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Eagles-Cowboys snap counts: Brandon Graham comes up big in limited playing time

Playing time breakdown.

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

The official snap counts from the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 9 win over the Dallas Cowboys are in! Let’s take a look and run through some analysis.

OFFENSE

  • Jalen Hurts avoided missing a snap despite clearly being in pain after taking a helmet shot to his injured knee.
  • Tyler Steen played the entire game in his first NFL start and made one of the biggest plays by recovering the Eagles’ late fumble. Steen will likely be headed back to the bench with Cam Jurgens expected to be activated from injured reserve to play in Week 11.
  • Shocker: Hurts was efficient targeting A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. The two receivers combined for 12 targets, 10 catches, 117 yards, and two touchdowns. The Eagles will need to continue to rely heavily upon that duo with Dallas Goedert set to miss time.
  • Goedert reportedly suffered a fractured forearm that will have him miss at least four games while he goes on IR. Goedert had three catches for 50 yards before getting hurt.
  • D’Andre Swift logged his fourth-highest snap count percentage of the season. His 20 touches (18 carries, two receptions) were his third-most this year.
  • Jack Stoll is the Eagles’ top tight end with Goedert hurt.
  • Kenny Gainwell’s snap count percentage went back up after three straight games where it decreased. That being said, Gainwell had his second-fewest touches of any game this season with just four. So, it’s not like his struggles have gone totally unnoticed by the coaching staff. In fairness, Gainwell had a nice touchdown run to put the Eagles on the board first in this game.
  • Julio Jones’ snap count percentage increased for the third straight game but, unlike in previous weeks, he did not log a target. The Eagles could look to get Jones a bit more involved as a quasi-tight end with Goedert going down.
  • Albert Okwuegbunam played the first snaps of his Eagles career. Goedert’s injury opens up a spot for him to not be a healthy scratch each week.
  • Rashaad Penny played his first snaps since Week 2. His two carries, which came on back-to-back runs, went for eight yards.

DEFENSE

  • Zach Cunningham led the Eagles in tackles (10) as the team’s top linebacker.
  • Darius Slay had to miss a snap on the Cowboys’ final drive after briefly getting banged up. Josh Jobe came in for his first defensive snap since Week 6.
  • James Bradberry got banged up on the Cowboys’ final drive on the play where he committed pass interference.
  • Josh Sweat played the second-highest snap count percentage of his career, only slightly behind where he was in Week 8. And Sweat came up with what turned out to be the game-sealing sack. It’s not ideal that the Eagles have had to play him so often ... but the importance of this game justified emptying the tank a bit more than usual. Especially right ahead of a bye week.
  • Same sentiment for Sweat applies to Haason Reddick. Made sense to heavily lean on him in this case but ideally there would be a deeper edge rusher rotation.
  • Fletcher Cox lead Eagles DTs in playing time despite getting banged up early on.
  • With Nakobe Dean leaving due to a foot injury, Nicholas Morrow saw his highest snap count percentage since playing the entire game in Week 5.
  • Jalen Carter played the second-highest snap count percentage of his career. He had half of a sack but was kept a bit more quiet than expected. In fairness, he faced a really good interior offensive line. Hopefully he wasn’t limited by his back injury.
  • Eli Ricks’ playing time increased for the third straight week. Having to cover CeeDee Lamb is a tough task for good players, let alone an undrafted rookie free agent rotating at nickel cornerback out of necessity.
  • The nickel CB rotation skewed in favor of Ricks over Sydney Brown this week.
  • Jordan Davis saw his second-lowest snap count percentage this season. He was seen grabbing his hamstring early in the game. The Eagles will hope the bye week allows the big man to heal.
  • Brandon Graham made a big impact despite playing his second-lowest snap count percentage of the season. He produced 1.5 sacks on critical back-to-back plays to help force a turnover on downs in addition to one TFL. He’s still got it!
  • Nolan Smith saw his third-highest snap count percentage thus far but he did not make a memorable impact on defense.
  • Marlon Tuipulotu barely played as DT5.

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Patrick Johnson was active after missing the last two games as a healthy scratch. The Eagles should try getting him involved in the edge rush rotation when they can to help spell Reddick and Sweat.
  • Ben VanSumeren made his NFL debut after being temporarily elevated from the practice squad.

DID NOT PLAY

INACTIVE: Bradley Roby, Boston Scott, Grant Calcaterra, Derek Barnett, Moro Ojomo, Tanner McKee

ACTIVE: Marcus Mariota

  • The Eagles calling a timeout after Hurts took a helmet shot to the knee prevented Mariota from having to take his first Eagles snap before the starting QB could return.
  • Roby tweeted that he expects to return in Week 11. That was to be expected since the Eagles didn’t put him on IR ahead of him missing three games. Getting him back could provide some more stability at nickel cornerback.
  • Scott missed Week 9 due to personal reasons. It’s unclear what’s kept him away from the team.
  • Calcaterra was able to participate in a limited capacity on Friday, so it seems like he should be cleared to return from concussion protocol prior to Week 11.
  • Barnett was a healthy scratch after failing to justify his playing time this season. Do the Eagles end up cutting him sooner than later?
  • The Eagles had a fifth linebacker (VanSumeren) active with regular special teams contributors Scott and Calcaterra out. That spot likely caused Ojomo to be a healthy scratch. The rookie DT should be part of the rotation moving forward.

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