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Weapon X Mailbag: Would the Eagles ever use Jordan Mailata in the backfield?

Plus: Who steps up on defense?

San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Eagles’ huuuugeeeee Monday Night Football matchup against the Cowboys looms large. I feel it in my bones.

If you’d like to ask a question for a future mailbag, you can tweet at me or email me at bleedinggreeninfo@gmail.com.

AWAY WE GO!

Carter Anderson (via email): What is the likelihood that we will see Jordan Mailata lined up in the backfield in short yardage situations?

Sean Coxe (via email): Here’s an off-the-wall idea (but not an entirely bad one). In short yardage, or down near the goal line, why not use Jordan Mailata as a fullback, or even a ball carrier? If you’ve ever watched some of his archival rugby film, you’ll know the idea isn’t completely without merit. He has experience running with the ball—and running over would-be tacklers.

Jordan Mailata, as we all know, grew up playing rugby before the Eagles selected him in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft despite him never playing American football before. His rugby highlights are WILD:

There are few things in this world I would enjoy more than to see Mailata rush for a touchdown against the Cowboys on national TV.

This obviously isn’t saying he should be a semi-regular fullback for this team. He’s a Pro Bowl-caliber left tackle. If you’re trying to punch the ball into the end zone, you’re probably going to want that guy in there instead of dropping off to someone like Andre Dillard.

HOWEVER...

If Nick Sirianni is going to go full galaxy brain and try to run a wild card play in the red zone, you could do much worse than this. I love the gall he displayed when calling the Philly Special despite its horrid execution against the 49ers. Know what may have been better though if Sirianni wanted to get spicy? Going 22 personnel with Hurts under center, Mailata at fullback, Sanders at tailback, Dillard at left tackle and two tight ends as blockers.

Would Hurts sneak it and get in since he squats a million pounds? Would the Eagles have Mailata as a lead blocker and have Sanders attempt to jump over the line of scrimmage? Or... would Hurts hand it off to Mailata, who barrels into the end zone?

I truly believe all three options would be productive when you’re at the three or shorter going in.

Sirianni was literally rocking a “Beat Dallas” shirt at practice. He’s all in on the Philly insanity. Perhaps even too much! If he wants to cater to the dreams of Eagles while running an off-beat, effective play, this could be it!

@LGMos: Best moments in time - Wilbert off tackle or Michael Irvin being carted off?

It’s probably not a good idea to tackle the Michael Irvin situation.

The Wilbert Montgomery run in the 1980 NFC Championship Game was the predecessor to the Patrick Robinson pick 6 in the 2017 NFC Championship Game. Both events were the moment Eagles fans, despite being underdogs to reach the Super Bowl, knew the Birds were punching their ticket to the big game.

When I get riled up about Dallas Week, these are the situations that gas me up. My dad was 11 years old when Montgomery’s 42-yard run gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead they would never relinquish. After watching the “America’s Team” branding come to fruition in the ‘70s, this was the day the Eagles finally got their revenge, as Tom Landry stood on the sideline in his dumbass hat while Montgomery racked up 194 yards on the ground.

It was only fitting that 37 years later, my dad wore a Wilbert Montgomery throwback jersey into the Linc against the Vikings on January 21, 2018. This was the connective tissue from Wilbert’s run to PatRob scattering his way to the end zone.

I’M AMPING MYSELF UP. I NEED THIS WIN.

@KevinB118: Would you trade the Eagles skill position players for the Cowboys? (WR, TE, RB) straight up.

Are we taking contracts into consideration? Ezekiel Elliott is on one of the worst deals in the NFL. Even so, giving Hurts a wide receiver duo of CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper would be an upgrade. I LOVE DeVonta Smith, but Eagles fans wanted Lamb just as badly in 2020. I give Smith the edge, but it’s a bit of a wash. Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins aren’t remotely close to Cooper’s level of play.

Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert are better than Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz, but the Eagles should be rolling with 11 personnel anyway.

I’d be iffy given the contract situation (Cooper is also on a huge deal), but based on talent alone, give the me the Cowboys’ receivers and I’ll figure out the rest.

@TylerBoney: The Eagles have yet to force a defensive turnover. Who do you think breaks that trend on Monday night?

Dallas has a better offense than both Atlanta and San Francisco. The Eagles have come close to getting some takeaways, but have not done so yet. A turnover could give the Birds the momentum needed to pull out a W.

Darius Slay has one interception in 17 games as an Eagle. It’d be nice if “Big Play Slay” lived up to his namesake.

Alex Singleton had a pick 6 on Sunday Night Football last September to give the Eagles a big road win. Could he do so on national television again?

The guy I’m going with? Javon “Gravedigger” Hargrave.

Hargrave has just two forced fumbles in his career, both coming during his time with the Steelers. He has been an absolute beast through two games this season though. He has two sacks and four quarterback hits. With Brandon Graham lost for the season, it’s time for a different defensive lineman to step up. Fletcher Cox, has been getting crushed with double and triple teams this season, leaving Hargrave to feast. How about a big strip sack from him?

I like doing little dumb bets for the Eagles. I always said I’d get a Greg Ward jersey if he threw a touchdown for the Birds (almost got there on Sunday!). If Hargrave gets a strip sack that the Eagles recover and it leads to a big win, I’ll get a custom “GRAVEDIGGER” shirsey.

@Jason_withajay: The Cowboys are 6-1 against us in home openers. How are the Eagles’ making that 6-2 Monday night?

I’ll throw out some quick points:

  • Hurts continues to be turnover free.
  • The Eagles force at least one takeaway.
  • A mix of Hurts, Sanders and Kenny Gainwell gash the Dallas defense on the ground.
  • Hurts connects on a couple of deep balls to contort the alignment of the Cowboys’ defense and allow for huge rushing lanes.
  • Slay plays his best game yet in midnight green.

@KARogers77: DALLAS SUCKS!

Correct.