The Eagles finally got their win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, and it keeps the team in the hunt for the NFC East division, and a spot in the postseason. Head coach Doug Pederson spoke to the media afterward about the win, and the success of the defense and young offensive skill players in the contest.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On the win over the Cowboys
Pederson said that getting ahead early and sustaining throughout the game, along with taking care of the football, were keys to the win on Sunday. He said that this was the definition of a team win, offense, defense, and special teams.
The head coach also agreed that going uptempo is something that has been helping their offense — it’s something they do well, and both the quarterback and offensive line like it.
“Everybody just feels comfortable there. We had, again, we had success tonight. It’s something we continue to build upon each week.”
Pederson was asked to explain how it helps quarterback Carson Wentz, specifically.
“I think we can help him by formation, the defense can be a little more, kind of their base defense, their base structure — whether they’re nickel or base defense on the field. Sees things quickly, allows him to get in and out of plays if he has to, and then our guys just execute well. It’s been something that’s, obviously, been positive for our offense.”
[AND THEN, someone totally crashed the press conference and tried to ask a question, before Pederson wanted him checked for a credential. “Holy cow, this’ll be on Sports Center,” he joked.]
On the Eagles defense
Pederson was asked about the defense not allowing Dallas to score a touchdown in the game.
“Hats off. These guys, listen, they took this game, I think, personal, from the standpoint of what happened to us the first time. And having all our guys out there, they had a great week of preparation, obviously.
We knew that coming in here that Dallas was coming off a great win last week against the Rams, and 250-something yards rushing — they knew that was coming, and being able to at least shut that down to some degree. It’s a pride thing each week, you know, and to keep — this is a great offense, they can score points, and to keep them out of the end zone, hold them to three kicks like they did, stop them on some 4th downs, hats off to the defense, Coach Schwartz, and his staff for having a great game plan.”
On the Eagles’ offense
Pederson said that tight end Dallas Goedert had an outstanding game, and so did the other young players on offense. He said that Goedert has a great rapport with Carson Wentz, and made some big catches against the Cowboys.
The head coach also said that the success by Miles Sanders doesn’t surprise him — that’s why they drafted him — but that he does get better each week. He also noted that the offensive line got stronger later in the game, which certainly helped Sanders and the run game.
He later said that they don’t want to give Sanders too much mentally, because they want him to continue to play fast, but he is versatile enough to play in space or play a slot receiver — which he did some on Sunday.
On their playoff run
Pederson said they considered this game a playoff game, and they have another one next week against the Giants. The team understands that, and the importance of the Week 17 matchup — the head coach pointed out they went to OT with this team just a couple weeks ago, so they aren’t overlooking the divisional opponent.
The guys will have to get healthy this week, especially with the holiday, and be ready to face the Giants on Sunday.
“These guys in the locker room, they’re focused on next week already. And that’s kind of the conversation that’s taken place in the locker room, even after this game. I want them to enjoy this, and enjoy their families this week — that’s what this time of the year is for — but, at the same time, we’ve still got some unfinished business. And, that’s what they’re talking about, so that’s exciting for me as a coach to know that that’s where their mind’s at. I can help them out with the schedule this week, but I’m excited for them.”