The Eagles are deep in preparation for their Week 9 matchup against the Cowboys, and head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters on Wednesday about how they can’t let the energy of Beat Dallas week be a distraction, and also how they have to beat Micah Parsons in different ways.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On Jalen Hurts’ performance
Sirianni thinks the quarterback is playing really good football, he’s been making accurate throws and big time throws in clutch moments. They’re not thinking about how Hurts is trending toward a career-high this season in several areas of the passing game, but they are happy with his growth.
“As far as his pass game he’s making good, quick decisions and throwing with good accuracy.”
On Beat Dallas Week
“We have to treat every day the same. You can’t get more up for one game than you would the next game. I think if I said to the fans and to you as the media that, ‘it’s Cowboy week, we’re going to ramp it up!’ Well, what the hell were we doing the last couple of weeks? You’d be like, ‘well, that’s why you lost to the Jets.’ I would never — so we know how awesome it is.”
Sirianni mentioned, however, that they know how much energy the stadium will have Sunday, and every bit counts — that’s why he thanks fans at road games, because it makes a difference.
“I want it to be played up in that sense, but for us to do anything different would mean I’m not doing my job for the first eight weeks of the season. But I’m appreciative to be in this rivalry game. I’m appreciative of the players and the coaches that have coached it and played it in the past. I feel very honored that I can be part of this rivalry game.”
But, for the coaches and players, there could be something extra motivating every week so they just have to stick to their routine and not focus on the distractions. Sirianni was very clear though, that he wanted the fans to bring the energy to The Linc on Sunday.
“But, fans, let’s go. It’s Dallas week. So, we’re going to need that. Dallas has to feel that. Dallas has to feel that when they come in here that it means a little bit extra to the people in those seats and it’s going to be loud and it’s going to be a hostile environment.”
On the Eagles’ offensive line
Sirianni was asked about Cam Jurgens prior to his injury, and he said that he was playing good football having stepped into that right guard spot. The head coach noted that he’s been really pleased with Sua Opeta and the job he’s done, as well.
“We like our depth at offensive line. So anytime you lose a guy you’re going to miss the player but you’re happy for the opportunity the other guys get. And I feel Sua has really taken advantage of the opportunity.”
He went on to say that Tyler Steen did “pretty good” in the handful of snaps he took, noting the lineman held his own against guys like Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.
On Cowboys LB Micah Parsons
“He’s awesome. He’s really outstanding. One of the best players in our league. And so, we’ll have to make sure he’s accounted for every single play because I think that’s really the only thing I can say about him, is that he’s awesome.
So, we have really good players up front, too. We’ll have to win a lot of different ways against him to make sure that he stays out of the stat book and stays relatively quiet. But that’s easier said than done because of how good of a football player he is.”
- He was asked about Nolan Smith and Sirianni pointed out that the rookie is just in a deep room right now. Smith is contributing on special teams, and on defense, there isn’t quite as much rotation at edge rusher, especially with Josh Sweat and Haason Reddick playing so well right now.
- The head coach spent spoke time defending Kenny Gainwell as the No. 2 back for the Eagles, with Sirianni explaining that they don’t drop players in the depth chart due to mistakes, and that the running back has earned his role.
“He’s our number two because we believe it right now. He’s the second best running back on our team. That’s based off games. That’s based off past games. That’s based off practice. That’s based off the whole body of work.”
- Sirianni said that part of the reason they haven’t done a lot with the run game the past few weeks is because they’ve been having success in the passing game and have needed to utilize that type of offense. It’s something he said will be a weekly thing, and if they have to throw it 50 times in a game, or run it 50 times in a game, they’ll do whatever is needed to win.