFC.