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Eagles News: Kamu Grugier-Hill says the Cowboys always choke

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/6/18.

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NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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Eagles open as underdogs to the Cowboys in critical NFC East matchup - BGN
For the second time all season, the Philadelphia Eagles are set to enter a game as underdogs. The first experience didn’t go so well. The Saints were heavily favored to beat the Eagles in Week 11 and that’s exactly what happened as New Orleans won, 48-7. Now the Eagles are set to play the team that just defeated the Saints last week: the Cowboys. Dallas also previously beat the Eagles in Week 10. It’s no surprise, then, that the Cowboys are more than standard three-point favorites in this big NFC East matchup. SB Nation’s odds page shows Dallas favored by 3.5.

At the Podium #13.5: 6-6 Press Conferences - BGN Radio
Due to a 6-6 production error, the incorrect Doug Pederson press conference was played at the end of At the Podium #13, Michael Kist rights that wrong by including it in this show along with breakdowns of the Redskins’ game and a look ahead to the Cowboys from defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and offensive coordinator Mike Groh! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Eagles vs. Cowboys: Five matchups to watch, when Dallas has the ball - PhillyVoice
Prescott has been sacked 45 times this season, partly because he likes to extend plays, and partly because the Cowboys’ offensive line is overrated as a pass protection unit. That’s the most sacks allowed in the NFL. Prescott is also prone to fumbling. A lot has been made of Carson Wentz’s fumbling issues this season, a valid critique of his game. On the season, Wentz has 8 fumbles. Prescott has 11. Generally speaking, it’s obviously good practice to swipe at the football if you’re in a position to hit the quarterback. However, it’s probably a good idea for the Eagles’ defensive linemen to be extra mindful that the chance for a ball hitting the ground exists in this matchup more than it does in others. This season, Prescott has recovered six of his own fumbles. Odds say that Prescott will fumble in this game, and the Eagles must capitalize if/when he does.

Critiquing Carson - Iggles Blitz
There was an overthrow of Dallas Goedert on a play that had some potential. There was an overthrow of Nelson Agholor on a play that had TD potential. No one expects Wentz to make the right read or the perfect throw on every play. No QB, not even Mark Sanchez, can do that. But a player of Wentz’s caliber needs to be held to a very high standard. One of the reasons the Eagles aren’t scoring as much this year is that Wentz is making some key mistakes. We can talk about Frank Reich and John DeFilippo all day, but the truth is that a couple of better plays from Wentz on Monday night and the Eagles put up another 10-14 points. Wentz is a great QB and the Eagles are lucky to have him. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore his mistakes.

Josh Adams, Cre’Von LeBlanc And Their Journeys To The Playoff Stretch Run -
When we all put together a let’s-have-some-fun depth chart and labeled “key contributors in December” for the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles season way back in August, it’s probable that it didn’t include the names of Josh Adams at running back and Cre’Von LeBlanc at cornerback. But as the Eagles prepare for Sunday’s game at Dallas, the rookie Adams is the team’s leading rusher, coming off a 20-carry, 85-yard game against Washington, and LeBlanc is a key piece on the defense, lining up at the nickel cornerback position. “You have to remember,” assistant head coach/running backs Duce Staley said about Adams, “Josh was a Heisman Trophy candidate when he was at Notre Dame. He was definitely on our radar. We thought he was going to get drafted and when he didn’t, we did everything we could to sign him. He was a big-time playmaker in college and he’s come in here hungry and determined to show the whole NFL was wrong not to draft him.”

As Ertz chases Witten’s record, a friendship comes into focus - ESPN
“Since I was 16, he was the guy that was always on TV, unfortunately, back in California,” Ertz said of Witten, “and he was the guy I was forced to watch. But at the same time, he was the perfect guy for me to watch because I was able to see at 16 years old how a tight end should play.” The years since have sewn their stories together. A relationship was forged, a significant gesture was made and now Ertz is on pace to track Witten down in the record books. Sitting at 93 catches with four games to go, he is on track to eclipse Witten’s mark for most single-season receptions by a tight end at 110.

First place on the line: 10 thoughts on Eagles-Cowboys - The Athletic
The Eagles feel like they’re close to figuring some things out on offense. But overall, this has been a mediocre-to-below-average unit that is 20th in DVOA — 19th in passing and 18th in rushing. Looking for a bright spot? They are 15th in weighted offensive DVOA, which factors in recent performances more heavily. So while things are far from perfect, it’s fair to say that they’re at least trending in the right direction. Carson Wentz’s improvisation was a factor in the win over Washington, and the team totaled a season-high 436 yards and 28 first downs. Wentz currently ranks 12th in QBR, 13th in DVOA and 13th in ANY/A. The Eagles scored 28 points against Washington but came up empty on two drives from inside the 6-yard-line. They won’t be able to afford those miscues against a Cowboys defense that is playing at a high level. Dallas is seventh in defensive DVOA (sixth in weighted) — 10th against the pass and sixth against the run. The Cowboys are allowing 5.27 yards per play (sixth) and 18.6 points per game (second). Against the Saints, they held Drew Brees to 127 passing yards and 4.5 YPA. This appears to be a group finding its identity and will present a major challenge for the Eagles’ offense.

Holding the ball seems to be right recipe for Eagles - NBCSP
Since 2016, the Eagles have held the ball for 39-plus minutes in five games and they’re 5-0 in those contests. The next closest teams on the list have played just three such games. And just six other NFL teams have held the ball more than 39 minutes in a game more than once since 2016.

Week 13: NFC Targets & Touches - Rotoworld
Even with Darren Sproles back for the first time since Week 1, Josh Adams handled 20 carries on 41-of-75 snaps (55%). In the last two weeks alone, he’s the only back in Philly that’s been given any amount of carries inside the 10- (6) and five-yard (4) lines. Much like Gus Edwards, though, Adams is a high-volume guy with a low floor since he’s an afterthought as a receiver out of the backfield. That’s extremely concerning for his upcoming matchup against the Cowboys, who have the league’s run-stuffing No. 6 rush defense DVOA. If you haven’t already, it’s also time to start looking to replace Alshon Jeffery. Since the Eagles acquired Golden Tate, Jeffery’s finished with weekly target shares of 18%, 15%, 11%, and 13%.

2018 PFF NFL Power Rankings – Week 14 - PFF
11) The Eagles handled the Mark Sanchez led Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. They now have a must-win game on the road against the Cowboys to keep their division and playoff hopes alive. Carson Wentz has had much more success throwing underneath in the Eagles past two victories. The Cowboys defense hasn’t allowed many yards after the catch so if the Eagles cannot get the underneath passing game going, their best hope is a long defensive struggle on Sunday.

Four worries for the Cowboys as they meet the Eagles - Blogging The Boys
Prescott still is doing a good job of protecting the ball - when he throws it. He only has five interceptions all year, and none since the start of the winning streak. But fumbling is an issue. A big issue. Dak has put the ball on the ground 11 times this season, and it has gotten worse over time. He’s had four just since the start of the win streak. Some of them can be partially attributed to how he is getting banged around by pass rushers, but we have also seen him just drop the ball on more than one occasion.

Tensions seem to be rising between Zimmer, DeFilippo - PFT
Here’s what else is becoming more and more glaring: The efforts of current offensive coordinator John DeFilippo to get a head-coaching job by dialing up plays aimed at generating more buzz that he’s a candidate to become a head coach as soon as 2019. It reminds me of the latter year of two of Hue Jackson’s prior tenure in Cincinnati? He was coming up with funky formations and trick plays as part of a not-so-subtle effort to become a head coach again. It’s seems like DeFilippo may be doing something similar, showcasing his skills in designing and calling potentially explosive plays instead of relying as much as he should on a meat-and-potatoes approach.

The 4 most fireable NFL coaches of Week 13 - SB Nation
Reich started slowly in Indianapolis, but a soft November schedule gave his Colts a chance to sneak into the playoff race behind a five-game winning streak. On Sunday, they faced the suddenly awful Jaguars with the chance to improve to 7-5 and into a tie with the Ravens for the AFC’s final Wild Card spot. This is not what the Colts did. Instead, Indianapolis failed to get out of its own way, scoring zero points against a Jaguars offense that only managed a pair of field goals on the afternoon. Along the way, the Colts were stonewalled on three different fourth-down scenarios that snuffed out Indy scoring opportunities. First came a fourth-and-goal from the Jacksonville 2 that saw a Jordan Wilkins shovel pass go absolutely nowhere. One drive later, fourth-and-1 brought an off-tackle carry for Eric Ebron that ended with a loss of one yard, a fumble, and a hit that briefly turned the tight end into a helicopter blade.


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