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Eagles News: Philadelphia overdue for a signature win over the Cowboys

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/4/23.

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

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In Roob’s Observations: Can Eagles end years of frustration vs. Cowboys? - NBCSP
1. To understand how huge this Eagles-Cowboys game is you have to look at the last decade and just how long it’s been since the Eagles had a signature win over their fiercest rival. First of all, the Eagles are 3-8 in their last 11 games against the Cowboys. Nick Sirianni is 1-3, with the win coming last year at the Linc over backup QB Cooper Rush. The Eagles beat Dallas late in the 2020 season, also at the Linc, but that was against rookie 5th-round pick Ben DiNucci in his only career start. The Eagles did beat the Cowboys late in the 2019 season, Carson Wentz over Dak Prescott, and that’s the last time they beat Prescott, but that was also not a good Cowboys team. That was at the very end of 2019 and the Cowboys were in the middle of a 4-8 stretch that cost Garrett his job. The Eagles beat Dallas in 2017, and the Cowboys did go 9-7 that year so it was a decent win and remains the last Eagles win over a Dallas team with a winning record with their starting quarterback, but that was not a Cowboys playoff team. The Eagles beat Dallas on the last day of the 2016 season, but the Cowboys had a 1st-round bye locked up and played 3rd-string QB and former Eagle Mark Sanchez. The Eagles got a win over the Cowboys in 2015 but that was a 4-12 Dallas team. They beat them late in 2011 but neither team was going anywhere. Beat ‘em late in 2010, but that was a 6-10 Cowboys team. You get the idea. The last time the Eagles beat a playoff-bound Cowboys team that had its starting quarterback was Nov. 27, 2014, when both teams were 8-3 and Sanchez – still with the Eagles – threw for 217 yards with a TD pass to Jordan Matthews, Jeremy Maclin had 108 receiving yards and LeSean McCoy ran for 159 yards. The Cowboys finished the season 12-4 and actually won a playoff game and the Eagles finished 10-6 but missed the postseason. That was nine years ago. So much at stake Sunday. A win puts the Eagles in terrific shape in their quest for a second straight No. 1 seed going into the bye week. A loss would mean this is the 12th straight season the Eagles have failed to sweep the Cowboys and make the rematch at AT&T Stadium next month a must-win at AT&T Stadium – where the Eagles have lost five straight. The Eagles are 8-14 in their last 22 games against the Cowboys, but right now? The Eagles are the better team. They’re over-due to play like it.

Eagles-Cowboys Game Preview: 5 questions and answers with the Week 9 enemy - BGN
4 - What’s one matchup that you think really favors the Eagles? Mobile quarterbacks seem to absolutely befuddle the Cowboys. Maybe it’s the aggressive nature of Dan Quinn’s defense that is the problem here. The Dallas defense lines up in lots of odd formations and employs more stunts than almost any team in the league. It makes it very difficult for offensive lines and running backs to set protections in the passing game for offenses. But, all that movement can open up huge lanes in the pass rush, and a mobile quarterback can feast. And it extends to just breaking contain and making plays throwing outside of the pocket. It can also be exploited by teams that are clever with run-pass options. All of this seems to fit well with Jalen Hurts and the Eagles offense. The Cowboys defense does so many things well, but this is the one area it feels like could be a real problem.

Eye on the Enemy #157: Who will shine brighter on Sunday, Jalen Hurts or Dak Prescott? - BGN Radio
John Stolnis talks with RJ Ochoa about Dak Prescott’s performance so far this year, how the Eagles should attack the Cowboys’ offense and whether Dak or Jalen Hurts will shine brighter on Sunday afternoon.

Cowboys at Eagles: ’The Eagles really need Jalen Carter to make a big impact in this game’ - Blogging The Boys
Carter has been way better than anyone could’ve reasonably expected. He already looks like an elite player at his position. There are only four interior defenders who’ve generated more pressures this year, according to Pro Football Focus: Dexter Lawrence, Aaron Donald, Jeffery Simmons, and Chris Jones. Carter ranks tied for fifth with Jonathan Allen. The thing is … Carter has only played 200 snaps, which is considerably less playing time than his peers have logged. Here’s how the group ranks when dividing snaps by pressures generated: 1 - Carter 7.14, 2 - Lawrence: 8.39, 3 - Jones: 10.10, 4 - Donald 11.18, 5 - Simmons: 13.91, 6 - Allen: 16.14. Carter is a beast. It’s unclear if the back injury will slow him down. No injury is ever a comforting thought but a back issue seems especially bad (shout out Tony Romo). That being said, Carter was a full participant in practice all week, so that seems like a good sign. The Eagles really need Carter to make a big impact in this game. The thinking here is that he might see a bigger workload than normal given the importance of this game.

Establish the Fun: Bryce Young turns a corner, the Cowboys’ new defensive star, and more - SB Nation
DaRon Bland is anything but. When Dallas Cowboys star CB Trevon Diggs was lost for the year with a torn ACL, it was naturally expected for the Cowboys defense to take a small step back. Well, they didn’t, and a large part of that has been due to CB DaRon Bland simply becoming a ball magnet. Bland is second in the NFL in interceptions with four, and three of those he’s returned for touchdowns. He’s also got three dropped INTs and five defended passes, so he’s also getting his hands on the ball a lot. Among all defensive backs with 20 targets, Bland leads the NFL in EPA allowed per target at -0.83. He’s a field flipper who is having a season reminiscent of Diggs’ in 2021, except without as many completions and yards allowed. Bland is blossoming into a versatile and big play corner, without as much of the volatility as a big play corner would have.

NFL Week 9 predictions, fantasy sleepers, key stats, buzz - ESPN+
Bowen: Five sneaky predictions for Sunday’s action. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts will rush for over 35 yards. Hurts has topped 35 rushing yards three times this season, and he has at least nine rushing attempts in five straight contests. In addition to the designed carries in the Eagles’ playbook, Hurts might be forced to play outside of structure against Dallas. The Cowboys are likely to bring pressure, which means Hurts will look to escape the pocket and attack the edges as a runner. [...] Fowler: What I’m hearing as we near kickoff. Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith is trending up for the Eagles game. He hasn’t had a setback this week, participated in Friday’s practice and is scheduled to do the same on Saturday. Most of the Cowboys’ starting offensive line has missed at least some time this season, so this week is a chance to get all five starters in the lineup. Smith’s backup, Chuma Edoga (ankle/knee), is also questionable.

NFL Referee Assignments Week 9 & Their Impact on NFL Betting - Sharp Football Analysis
At the midway point of the 2023 season, the Cowboys are the number one penalized road team, averaging 8.75 per game. This was an issue in Mike McCarthy’s first season in Dallas. The team improved last season but is again having issues on the road in 2023. The Eagles’ penalty trajectory is the best of any team midway through the season. The Eagles were uncharacteristically one of the more penalized teams in the first month of the season. The second was a totally different story. Philadelphia is averaging just 2.75 penalties per game in their last four contests, more in line with their impressive 2022 penalty numbers.

Cowboys vs. Eagles, Week 9: Dak Prescott, Jalen Hurts will be on the spot Sunday - The Athletic
Machota: Eagles 27, Cowboys 24. I think this one lives up to the hype. I predict the Eagles will pull out to an early lead but the Cowboys will claw back in it and have a chance late. But I’m going with the home team in both of the Cowboys versus Eagles matchups this season. Dallas will have a chance to get a stop late in the fourth quarter but will come up short on a tush-push play that allows Philadelphia to run out the clock. The Eagles will run that play three times Sunday and convert all three times. [...] Yousuf: Eagles 28, Cowboys 24. This one should come down to the wire, with Prescott and the Cowboys offense getting the ball late in the game, needing a touchdown to win and their drive stalling in the red zone. Obviously, the Cowboys want to win this game, but it’s important that they put forth a quality effort, unlike their game against the 49ers. If they lay an egg in this game, the next three weeks will be an afterthought because of a cupcake schedule before the season-ending run of tough games. [BLG Note: Both Cowboys writers at The Athletic are taking the Birds.]

Spadaro: 6 storylines that will help determine Cowboys-Eagles -
1. How to get Dak Prescott off his game. In the Cowboys’ five wins, quarterback Dak Prescott has 8 touchdown passes and only one interception. In their two losses, Prescott has thrown four interceptions and just two touchdowns. He is excellent when able to get outside the pocket and throw on the run and Prescott understands what he’s seeing from defenses. So, what do the Eagles do to take him out of his rhythm? Philadelphia doesn’t blitz a whole lot, but it has been effective when called. The risk is giving up big plays down the field, so it’s a calculated call that Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai will have to make. This much is clear, though: The Eagles cannot allow Prescott to have a comfortable pocket. They have to hurry him into mistakes and take the Dallas offense out of its game.

Jerry Jones sees Eagles matchup as a playoff game - PFT
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni tried this week to downplay Sunday’s game against the Cowboys. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did not. “It is obvious,” Jones said during his Friday appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “It has everything to do with our standings. I’ve heard someone say, ‘Well, this will be a good measuring stick,’” This isn’t about measuring sticks right here. There’s a time when you have to quit measuring, and just try to go get the win. Because the win itself means so much. The win. Not the measuring stick. Not the makeup so much of how we did it. That happens earlier, and it does happen. But man this is what you’re supposed to be doing it all for. This is like playoff.”

NFL defenses that CAN win a championship; plus, the early Coach of the Year and A.J. Brown’s domination -
Opponents also struggle to defend the Eagles’ potent running game, which has quarterback Jalen Hurts and Co. executing an assortment of zone-read concepts. The challenge of bracketing Brown (not to mention Smith) puts defensive play-callers in a bind in crucial moments. How do you defend a top-five receiver while loading the box to stop a power-running dual-threat QB with MVP-caliber skills? That’s the million-dollar question, and it has seemingly gone unanswered. The Eagles have created the perfect storm with a unique run-pass scheme accentuating the talents of the quarterback and his primary pass catcher. Brown just set an NFL record by logging his sixth straight game with 125-plus receiving yards Most teams don’t have the personnel to contain Hurts with a light box — nor do they have the kind of shutdown corner who can neutralize Brown using size and strength. Consequently, the Eagles’ No. 1 receiver will continue to dominate opponents, flourishing in Nick Sirianni’s scheme and cementing his status as one of the game’s most devastating weapons.

Every NFL team’s highest-graded wide receiver from Week 8 - PFF
A.J. Brown once again looked like a man amongst boys against Washington’s secondary. He caught every target and recorded five explosive gains. Two of those plays went for touchdowns. Brown finished third in yards this week and forced two missed tackles. He leads all receivers with 13 missed tackles forced this season. Brown finishes his 2023 matchups against Washington with 17 catches for 305 yards and four touchdowns. He made history by recording his sixth straight game with at least 125 receiving yards and has 21 explosive gains during that span (tied for first). He enters Week 9 ranked second in receiving yards (939) and PFF grade (91.9) among wide receivers.

Game Review – PHI 38, WAS 31 - Iggles Blitz
Zach Cunningham looked like the best LB to me. He had 5 tackles and 2 PDs. He had really good coverage down the right sideline. It took a perfect pass to beat him. Cunnigham still almost broke that up. Nakobe Dean led the team with with 12 tackles and 2 TFLs. Reed Blankenship came back from injury, but didn’t have his best game. He struggled early on. I don’t know if he was trying too hard, but he was out of position multiple times. Reed settled down. He finished with 8 tackles and made the defensive play of the game when he picked off Howell and returned the ball deep. Kevin Byard made his Eagles debut and finished with 7 tackles. He didn’t stand out, good or bad. He did seem comfortable all over and got more aggressive as the game went on.

Commanders fans approve of front office trading away Sweat and Young; fans like the new direction - Hogs Haven
In saying that the Chase Young was the “best” trade, national fans seem to be giving the thumbs up to the 49ers for having acquired a marquee name pass rusher for the cost of a compensatory pick. Of course, most non-Commanders fans’ impression of Chase Young is based on his 2020 pre-draft hype and his days at Ohio State. He is generally perceived as an elite pass rusher who simply landed in a bad situation in Washington. By the same token, the “worst” trade designation for the Montez Sweat deal seems to indicate that fans nationally think the Bears front office got robbed. In this case, I think they’re right. The Bears seem to be in a bit of disarray, and GM Ryan Poles seems as if he struggling to figure out how to build the roster in Chicago.

TGIFootball #13: Previewing Week 9 in the NFL, and former NFL WR Victor Cruz - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa, Brandon Lee Gowton, and Stephen Serda recap the Steelers’ hard-fought win on Thursday night–and preview every game on the Week 9 schedule. After the show, RJ sits down with former Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.


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