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Eagles vs. Cowboys snap counts: Youth movement contributes to third straight win

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Playing time tracker.

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

It’s time for a breakdown of the Philadelphia Eagles’ snap counts from their 17 to 9 win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16 of the 2019 NFL season.

OFFENSE

  • Carson Wentz and the starting offensive line configuration made it through the entire game. The Eagles are now 5-1 in six matchups where this has occurred in 2019. Winning formula.
  • Dallas Goedert saw the most snaps of any Eagles skill player. He was in line to play a lot anyway but Zach Ertz’s rib injury opened the path for even more snaps. Goedert caught nine of his 12 targets for 91 yards and one touchdown. Ertz only had four catches on six targets for 28 yards.
  • Miles Sanders once again took the bulk of running back touches and did a lot of good things with his playing time. As a runner, Sanders had 20 carries for 79 yards (4.0 average) and one touchdown. As a pass catcher, Sanders had five receptions for 77 yards (15.4 average). He’s a weapon. The Eagles’ coaching staff would be wise to continue to feature him.
  • Greg Ward caught four of his five targets for 71 yards. Ward is now up to 23 receptions for 211 yards and one touchdown in his last five games. For perspective, Nelson Agholor has 21 receptions for 195 receptions and zero touchdowns in his last eight games. Ward’s clearly been an upgrade.
  • JJ Arcega-Whiteside made two nice, tough catches on two targets for 39 yards. He eventually left the game with the foot injury that limited him in practice leading up to this week’s game. The Eagles might need to call up Marken Michel from the practice squad considering JJAW is only one of Philly’s three wide receivers on the 53-man roster.
  • Robert Davis caught his sole target for a 6-yard gain and a first down. It was his first reception with the Eagles.
  • I know the Eagles’ options are very limited but there was too much Joshua Perkins in this game. He was targeted twice: once on an important third down and once on a crucial fourth down. He had zero receptions. Perkins also got blown up as a blocker on multiple occasions. I’d rather see Alex Ellis out there.
  • Not a big Boston Scott game on offense. His three carries went for 12 yards while his six receptions went for a mere seven yards. Scott did have two nice kick returns for 63 combined yards.

DEFENSE

  • Malcolm Jenkins still hasn’t missed a single defensive snap since Week 17 of the 2017 season. That was almost exactly two years ago. Jenkins had a big third down pass deflection early in the game in addition to recovering Fletcher Cox’s forced fumble.
  • Fletcher Cox showed up big in a big spot. The Eagles’ star defensive tackle had three total tackles, one tackle for loss, one quarterback hit, and one huge forced fumble to take away a Cowboys scoring opportunity. Job well done.
  • Avonte Maddox made seven tackles and one big third down pass breakup in this game. He was flying around the field.
  • Jalen Mills missed some time after being carted to the locker room with an ankle injury. He ultimately returned.
  • Rasul Douglas came in when Ronald Darby re-aggravated the hip flexor injury he suffered leading up to the Week 15 Washington game. Douglas then had to come out at one point after Mills returned.
  • Derek Barnett’s role wasn’t really limited in his first game back from injury; he played the most of any defensive end. Barnett had one solo tackle and one tackle for loss. He did miss a chance to tackle Dak Prescott on a scramble that could’ve forced a Cowboys punt instead of a field goal.
  • Brandon Graham had a quarterback hit but he hasn’t had a sack since Week 12. Need more impact from BLG. Prescott often had too much time to throw on Sunday evening.
  • Timmy Jernigan got banged up at one point and didn’t log a stat in this game. He has just six tackles and one sack in 248 snaps this season. Need more from the guys playing next to Cox.
  • Josh Sweat was productive in a rotational role. The second-year pass rusher had two total tackles, two tackles for loss (including one player where he just exploded into the backfield to bring down Ezekiel Elliott), one sack, and one quarterback hit. Encouraging stuff.
  • Vinny Curry was also pretty productive with two total tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack, and one quarterback hit. Curry’s sack was pretty huge considering it turned 2nd-and-4 on the Cowboys’ final drive into 3rd-and-8. Two incompletions later, Dallas turned the ball over on downs and that was the game.
  • Sidney Jones only came in when Darby was out and Mills got hurt. Then he came back in after Mills returned but Douglas got hurt. Jones had a great pass breakup in the end zone on the Cowboys’ final offensive play. What a crazy thing to be typing given how he was a healthy scratch multiple times not too long ago.
  • Undrafted rookie Anthony Rush had a pass deflection at the line of scrimmage.
  • Undrafted rookie T.J. Edwards made four total tackles despite playing just 11 snaps. Efficient!
  • Bruce Hector played just eight snaps in his second game with the Eagles this season. The Eagles promoted Hector from the practice squad after placing Kamu Grugier-Hill on injured reserve.

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • It wouldn’t be an Eagles snap count post if I didn’t have some kind of comment about the bizarre Genard Avery trade. His defensive snap counts since the Eagles traded a 2021 fourth-round pick for him prior to the deadline: 3, 10, 2, 5, 0, 4, 0. Avery’s logged zero stats in his last six games played. Such a weird acquisition.
  • Jake Elliott missed two field goal attempts to bring him to down to 60% since receiving a contract extension that makes him the NFL’s third most valuable kicker in terms of guaranteed money. He simply must be better.

DID NOT PLAY

INACTIVE: Jordan Howard, Nelson Agholor, Lane Johnson, Shareef Miller, Nate Sudfeld, Nate Herbig, Sua Opeta

ACTIVE: Josh McCown, Jay Ajayi, Cre’Von LeBlanc

  • Second week in a row where Ajayi didn’t play a single snap. If Howard can get healthy (I’ll believe it when I see it), the Eagles should really just cut Ajayi and promote Michel from the practice squad. He’s a waste of a roster spot right now.
  • LeBlanc played 17 defensive snaps in his first game back from injury in Week 13. Strap has since played four, two, and zero snaps in the following weeks. He’s only logged one special teams snap this year. Strap hasn’t been on the injury report but maybe he’s not fully healthy?