Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly met with the media on Wednesday morning. He spoke on a number of topics, including the team's big game against the Dallas Cowboys this week. The Cowboys will be without star wide receiver Dez Bryant, so the Eagles have to account for how the Cowboys will try to adjust their offense without having him. Kelly says the absence of Bryant doesn't completely doom Dallas.
"[Dez Bryant is] obviously as talented of a receiver as there is in the league, Kelly said. "Anytime you lose a player like that it's difficult. But saying that, it's not like they don't have other weapons. They have Jason Witten and Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams and one of the better -- the way he's playing now, one of the best quarterbacks in the league running the show.
"So if you're going to lose a player because of Dez, what a dynamic football player he is, but it's not like there's a huge discrepancy and they don't have other people in there. We expect them to operate -- the key to that offense is the quarterback and he's playing at a really high level right now."
More about defending the Cowboys without Dez Bryant
"I think they still have 11, so I would say it doesn't change the math much. They're still going to have a guy that takes his spot, so I don't think -- the difficult thing with playing them is that they have other weapons so it was -- you're worried about Dez but you're worried about Witten but you're worried about Beasley. You have to be worried about Terrence Williams also. I don't know how much it changes the math in terms of how they're going to deploy their guys and you won't know until you see what their game plan is. What are they going to do? Are they going to play with two tight ends, and is it going to be [Cowboys TE Gavin] Escobar and two receivers most of the game? So you can't sit there and say, ‘Well, Dez is out, they're going to do this,’ because we don't dictate what they do, we have to react to what they do. So is it a second tight end? Escobar's another really good football player. Are we going to see more 12 [personnel] than we planned on seeing? So we still have to plan on 11, 21, 12 in terms of playing these guys and see what their game plan is, see how the game starts to express itself. That's the one thing with their depth that can make it difficult for you. It's not just Dez is out, the other receiver comes in the game. They don't have to do that. They can move Beasley outside or they can play with Terrance Williams still and just play with two tight ends and that becomes a different game for us in that aspect."
What makes Tony Romo so dangerous
"I think the one thing about Tony, aside from having the skill to make all the throws, is he's just so intelligent. Very rarely are they in a bad play. A lot of times he's using the whole play clock, he's changing protections, he's changing runs, doing a lot of different things there because he has so much experience there and he's been around so long. He's just so smart at playing the position, very rarely does he get caught in a bad play."
Cowboys running game without DeMarco Murray
"They’re similar plays. They're still trying to run stretch and get up on the linebackers and get the ball to the perimeter. The scheme hasn't changed. They've just used multiple running backs with [Cowboys RB Joseph] Randle and [Cowboys RB Darren] McFadden and with [Cowboys RB Lance] Dunbar."
Can Dallas copy what Atlanta did on defense?
"Dallas has a very good defensive line and they do a good job of mixing and matching both man and zone on the back end of it. And then obviously I think it's a little bit different look now with [Cowboys LB] Sean Lee back at linebacker who played really, really well against us two years ago, can really run and play sideline to sideline who wasn't there last year so they've got a little bit different defense than Atlanta, but really talented at all three levels."
Kiko Alonso versus Jason Witten in coverage
"Well, anybody matched up with Witten is going to be a handful just because of how talented he is, but one of the things about Kiko is he's a true three down linebacker like [LB] Mychal [Kendricks]. And the fact that when we're in our nickel right now, we can leave two linebackers on the field because of how athletic those two guys are has really been a big help for us. Last year, we featured a little bit more dime. This year we haven't run as much dime right now just because of what Kiko and Mychal can do. They both have the ability to run and they've both got some size to them so they're not going to get bounced around in there."
Beating the Cowboys at home
"Well, we've been here going into year three, they’ve beat us on our field and we’ve beat them on their field. So we hope we can change that because we're playing on our field this time. We haven't talked about, you know -- I mean, every game is a must-win, so it's not added motivation [like], ‘Hey, we're at home, we've got to play harder.’ It's we've got to go out and play a really goodDallas team. Whether it would be in Dallas or here, we've got to play a good football game."
How DeMarco Murray is handling this week
"I think DeMarco's a very grounded individual. He's pretty consistent in his approach every day that he's here. He's not an up-and-down guy. I think sometimes it just depends on the individual but he's been fine. We'll monitor him just like we monitor all our players this week, but I haven't seen any change in him because it's Dallas week and he played for Dallas."
Eagles nickel package with Chris Maragos at safety
"I thought Malcolm did a really nice job and Chris did a really nice job. But again, a lot of it was because of what Atlanta did. A lot of times [Falcons WR] Julio [Jones] ended up in the slot. We wanted a bigger, physical guy in there. So it can change this week depending on how we think -- and is Dallas going to change with Dez being out? Are they going to move some of their guys around?"
Why the Eagles got away from the running game against the Falcons
"No, I think part of it was we got away from it. We called a ton of passes in the second half but you're down 20-3 so it's a three-score game at that point in time and you're trying to get back into the game. We also felt our matchups inside, whether it be our tight end, our running back or our inside receivers were a really good way for us to move the football. To us, running the ball or throwing the ball, it doesn't matter, we're equal opportunity ball movers. So you want to give us an opportunity to throw the ball in front of you and we can get the ball, then we've still got it in [RB] Darren's [Sproles] hands and run after the catch. A lot of those times where our back came out of the backfield, that's just, to us, we equate that to that's a long handoff. You get the ball to the back in the flat and he turns it up the field for a gain of 10, that's still the same concept to us."